Pearls are well-known as some of the classiest pieces of jewelry any woman can wear, and their popularity for at least 100 years and counting has ensured them a cult icon status in the fashion world. But while the classic way of wearing them is obviously timeless and will never go out of style, today we will take a look to newer and more interesting ways of wearing pearls. Some of them are meant to simply be a better fit to your style and looks (compared to traditional ways of wearing them), while the others are simply a refreshing new wave in pearl fashion.
If you’ve been meaning to experiment with pearls for a while, but what kept you back was associating them with your mom’s or grandma’s style (an outdated feeling), these suggestions are just what you need to get you started. Also, if you have been wearing pearls sometimes, in their classic style, but you’re looking for a change, you’re also in for a treat. Here are the less known, but awesome ways to approach your pearl wearing.
1. Go for Various Pearl Colors and Choose Them to Match Your Skin
No matter what the style that consecrated them is, pearls should definitely come in more colors than their original white form. Sure, white pearls are classy and great from time to time, but colored pearls are more interesting, exotic, and not one little bit less classy than their white counterparts. If what comes to mind when you think of colored pearls are the kitschy and artificially-died ones you sometimes see in shops, think again: natural pearls can actually come in a wide variety of colors. It’s what makes them more exotic or special.
But the best part about colored pearls isn’t necessarily the variation for its own sake, or for better accessorizing the rest of your outfits. The unmistakable shine of pearls actually casts a highlight on the complexion of whomever wears them, creating an instant beautifying effect. Coco Chanel, the woman who left such a huge and still lingering impact on our current style and fashion sense, thought all women looked better when wearing pearls, and she couldn’t be more right. In fact, she said that ‘a woman needs ropes and ropes of pearls’, so she definitely favored more over less when it comes to pearl necklaces. She was also a visionary when it comes to layering (both for jewelry and for clothing).
Still, how can one make the most of this quality of pearls of highlighting the wearer’s complexion? Go for colored pearls in accordance to your natural skin color. There are no definite rules for darker skin or lighter skin, for warm notes or cold notes in your skin color and so on. To realize what pearl colors would suit you best and provide the most noticeable beautifying effect, just try on various colors in your clothes (especially shirts and tops). That way, you can decide what color would highlight your complexion best and then simply choose pearl jewelry in that color. There are plenty of options: beige, lilac (lavender), black, grey, peach, golden beige, tawny browns, pink, coral, and so on.
If you’re trying to decide between various nude colors like pinks, peaches and beiges, another good trick to try is to match the pearls to your lipstick. You’ve probably already figured out what lipstick colors are best suited to your complexion and what particular shades make the rest of your features really stand out. If you double up the effect by choosing a pearl necklace or earrings (or both) in the same shade, you will look more gorgeous than ever. Forget the century old rule about matching the lipstick to your nail polish, match your necklace to your lips instead and you will do your natural beauty much more of a favor this way.
2. Wear a Long Pearl Necklace on Your Back or on Your Body
Another cool style trick worth trying is wearing a long pearl necklace in unconventional ways. You can try wearing it on your back, with a little knot towards its end for greater weight and balance. It will make your whole figure appear slightly elongated and sophisticated, just like the drawn figures on designers’ art projects. Few things can be more sophisticated than this way of wearing a long rope pearl necklace, and if you happen to also wear a dress with a low back, the effect will be truly stunning. If it seems to a too demanding style option, don’t worry, any bodycon shaped dress will work, even if it has a pretty high neck in the back.
As far as colors are concerned, if the necklace is also black, such as in the photo above, you get extra style points for originality and mystery. For benefitting from the highlighting effect (and extra class) of natural pearls, you can opt for a Tahitian pearl necklace (the only natural black pearls in the world are produced by the Tahitian black-lipped oysters). Other color options are obviously just as nice, if they match your style better.
Another interesting twist in the way you can wear a pearl necklace, provided it’s long enough, is on your wrist, wrapped up multiple times, in order to create a multi-row bracelet. If you pair it with multiple layers of pearl necklaces worn on your neck, the way Coco Chanel has worn herself, you will be a super-sophisticated style apparition. Keep the rest of the jewelry to a minimum though; it’s better if you wear no rings or at least no pearl rings, and very small stud-type pearl-earrings.
3. Pearl Hair Pins for a Precious and Glamorous Effect
As the classic rock song goes, a girl with pearls in her hair is one of the most impressive visions that can materialize before man. It works best for medium to dark colored hair (especially for brunettes and redheads), but feel free to try this look if you’re a blonde or have highlights, the luminous effect will be even stronger due to the pearls. In order to achieve this look, simply buy some pearl-tipped hair pins (they are available from multiple online stores fairly easily and you can even make them yourself), and fix your hair up in a simple up-do. You really don’t need to go for anything too complicated, since this look can be adapted both as day wear and as evening wear.
