Some pearl pieces are family heirlooms only worn for special occasions. Given the sensitivity of the gemstone, only wearing them sporadically makes sense. The less time that pearls are subject to the perils of the environment, the less likely they are to be chipped or broken. Obviously, this safety is especially important for older or more expensive pearl objects.
But what is the point of owning something beautiful if you never get to wear it? It is true that pearls are not as strong as, say, diamonds, making the risk of damage higher if they’re worn every day. But with proper care and caution, you can keep your pearls safe, even during everyday wear. This means keeping them away from cosmetics and acidic materials and storing them safely.
How to wear pearls with a black dress
We have Coco Chanel to thank for the creation of the black dress and pearl combination. This monochromatic contrast of pearly white on black is stylish, romantic and very classic.
A large opera style necklace will look best with a simple black dress that does not have a pattern or details such as lace. You can layer an opera necklace to get a multi strand look or knot the necklace for a nod to a vintage look. Keep your earrings discreet and choose matching studs or another minimalist style to finish off this outfit.
If the black dress has its own details, such as ruffles, or is made from a fabric like brocade then a short or medium length necklace will be the best choice. A shorter necklace also looks good if your dress is off the shoulder or has strappy sleeves. Take inspiration from the red carpet to see how celebrities mix their pearl necklaces with a black dress.
These are good rules to follow for a formal occasion but what about a casual and day black dress?
Use the neckline of a day dress to help you choose a pearl necklace. A crew neck line goes perfectly with a single strand of pearls that is 16-18 inches long. This will neatly follow the neckline of your dress without looking too formal. If you want to wear a V-neck or something that’s with a plunging neckline then a double strand that is 18-20 inches will look ladylike and not too dressed up.
Pearl pendant necklaces, with a single pearl charm, will be an easy choice with any black dress in the day as you can wear this like you would any other pendant necklace.
Between the two extremes of everyday vs. special occasion wear lies a great number of options. And the bottom line is that the frequency with which you wear your pearls is really all about your personal style. Do you prefer a “signature” look that you wear most days? Or do you crave some variety in your wardrobe? There are pearl accessories to suit every style and budget. The trick is simply to find what works for you and stick with it. Fortunately, the problem of deciding when and where you should wear your pearls is quite a good problem to have indeed.