Hoops are always the answer

Violet’s Ilona Harding-Roberts has discovered a piece of jewellery that will almost certainly change your life

Ilona Harding-Roberts

110% sassInstagram: allkindsofslay_

Whoever you are, wherever you are, this week you need to get yourself some hoops. Not a hula hoop, nor hoops of the crisp variety; I'm talking about that glimpse of heaven we mere mortals call the 'hooped earring'. 

 This week, I woke up with a strange feeling that something was missing in my life. I got up, got dressed, went to a supervision, came back, and sat in my room, solemnly contemplating this feeling that I was lacking something. Something important. 

 I tried food: it wasn’t that. I tried exercise: it definitely wasn’t that. I tried on my entire wardrobe: now I was getting closer, but it wasn’t clothing that was causing my identity crisis. Then, something shiny caught my eye from my bedside table: a single, solitary, earring stud. I turned it over in my palm, watching its dull sheen illuminate in the midday sun, and realised how underwhelmed I was; it was boring, childish, and plain. 

 Then it hit me. Finally, after a day of walking round with a big, round, empty hole in the pit of my stomach, and a feeling of confusion, I knew what my life was missing. I needed a pair of hooped earrings. 

"Nobody, I repeat nobody, could ever look bad in a hooped earring"

 You might think I’m being dramatic, or that I need more pressing things to worry about. You’re probably right. But either way, I thought I’d share with you the reasons you, whoever you are, however you see yourself, should go into town right this second (unless this second happens to be past 7pm, in which case you’ll have to wait until tomorrow) and buy yourself a pair of these circular wonders:  

 1. They will infinitely upgrade your sass level

The day before my revelation, someone had accidentally bumped into me in Sainsbury’s, knocking the entire contents of my basket across the floor. Coconut milk was rolling everywhere, my yoghurts had exploded, and my grapes were squished. Now, I consider myself to be pretty chilled and forgiving, but I at least expected the clumsy fool to apologise profusely and help me clear up. Instead, they looked me in the eye, said "whoops, you need to watch out," and scarpered. My response to the whole thing, meanwhile, had been to look sheepishly round and apologise to everyone for my existence. 

Now, imagine exactly the same scene, except this time, avec les ‘oops. Person comes along, crashes into me, and makes to leave - but just before they do, I swish my hair back, revealing the magical, hypnotising power of the shining circlets glinting at my earlobes. Person stops, in shock. I then calmly fix them with all the power of my upgraded sass, and say boldly, loudly, clearly: "Pick. This. Up." 

The onlookers then probably cheer and demand my autograph, or something similar.

 2. You will look older, cooler, and sexier 

Nobody, I repeat nobody, could ever look bad in a hooped earring. They are the light and soul of every outfit, every aesthetic, every appearance. Yet their true power lies in the subtlety of their effect; often, it takes a moment to realise that the key to your friend’s perfectly put-together daytime outfit is the deliciously covert loop of silver, gold or bronze at their ear. So not only does the hoop perform the art of balancing out an outfit and ensuring that extra pizazz in your day, but it’s damn modest about it, too.

 3. They are a cheap form of feel-good retail therapy 

In the interests of full disclosure, it probably wasn’t just the fact that I was lacking a random piece of jewellery that was getting me down. Michaelmas is a really, really, busy term, the one where you wish you could split yourself into four people in a valiant attempt to cover all bases: relaxing, working, sleeping, and partaaaying. I was feeling knackered and bored and sleepy, and although shopping with a friend was a dangerous decision for my bank account, it was too appealing to resist. Little did I know that I would return with not one, not two, but three pairs of hooped earrings (one silver night-time pair, one gold night-time pair, and one small but still sassy day-time pair), all for £4.25. And I didn’t even have to compromise that much on quality: student discount meant I could buy jewellery for myself in Accessorise.

 4. They are a versatile form of self-expression

If you’re an avid follower of the stuff I write (and why wouldn’t you be, with a headshot like that) you’ll know that I’m a big fan of young people learning to feel comfortable with expressing themselves, from experimenting with makeup to admitting to your teacher crush. The trusty hooped earring, for me, is yet another way for people of all genders and none to assert themselves on the world around them and decide how they want to present themselves. Maybe I’m reading too much into it, sure, but part of my inspiration for my own purchase of the saintly hoops came from walking passed a man with huge, unapologetic hoops in Market Square. If he could do it, why couldn’t I? 

 5. The bigger the hoop, the bigger the… 

Joy. That’s it. Pure, innocent, unadulterated joy. If you like ‘em big, go big. If you want cute and playful, then go for it. If anything, you could point out the bigger the hoop, the bigger the health and safety risk of any post-Cindies activity that may or may not occur. Just saying


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So I’m hooping (sorry not sorry) that every single one of you, on finishing reading this, leg it to your nearest cheap jewellery shop and write your own odes to that simple piece of heaven we call the hooped earring. You won’t regret it. Promise