There was a time when pearls were generally associated with formal occasions and “dressing up”. They were the go-to accessory to add a touch of luxury and elegance to a little black dress or a formal evening gown.
But, now that “going out” has become a much more casual affair, pearls are going through a fashion reinvention. The new trend of women wearing pearls in a more casual way, shows just how versatility this stunning gem is. Like diamonds, pearls are a timeless classic that will never go out of style, which makes them a must-have item in every woman’s accessory collection.
Pearls work so well with a casual look because their elegant formality brings an interesting contrast. For example, a long strand of stunning pearls might have traditionally been worn with a cocktail dress or an evening gown. But now you’re just as likely to see the same piece worn doubled up with a rollneck jumper and a pair of trousers for a “smart casual” look.
I love working with pearls and creating beautiful pieces that I know will transition easily between casual and formal looks. They come in so many unusual shades, shapes and sizes that encourage me to be creative and fun with them.
When I’m wearing pearls, I try to keep my other jewellery to a minimum to ensure that they are the star of the show.
The versatility of pearls
While you can, of course, get a full array of accessories in pearls, pearl necklaces and bracelets remain my firm favourites, because they are so versatile.
It’s important to choose the right necklace for casual wear because not all styles will suit every occasion. For example, a choker necklace is far too formal for casual wear.
The ideal necklace size for a daytime casual look is a single or double strand that’s around 16 to 18 inches in length.
When it comes to pearl bracelets, you really can wear any style for casual or formal. I personally love to make a statement with bracelets, and my all time favourite is my pearl and leather wraparound, which looks stunning on it’s own. But, if I want to go really bold, I’ll layer bracelets up and wear few together.
They come in all shapes and sizes
The shape we most commonly associate with pearls is the stylish round shape, but they also come in teardrops, oval, button, baroque and other irregular shapes.
Baroque pearls are modern and fun with their quirky shapes, which makes them a great choice for everyday wear. They’re also less expensive than classic pearls so kinder on the pocket too!
Pearls come in a range of sizes from small 2mm ones to over 12mm and more. Larger pearls make incredible, dramatic statement pieces that can look really edgy with a smart casual look. But if you’re wanting them to blend in with your outfit, then the slightly smaller ones will fit the bill perfectly.
Choose your shade
As well as being available in all shapes and sizes, pearls also come in an array of stunning colours. White and cream are the “classic” colours that work with any outfit, but you can also get them in black, pink, gold, lavender, grey and an array of other colours.
The colour comes from the type of pearl that you choose. South Sea pearls (the most precious and expensive variety) are white or gold. Tahitian pearls are almost always dark with gorgeous overtones. And Freshwater and Akoya pearls are typically white but do come in other colours as well.
When it comes to choosing the right pearl to flatter your skin tone, it’s best to choose white for a cool skin and a creamy pearl to flatter a warm skin.
Let your pearls take centre stage
While a strand of classic pearls goes well with virtually any outfit, when you’re wearing them, you need to make sure they can be seen!
For example, if you’re wearing jeans and a simple plain top or one with stripes, then larger pearls make a statement. But, if you have a top with a busy pattern, then something neater like a single strand, a pearl pendant or even a lariat would work.
And finally, when you’re selecting the length of your pearl necklace, consider the neckline you’re wearing. It’s best to avoid having the end of your necklace touching the neckline. Instead go above it or longer to give a nicer finish.