My first brush with retro fashion came in my mid-teens, when I first started getting interested in films – particularly films featuring old Hollywood starlets like Rita Hayworth, Jane Crawford, Doris Day, Katharine Hepburn, etc. The strength of the the characters combined with the extreme femininity of the wardrobes around 1930-1950 made for one of my favorite periods of style for women.
This phase of my life (still ongoing) is responsible for my love/confused-hate relationship with pearls. I’ve never been “girly,” and much like my teens, I still spend a lot of time in boots, black, and motorcycle jackets. Is there a place for pearls in the wardrobe of grown up rock brat?
Pearls Only offered me a chance to take a classic pearl pendant and make it my own, and I accepted the challenge… with absolutely no idea how I was going to pull it off.
I have worn pearls before, but they were darker, black pearls and therefore easier for me to incorporate into my primarily dark wardrobe. But, as Pearls Only wanted me to be challenged, I decided that whatever I got, it was going to include a traditional, roast chicken dinner in an apron and high heels white freshwater pearl.
Classic, white pearls are about the most out of my comfort zone as I have been in a long time, when it comes to style. I know what I like! And now I can rely on it. (Emoji weeping face, preferably with running mascara.)
I chose the Empress Pendant (market price: $345, Pearls Only price: $69) and while it offered the option of a peachy-pink, or black pearl – I stuck with the white.
I’ve been looking for a good way to wear this amazing tweed motorcycle jacket that I got for around $20 on ThredUp, and pairing it up with an equally country club appropriate pearl necklace seemed only logical. Those two elements by themselves, though – that’s a little bit too Lucille Bluth for me. Adding my thumbs up/thumbs down tank ($5 from ThredUp!) and unbelievably glamorous Marilyn Monroe lashes from Sheena Sujan added enough “edge” for me to feel like myself.
The pigtails just kind of happened. I liked having “high & tight” ponytails, it kept my hair off my neck but also kept it manageable (controlling my hair is a pretty major part of my day).
The pearl is hung with two sterling silver loops that intersect to cradle the white freshwater pearl. White pearls with silver feel a little bit more modern than white pearls with gold. Pearls are already a sign of opulence, yellow gold on top of that straddles the line between glamorous and gaudy to me, frequently falling into the pit of gaud due to the designs being too traditional or grandmother-reminiscent.
This design is simple enough to be worn with something formal, or something like… whatever it is that I’m wearing, which is decidedly not formal.
As you can tell from my gargantuan lashes (again, Sheena Sujan has the coolest false lashes modeled after legendary women!), I played in some new cosmetics recently. On my lips: Stila Convertible Color in Peony. On my face: Benefit Hello Oxygen Wow Foundation in Ivory, e.l.f. Contour in St. Lucia. On my eyes: Maybelline Waterproof Liquid Liner (I hate it), BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal, Tarte Lights Camera Lashes! Mascara.
Oh, and this is important:
My necklace, as you can see, has a perfectly round shape with lightly shimmering off-white color and an absolutely flawless finish. But along with each order, Pearls Only sends over five small freshwater pearls for free, each very rough and irregular. They send these natural pearls to show how special finding a “perfect” pearl is. Most pearls are a lot closer in appearance to these, which are beautiful in their own right, but really make you appreciate the flawlessness of a perfect pearl.
And that stunning purple brocade storage bag? That’s also included with each order. As is a certificate of authenticity, instructions for caring for your pearls, and a Pearls Only VIP membership offering benefits in future purchases.
I can’t lie to you – I was nervous about white pearl style and am pretty happy with how it incorporated into my style. Maybe now it’s time for a tennis bracelet…
Here are my favorite affordable Pearls Only pieces for under $100: