My ear lobes are fussy customers these days.
In fact, all of me is a fussy customer these days – ever since I made the decision to end my (literally) toxic relationship with fast fashion and seek out slower, more sustainable ways of dressing. I’m fussier about fabrics and colours, about comfort and fit. I want to know exactly where my clothes have come from, who made them and how. And I’m not as easily seduced as I used to be; where in the not-too-distant past I used clothes and accessories like coffee and paracetamol, as a pick-me-up or a panacea for any vague ache of dissatisfaction, these days I need more reason than just “retail therapy” to make that commitment. I’m the Shania Twain of shopping, not impressed by much. I’m not here for a casual fling that barely makes it beyond a couple of wears. I want to fall in love.
But yes, my ears are especially hard to win over. They’re grumpy, after two decades of treating them like a kitchen pan rack or an ageing Buckaroo set. I piled so many cheap and charmless pairs on them during my teens and 20s that now I can virtually feel them screaming if I so much as hold up a pair of heavy, itchy Pat Butcher-esque danglers. Too many days have been marred by a bad earring choice, and too many bad moods magically cleared as soon as I took the offending pair off and flung them under the bed.
This is a shame, because I love earrings. The drama, the movement, their ability to tie an outfit together or jzujz up the simplest basics into something that looks stylish and intentional. When getting dressed in the morning I’ve been known to start with the earrings and work backwards. Which is where Toolally comes in.
I discovered Toolally back in 2017, and my ears breathed a sigh of relief. They’re without a doubt the most comfortable drop earrings I’ve ever worn; the sterling silver or 22 carat gold posts keep my fussy lobes happy, and they’re so feather-light that I often forget they’re there. Until somebody yells “I love your earrings!!”.
Which people do, because the designs are genuinely fabulous. They speak to my maximalist tendencies without ever looking naff or costumey. The collections chime beautifully with trends but don’t hop on any high street bandwagons, so they feel evergreen for years to come. Knowing each pair has been handmade by a small, skilled team appeases my slow fashion conscience, and especially the new recycled collection – made from leftover scraps of acrylic, so nothing is wasted.
Until Toolally, I think I’d forgotten that buying jewellery could be an event. Receiving a pair, lovingly packaged and presented, it feels like the beginning of a beautiful relationship rather than a shameful quickie. They’re earrings I can commit to. And my lobes, actually.
Lauren wearing our Kingfishers in azure