One of the easiest ways to add some style and update your look is with accessories - especially earrings. Like a lot of young children I had a dressing up box and my favourite thing in it was a collection of Pat Butcher style dangly earrings which I bought from jumble sales. For those of you unacquainted with the soap Eastenders, Pat Butcher was famous for her particularly naff and garish, brassy looking earrings (see left). Age hasn't diminished my love of hanging bits of metal or plastic from my earlobes, but hopefully  I have developed slightly better taste and now before I buy (yet another) pair I give lots of consideration to size, colour and shape and which outfits they might enhance.

Small Neat Studs: Best if you are wearing a bright and colourful outfit and would look like a Christmas tree with something bolder and dangly. Many women I meet seem to stick to pearl studs which are lovely (as long as your teeth aren't yellow in comparison)  but oh so safe, conventional and, dare I say it, a tad boring. Same goes for diamond, gold or silver studs. It's all too easy to wear these day in, day out, because you no longer give them much thought!  And they really add very little to overall stylishness. However it's quite easy to find earrings that are a bit more interesting without being o.t.t. See me (right) in a geometric design in silver and black from Cos.  

A Touch of Glamour: For a glitzy occasion sparkly earrings can look sensational. I am assuming that you don't have family diamonds in a vault somewhere, so like me you resort to diamanté paste. If your default evening outfit is a black dress or top, then big sparkly earrings can stop it looking staid and safe. This photo of Helen Mirren (left) shows how it's done. H.M. often wears really big glitzy earrings on the red carpet. She invariably teams these with wonderfully stylish hair and a bright bold lipstick in either dark pink or red (like LFF Cherry Red). If you keep everything else understated you will look elegant rather than trashy.

Whacky Earrings. I rather like earrings which have some interesting design element to them. In fact I am always on the look out for something which is slightly different without looking as if I've had a mad moment in Camden Market! The photograph on the right is of Lyn Slater who writes a blog called 'The Accidental Icon'. She often wears black and white clothes and is usually photographed wearing sunglasses and really big, whacky earrings. With her white hair, and (often Japanese) clothes, she is super stylish and cool. I am not so confident as Lyn (terrified of the Pat Butcher effect) but I do have some unusual earrings which I enjoy wearing when the mood takes me.  

Colourful Earrings. In the summer I think it's great to wear brighter and more colourful jewellery to add some interest and drama to paler, lighter clothes. If your face is slightly tanned and you are cool toned like me, then wearing some turquoise or bright pink earrings can look pretty and summery.  If you are warm toned, then bright orange or a sharp green would look fabulous. As you can see in this photo I have kept colours very neutral in everything except my necklace, and earrings. The lipstick I am wearing is LFF Fuchsia - which is perfect when the light is very bright and clear. See my video on how I achieved this summer makeup  here.

Where to Buy: As an earring junkie I always keep my eyes peeled for something unusual to add to my vast collection (see some of them right). I like shops like Oliver Bonas and Cos for styles which are slightly different without being too outrageous or expensive (most pairs are between £10 and £20). For the glitzy evening ones I tend to go to a department store and buy something from the brand Jon Richard which has really good copies of much more expensive uber glamorous stuff. I also visit the V&A museum in London fairly frequently and as a member I get 10% off everything in their shop. This is a great source of  quirky, original and interesting pieces both from named designers, but also good costume pieces too.

Hopefully I have inspired you to start looking for interesting ways to decorate your earlobes - at least with earrings your size and age are irrelevant! Happy hunting and do let me know your thoughts below on your preferences for accessorising with ear jewellery!