A woman’s strand of pearls adds a certain je ne sais quoi to your look. Feeling nostalgic? Wearing a long pearl necklace with a black dress makes us feel like Holly Golightly with her breakfast croissant outside of Tiffany’s. Pearls instantly add grace and elegance to elevate your ensemble. Wondering how to wear pearls for any event while staying fashion-forward? We have a plethora of pearl pointers to share. Here’s everything you need to know about pearls and how to add this enduring accessory to any outfit with ease.
The Origins of Pearls
Before we dive into how to wear pearls, let’s learn a little history of their origins. Pearls are one of the oldest gems. In fact, the appearance of pearls in history predates written text. Ancient Japanese mythology depicts pearls as the tears of mythical creatures like mermaids and gods. Many societies believed pearls contained healing powers and were crushed and consumed to heal ailments. Similarly, knights during the Dark Ages kept pearls on hand to protect them at battle.
The roaring 20s brought a wave of daring women’s fashion and a cost effective way to recreate expensive pearls. Imitation pearls look just like the real thing. They are created using glass or plastic and then coated with a pearlescent finish. The best part? Faux pearls are inexpensive and easier to care for. Since then, pearl popularity has ebbed and flowed, but they are back and the pearl trend is stronger than ever. No matter how you wear pearls, there’s really no wrong way. You can wear them casually with your favorite jeans or to a black tie affair. Fashion icon Coco Chanel would agree, we promise.
Pearls of Wisdom: Curious how natural pearls are made? A pearl is formed when a foreign substance makes its way into specific types of mollusks, like oysters. As a way to protect itself, the mollusk will coat the foreign substance with layers of aragonite and conchiolin—the same material its shell is made from. Between these layers, the mollusk will secrete nacre which is the high-luster, pearl finish. Depending on the type of pearl, it takes 6 months to 3 years to form.
How to Wear Pearl Accessories
Adding pearls to your jewelry box is a no-brainer. Pearls are timeless, understated and heighten any outfit they’re paired with. It’s no wonder they’ve been a go-to for women throughout the years. Pearls are universally flattering and complement everyone’s skin tone. Before you wonder how to wear pearls, decide what version you prefer to wear. Here’s a variety of pearl adorned accessories that are sure to switch up your style.
How to Wear Pearl Necklaces in Varying Lengths
Like other necklaces, pearl encrusted and pearl strand necklaces come in a variety of lengths. Multi-strand pearl collar necklaces make a statement and are a must-have if you’re fashion-forward. Next up is the choker length which is usually 14–16 inches and hits at the base of your neck. Pair these with a turtleneck and jumper to tap into the cottagecore trend. The most popular pearl necklace is the 17–19 inch princess length option and looks chic with both high and low necklines. Longer length Opera and Rope length pearls offer the most versatility. Not sure how to wear long pearl necklaces? Keep them long and layered or loop them twice for a double-strand effect to channel your inner 1920s It-girl.
How to Wear Pearl Headbands and Hairclips
Wondering how to wear pearls that aren’t women’s necklaces? Give pearl-garnished headbands and hair clips a try. Tame your tresses for an impromptu video call by adding a headband. Stack a collection of coordinating pearl barrettes to liven up your locks. These handy hair accessories are part functional, part fashion and a must-do. For an easy style-and-go look, pull up your hair into a messy ponytail and adorn a pearl clip to control fly-aways.
How to Wear Pearl Bracelets, Rings and Earrings
Sometimes bigger is better when deciding how to wear pearls. Supersize your ornamental add-ons and stand out with large pearl earrings, bracelets and rings. Instead of a single-strand bracelet, choose a multi-strand option featuring pearls of various sizes. Want to maximize your rope-length necklace? Loop it a few times to convert it to a bracelet. Gemstones and pearls partner together for a contemporary take on a classic. Statement earrings deserve to be the star of your style show, so be sure to keep your other jewelry simple.
How Do I Wear Pearls Casually? Perfect Pearl Pairings for Everyday Ensembles
If wondering how to wear pearls casually has you stumped, don’t worry—it’s super simple to do. Whether your women’s style is perfectly preppy or boldly boho, there’s a pair of pearls to spruce up your style. Here’s how to wear pearls while staying laid-back and easy going like a Sunday morning.
