When I first got my ears pierced, I told the woman at Claire's that I really wanted the rhinestone studs, even though my mother made me pick the gold balls. (They were "hypoallergenic" and "go with everything," descriptors that were about as appealing to my 9-year-old self as "they're on sale" and "no one will notice them.") But what I really, really wanted was a pair of hoops. I noticed my friends' older sisters wearing them. When they spoke, they never sounded like they were tripping over their words in childlike excitement. When they sat silent, they would twirl their gold hoops between their fingers and swing their crossed legs instead of nervously rubbernecking around (have you ever seen a kid sit still and luxuriate in it?). Their hoops bookended their brown, black, and bronzed faces, which were flecked with glitter, eyelids colored with white liner. Hoops topped off their outfits, with their bra straps, lace camisoles, and platform loafers that I was not allowed to wear yet. Hoops were grown-up. Hoops were for women who knew they were grown-up.
Twenty years later, I've got a salary, an apartment, and multiple pairs of platform loafers, and I still don't entirely feel qualified to wear hoops. Each time I put them on, I feel like an imposter in the same way that I still can't taste a new bottle of wine at a restaurant without making a joke to defuse how awkward I feel. It sounds neurotic to make a connection between hoops and that woman, but whenever I attempt either, I feel like a fraud. But frankly, I should get over it for a lot of reasons — the least of which is because they look great. Which is why I turned to lifelong hoops devotee, photographer Cassidy Turner, to help show me the way.
"I've always worn hoop earrings, and so has my sister," she told me. "I think it's because we saw our mom wearing them. She has this one pair of hoop earrings that I've ALWAYS coveted ever since I can remember — these tiny, vintage silver hoops with blue gems lining them. I was too afraid to ask to borrow them until recently and still felt like I was borrowing the Queen's jewels."
In celebration of hoops in all their recent forms (earrings, of course, but also on bags, clothing, and necklaces), Cassidy dressed her sister, Scarlett, in hoops of all types, supplemented with clothing from their mother's closet. "When I picture my mom," says Cassidy, "I see her covered in her favorite jewelry. On any given day, she can be found wearing rings on every finger and bracelets all the way up both arms. She collects special pieces that hold meaning to her, and has an amazing sensibility in putting them all together. She has always referred to us as 'magpie,' because we collect important objects that we feel connected to, like vintage jewelry and trinkets. We feel better surrounded by things that we love."
In that spirit (love, not fear!), we're honoring hoops and the strong, grown-up, magpie women who wear them.
Says Cassidy, "My sister is my favorite person on this earth and has been since the second she was born. She’s incredibly intelligent, creative, sweet and confident — I’ve always been in awe of her."
These double-hooped drop earrings are a non-traditional take on the traditional hoop. Wear both, or just one out of the pair.
"I think that our closeness is tangible in the portraits that I take of her," says Cassidy. "Also, she has an amazing sense of style."
The O-rings on these pants are handy for clipping on key fobs, wallet chains, and looping your thumbs on.
Hoop zipper pulls and tabs adorn all types of '60s-style ankle boots this season. We love how modern they feel in a white Chelsea boot.
Third hoop's the charm.
Says Cassidy, "For as long as I can remember, I've been rummaging through my mom's closet. She has collected vintage for years and has tons of special pieces (I wore a vintage Gucci dress to my graduation thanks to her!). Fashion and style is something that has always been a big part of our lives because of this. My mom has never been afraid to express herself through what she wears, which inspires me to do the same — she let me wear costumes to the first five years of school because I wanted to!"
Spot the ring.
This tiny Simon Miller O-ring pouch is one of the bags of the season.