How to Wear Your Pearl Necklace as Etiquette Dictates

Worn appropriately, pearls can be the most sophisticated and fashionable of accessories in a woman’s arsenal. Though silently we all fear that wearing pearls may give off a grandmother-like vibe, there is nothing farther from the truth. A beautiful pearl necklace can be worn at any age and look modern and fresh if the wearer respects certain rules.

vintage pearl necklace

There is a certain respect that pearls have earned over the years and even if you only wish to wear such jewelry to enhance the beauty of a simple outfit, there are correct times and correct garments to pair pearls with.

The Right Time for a Pearl Necklace

There are so many designs, shapes and colors, that pearl necklaces can be both understated and statement pieces. As such, you should carefully choose the occasions befitting each individual item. Simple pearl necklaces, earrings or bracelets can be worn virtually anywhere if paired correctly. Pearls are both sincere and romantic. Modern day designs are nothing like what we remember our grandmothers wearing, so you can add a bit of sophistication to each outfit with the correct pearl necklace.

To complement an office outfit, choose understated pearl necklaces consisting of only one strand. Ideally, such necklaces should never fall past your bust line. You wish for the necklace to accentuate, not overpower your look. If your office jacket is too casual to be paired with pearls, consider a pearl bracelet. Make sure you never use more than one pearl accessory at a time: if you already have a pearl necklace on, don’t wear earrings and a bracelet.

Choosing the Correct Item

Statement pieces, multi-layered necklaces or oversized pearls should only be worn on special occasions and accompany outfits that are elegant but understated. A princess pearl necklace measuring more than 20 inches in length can work with either high or low necklines as long as it is paired correctly. Chiffon blouses, an elegant jumpsuit or a simple, high-neckline black gown can be paired perfectly with such a jewelry piece.

long layered pearl necklace

An opera pearl necklace is a whole new ballgame. This glamorous piece, alongside extended pearl rope necklaces, despite their undisputed beauty, have to be worn at formal occasions. Such accent pieces certainly set you apart from the crowd, but just as they can make an outfit, they can also break it. Wear them with caution. Knotting pearl rope necklaces is always an option, but you can always chose to wrap it around your neck multiple times for some added sophistication.

Statement Pieces Go Together with Notable Events

An opera premiere, a gala or a charitable dinner are excellent occasions to showcase your most prized pearl necklaces. Be wary though, that they not overpower you. Long pearl necklaces must be chosen in accordance to your body type. If you are busty, for instance, a 30-inch-long pearl necklace may fall just below your bust and not be flattering at all.

Instead, opt for longer pieces, exceeding 36 inches in length, so that you can have multiple options for wearing the necklace. If you choose to pair it with a shift dress and a blazer, the necklace may be worn loose as it will only complement the length of the blazer.

long knotted pearl necklace

Other garments, such as black, elegant dresses, may be accessorized with the same necklace, worn long and knotted around its bottom half. You can also choose to wear the piece this way when accompanying turtleneck or boat-neck garments.

You can also loop the necklace, doubling or tripling it depending on your outfit of choice, so that its length best suits the entire look. Remember, though, that long pearl necklaces tend to lower the eye. Therefore, avoid wearing them together with v-neck tops or dresses.

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