Soak Up the Sunshine in Stunning Strands of Pearls
Pack up your pearls and hop into a converted camper van for a road trip this summer. Watch the sun set the desert ablaze with color to get inspired. Here’s how to wear pearls with a 70s fashion flair. Natural pearls come in a variety of colors including lavender and pink. Enrich a boho-printed top with a unique colorful pearl necklace and add a pair of wide-leg jeans. Now you’re looking fly with boho style. Don’t forget an outdoor blanket to catch a sky full of dreamy stars when the sun goes down.
Pearls to Freshen Up Your Fall Fashion
“Leaf” your worries behind––here’s how to wear pearls casually for the fall. Have a day of apple picking in store? Opt for a pair of pearl stud earrings. They spruce up your apple-picking outfit, plus you don’t have to worry about them snagging on branches. Add a comfy jumpsuit and layer on a women’s shacket. Choose this women’s fall 2021 fashion trend piece with big pockets to stow away all the apples overflowing from your basket. Don’t forget a pair of lug boots to step into fall in style.
Playful, Preppy Pearls
Blair Waldorf had a headband for every occasion. Take a page out of her style bible and swap out a pearl necklace for a pearl adorned headband. Nothing says preppy more than a plaid print, so slip into a tartan skirt and add a touch of texture with a chambray button-down. In the winter months, add a pair of tights, tall boots and a teddy bear coat. Now, that’s how to wear pearls in a playful, preppy way.
How Do I Wear Pearls Dressed Up?
Pearl necklaces often bring to mind women’s chic-style for polished occasions. Heading to a semi-formal cocktail hour? Add a single strand pearl necklace. Want to dress to impress at work? Yep, you’ve guessed it. Reach for your pearl baubles. Here’s how to wear pearls to enhance your work or evening wear.
Take Your Pearls to Work
Add a retro feel to your women’s business formal workwear by embellishing yourself with pearls. For a polished and practical aesthetic, go with a choker length pearl necklace. Pair it with a mixed-material blouse and pencil skirt duo. Don’t forget to slip into kitten heels before you start your work day. Alternatively, for a subtle pearl detail, swap out a tailored blazer for a pearl button-down cardigan. Layer it over a dress, and you are ready to dominate your day.
How to Wear Pearls to Go Glam
Invited to a soiree with a black-tie dress code? Here’s how to wear pearls and dress to impress at your next formal social gathering. Pearls are one of the best accessories for a black dress. Shimmy into a sleek, satin slip dress and have a Cinderella moment with a pair of bow-accent heels. Sweep your hair into an updo and frame your face with heirloom teardrop pearl earrings. Want to add a modern rocker-glam vibe to your look? Opt for black or dark gray pearls. Keep your edgy aura going with a smoky eye and moody lip color. Now you are ready to rock the night away.
So, how do I take care of pearls?
Now that you know how to wear pearls, let’s talk aftercare. They require a little more care than your metal and gemstone baubles. Regular maintenance will ensure your pearls stay secure and lustrous. Real pearls are sensitive to various elements, so apply your perfume and makeup before adding your necklace. In fact, your pearl strands should be the very last thing you put on before you leave. After a night out, don’t forget to wipe your pearls clean with a soft cloth before tucking them away. Additionally, take a trip to your local jeweler to have your pearls checked every once in a while.
Imitation pearls also require care. Remove smudges or spots with a soft cloth and avoid using any type of cleaning solution. If your pearls need a little extra scrubbing, reach for a damp cloth. Both natural and imitation pearls are susceptible to scratches. Carefully place them into their own soft pouch or box until you wear them again.
Pearls of Wisdom: Wondering if your hand-me-down pearls are the real deal? Put your senses to the test by starting with your pearly whites. Yes, your teeth. Rub pearls against your teeth. Do they feel gritty? It’s a sign that they are natural. Imitation pearls have a very smooth, glass-like surface. Another way to check? Toss them around in your hand. Real pearls have weight behind them so it will feel like you are holding a handful of pebbles. No two pearls are the same and have irregularities in size and texture. Lastly, natural pearls will feel cold to the touch and then warm up when worn. Now, you are a stunning pearl professional.
Looking to shine with new pearls? Be sure to ask for a polished pair when you schedule your next Fix.