Q. My mother in law would like to give me some pearls for my first Mother’s Day (lucky me!), but I need help finding some that don’t look so matronly. Any advice?Q. I have an 18” string of pearls that I received for my wedding. I used to wear them to dressier events and functions, but my style has changed and evolved over the years. I am mostly in casual, daytime situations with children and other moms and work part time from home in a creative profession. I would love to wear my pearls again, but no longer just for special occasions. How can I make them more of an everyday, hip accessory?
A. When we think of pearls, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Coco Chanel and Jackie O usually come to mind, as all are icons when it comes to wearing pearls. While classic and often traditional, pearls are also a mainstay of a modern wardrobe - it’s all about how you wear them.
In the images below, Michelle Obama wears her short double strands in classic, ladylike fashion with a pencil skirt and beaded cardigan; Rihanna makes hers look young and fresh with a button down and short flirty skirt; Jessica Biel opts for slightly longer strands to accessorize her little black dress.
The celebrities below opt for longer, layered strands: Ashlee Simpson’s have a rock-and-roll vibe worn with skinny jeans and a casual striped top; Sarah Jessica Parker wears hers with a chic black minidress; Blake Lively wears hers long, loose and messy with her retro-inspired look.
The point is, pearls can be worn in so many ways, from casual to dressy, or ladylike to rocker, depending on your style. They are a must-have for any woman’s wardrobe.
If you’re going to invest in a pearl necklace, a long strand of pearls is the most versatile. You can create multiple looks from the same necklace: wear it long and loose, layered with other necklaces, or you can double or triple the strand to create a shorter necklace. You can even wrap it several times around your wrist or pin a brooch on your necklace.
Here are some pearls in longer lengths for every budget (as you can see, you don’t have to spend a lot!):
photos via instyle.com and people.com