Once you’re done with the simple up-do for your hair, simply insert the pearl-tipped hair pins all over your hair, here and there. Don’t go for too few or too many, about 12 of them total will be just right (6 on the right side and 6 on the left side). Pair the hair do with a vintage-influenced outfit (dress or even just a pair of loosely fitting suit pants and an elegant shirt. Mademoiselle Chanel would surely be proud. If the full up-do seems a little much for your usual style, you can just wear two pearl pins on either side of your hair, to keep it from getting into your face, and let the rest of your hair loose. It’s a dimmer version of the full ‘do, perfect for office days and casual events.
4. Make Pearl Strands Part of Your Clothing
If you’re really committed to experiment with your pearl style further, why not go fully baroque in your fashion choices? Multiple rows and ropes of pearls aren’t enough, you need to incorporate them in a truly elegant outfit that just screams of sophisticated excess and unforgettable style. The best way to do it is to opt for clothing embedded with pearls along the décolletage line (you can find such blouses in online stores from time to time, or watch this tutorial on how to create your DIY top with embedded pearls, inspired from classic Chanel fashion).
The other way to do it, equally classy but simpler to make, is to attach your pearl necklaces to your clothing through a brooch. The only precaution needed in this case is to make sure you don’t pull on your necklaces too hard, by accident, and cause them to break. As long as you only attach them to your clothing in one loose spot (with a wide brooch), and make sure the necklaces don’t get caught up with your coat or whatever you will put over your main outfit, you’re safe. For extra style points, choose an antique looking brooch with some pearl details, like a vintage cameo pearl brooch. If your clothes are in a dark color, all the pearl details and accents will come out even more and make your entire assemble truly unforgettable. Go for black, burgundy, or navy colored velvet. Few outfits could be more sophisticated, trust us.
5. Turn Jewelry into Functional Accessories with Pearl Watches
The last suggestion on how to incorporate pearls into your outfits into a more creative way than the classic pearl necklace, is the pearl watch. This style twist is common enough to make it a classic choice as well, but also unusual enough to make you an interesting apparition at any formal event. Pair a delicate pearl bracelet watch with a little black dress and heels (and the classic pearl necklace too, of course), and you’re good to go. Red lipstick is also a most welcome touch when going for a special event with this outfit, and the watch will really make a difference. A little black dress with a classic pearl necklace and red lipstick may sound just like the Audrey Hepburn cliché, but the presence of the watch in the mix gives you more of a professional look, while maintaining the pearl style them.
Speaking of giving your outfit a more professional look, if a wrist watch isn’t a clear mark of a professional woman, few things are. That’s why the pearl wrist watch is actually such a versatile detail to add to your outfits. Beyond the formal event attire with the little black dress, described above, the pearl watch can make a successful apparition in your day to day business events and office meetings as well. To make this work, just pair the watch with a high quality, classic white shirt (preferably with ¾ sleeves so the watch-bracelet will be more visible) and a skirt or office pants, and minimal pearl stud earrings. Basically, the watch will be the main accessory to be highlighted by your outfit, but no matter how rich or extravagant its bracelet will be, it will still look professional due to the watch detail.
This about covers the main ways in which you can wear pearls in a more unconventional fashion, at least for starters. After you become more confident in experimenting with pearls in your style, you will surely come up with your own unique ways of incorporating these precious natural gems in your outfits. Especially if you follow all the suggestions presented above and learn how to sew pearls into your clothing or how to make your DIY pearl hair pins, your creativity with pearls and ways to wear them will skyrocket after a while. Just remember two things from our guide.
No 1: as various fashion pioneers like Mademoiselle Chanel have demonstrated time and time again, pearls are of the classiest choices you can go for in almost any situation. But also, no. 2: this doesn’t mean that pearls should just be worn in the traditional way all the time. In fact, far from it; so feel free to experiment as wildly as you want with your pearly ideas. Here are some extra ideas to consider:
- Pearl adorned fake eyelashes: example here;
- Pearl inspired nail designs: example here;
- Pearl hair crowns (only to be worn at festivals, though): like this one;
- A pair of designer sunglasses with a pearl detail: like this Vogue pair here;
- Other accessories adorned with pearls (like this classy antique hand mirror).
Whichever way your style options take you, pearls will remain a classy choice for a long time, not to mention that they also make a good investment for the future. Have fun with your style experiments and remember that there are (almost) no wrong ways to do it.