Pearls are often associated with more classic sensibilities. Black and white photos of old movie stars and royalty adorned in pearls are a common sight. One of the most famous classic paintings of all time (the Girl with the Pearl Earring) features the stone. But when thinking about applying them in today’s fashion world, this legacy may make it feel out of style.
For any woman who wants to wear pearls, there are a ton of ways that you can make them look modern and elegant. We’ve created this style guide to break down how to wear pearls, the modern way included.
Types of Pearl Jewelry
First, let’s talk about the various types of pearl jewelry available for you to purchase. The classic options of a pair of pearl earrings or a pearl strand necklace are great, but you also have many more styles to choose from.
When shopping for pearl jewelry considers some of these other style options:
- Pearl Bracelets
- Pearl Choker
- Pearl Pendant
- Pearl Ring
These are just some of the other ways you can accessorize pearls, but if you love the vintage look of classic pearl earrings for instance, then making it modern is all about how you pair them with your fashion choices.
Different color pearls
What many people don’t consider, is the possibility of different color pearls for their outfits. The classic white pearl or cream-colored pearl may be the most common, but it is just one of the many different hues that pearls can come in.
Think about adding trendy black pearls to your jewelry box. Add some pink or rose-colored pearls to your collection for a bit of subtle color. To really stand out, consider jewelry pieces that feature various colors and sizes of pearls. A pearl necklace with multicolored pearls decreasing in size from a large single pearl in the middle creates a stunning piece of jewelry that is every bit as elegant as the classics, with a more modern flair.
With the image of pearls often being associated with elegance and class, it can feel wrong to pair them with such casual clothing. But fashion sensibilities have come a long way, and now casual fashion is taking a bigger spotlight.
Prestigious fashion houses are offering more sneakers and casual clothing options, making high fashion looks possible with casual outfits. Even wearing pearls with a t-shirt is not out of the question. Some popular style approaches include wearing many pearl bracelets with a casual t-shirt and jeans. This can “dress down” the pearls and make them look like a simpler accessory and less of a stand-out piece.
This method of layering pearls is gaining popularity with other pearl jewelry pieces as well. Layering many pearl necklaces together, on top of a turtleneck, or under a blazer is a popular look nowadays.
You should also consider accessorizing the accessory. To make your pearls stand out and have a modern fashion appeal, pair them with other jewelry pieces. A pearl necklace paired with silver or gold chains looks great and is another way to “dress down” pearls while offering them an opportunity to stand out.
Many women covet their pearls. These jewelry pieces are often passed down, or your first fascination with them came from an older family member earlier in your life. You should feel free to wear and enjoy them as much as possible. Don’t resign yourself to just adorning them for special occasions, you can absolutely style pearls for a casual day out as well.
Formal wear is the fashion category where pearls will usually have their biggest focus. But your approach to formal wear doesn’t have to perfectly match past generations. We can picture the black and white photo of an actress in a black dress with a beautiful strand of pearls around her neck. You can approach your modern looks with more variety and flair.
A good way to think about this is to think about some of your favorite fashion looks featuring pearl jewelry and think about how you can further style them. If traditionally a pearl stud would complete the earrings for a look, add supplementary jewelry to accentuate the pearl. Earring chains, different gemstones, and different metals can all boost the appearance of your pearls and add a more contemporary element to your look.
Explore your own style
The image of pearls that most people have in mind is of a pristine white pearl, perfectly rounded with no imperfections. But there are many variations of pearl shapes and complexions and adding them to your collection can make for a more interesting appearance.
A baroque pearl is one of these examples. A baroque pearl typically features an irregular shape, with a range of possibilities offering very unique appearances for each one. This can make your pearl jewelry stand out, as the style is drastically different from the perfect image of pearls that people might have in mind. A lot of pearl jewelry is valued for its consistency and ability to adhere to a certain level of quality. Unique pearls like baroque pearls challenge this conception and make your jewelry have more of an impact.
When deciding on how you want to style your pearls and develop your look, think about your priorities. What is your comfort level, what is your fashion taste, and maybe most importantly, what is your budget? Not everyone has a jeweler they can visit to build their perfect piece. Consider your options and choose the jewelry that you can make work for your budget and your style.
A clever way to repurpose pearls for multiple different outfits is by using a simple freshwater pearl strand. If it is long enough, it can act as a belt, or be folded up to act as a set of bracelets or layered necklaces. These types of looks are being explored on runways while being popular on city streets. You have many sources of inspiration, so have fun exploring.
If you’re ready to find your next pearl pieces, then you’ll want to browse our selection here at JustDesi. Our JustPearl collection features many different pearl jewelry pieces that will make a stunning addition to your set.