Elegant, refined and – let’s say it – old-fashioned, may be the initial words that come to mind when you think of pearls. These classic beads tend to conjure up images of yesteryear, paired with twin sets or somber, knit suits worn by women of a certain age. But that was then. Today, pearls are cool, flirtatious, sexy or anything else you want them to be. Versatile and timeless, the beauty of pearls makes them much more than your grandma’s favorite necklace. In fact, they have a decidedly twenty-first century appeal.
From rings set with one fabulously huge pearl to long strands of pearls worn understatedly with your favorite t-shirt and jeans to a shower of pearls scattered over a cardigan, this little jewel has come a long way from those old notions. As fashionistas of every age know, there is always room for pearls in a modern wardrobe.
While jewelry has been the traditional use of pearls, today’s wearers devise contemporary designs that are strikingly new and individual. Rather than a single sedate strand, pile on pearl necklaces of varying lengths for a more relaxed and lighthearted style. Mixing them with other necklaces – gold or silver chains, perhaps, or those comprised of colored stones, either faux or semi-precious – style setters can create fashion statements that never go unnoticed.
Of course, bracelets, rings and earrings are not left out. Leaving behind those dainty bracelets designed of a solitary string of pearls as well as that thin, pearl-studded chain – both once fashionable choices -choose a wide bangle encrusted with pearls instead or create a one-of-a-kind style, entwining a pearl necklace around your wrist. It’s a delightfully playful look. Similarly, pearl rings and earrings tend to have large, eye-catching baubles – a jaunty take on formerly stodgy jewelry staples. Worn with a dress for work or dinner and later with jeans, these pearls have nothing to do with subtlety and everything to do with making you look spectacular!
What adds to the fun is that pearls go far beyond jewelry. With vintage and vintage-inspired clothing currently the rage, sweaters sprinkled with pearls add an overtly feminine touch to casual or tailored outfits. Think cashmere or angora with pearl embellishments along a jewel neckline, strewn down a sleeve or sprayed abstractly across the front. Whether coupled with dark jeans or a pencil skirt, these pearly vintage sweaters offer contemporary glamour.
Then there are shoes and bags. Unquestionably the jewel of choice for weddings, pearls have graced wedding gowns for generations. Now clusters of pearls cling to the front of white satin shoes and along the spike heels worn by many brides. Pearls also adorn the hottest shoes, at every price point. Pearlescent beads form the platform of shoes designed by Nicholas Kirkwood, for example, while faux pearls are nestled in leather ruffles on sandals at Aldo, making it possible to look chic for any occasion. And from fancy clasps to bags entirely covered in pearly beads, the luster of these little baubles makes a pretty impact on handbags.
In a modern trendsetter’s wardrobe, pearls are a fun choice that makes a statement. While that statement may be unique to each wearer, it’s always pretty – something you have in common with grandma.