I’ve loved the look of dangling pearl earrings ever since I saw Julia Roberts wear them in Pretty Woman in the 90s!
Whether you’re wearing faux pearl earrings or the real deal, pearls show up and draw attention to your face, while being a tasteful and timeless fashion choice.
Perhaps you remember Audrey Hepburn’s iconic party girl look in the opening scene of Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Her floor length black evening gown was stunning with a multi-strand pearl necklace.
With a classy vibe, pearls go just as well with your little black dress for an evening out, as with a business suit for work, and with your casual outfits for everyday wear.
And now, pearls are back in a big way, which I am loving! Major retailers are showing pearls done in unexpected and fresh ways.
In this post, you’ll see 4 modern styles of pearl jewelry. And then I’ve got 7 outfits to inspire your pearl looks for day or night. Plus, I’ll cover how to care for your real or costume pearl jewelry.
Ready to look at 4 modern styles of pearls?
Modern styles of pearl jewelry
If you love the look of pearls and want an alternative to the pearl choker, the long pearl necklace or the short strand of pearls that were handed down to you by your mother, I’ve got 4 fresh styles for you to consider. If you’re not sure how to wear your pearls in a way that’s modern, I’ve got you covered.
Style 1: Oversized pearls
You’ll see retailers like J.Crew showing oversized stacked drop pearl earrings that drip from the earlobes, and oversized necklaces with pearls of a variety of sizes strung together side by side.
But I’m a minimalist at heart, so I’ll wear simple oversized pearl drop earrings.
These are such a statement piece, they easily stand alone. They combine gold and pearl, which is another modern look.
Style 2: Pearls with polished gold
So many stores are showing gold and pearls together.
Gold dangling pearls from Madewell have been my go-to earrings for months.
They’re great for everyday and for dressier looks. It makes getting dressed much simpler.
Style 3: Mother-of-pearl
A pearl pendant necklace is a simple pearl necklace that’s a classic that you can wear every day. But if you’re looking for an elevated alternative, this mother-of-pearl Van Cleef gold four-leaf clover necklace dupe is my choice.
I wear it with work looks, going out looks and everyday looks.
Style 4. Classic pearls
Classic and elegant, a pearl cluster earring with a pearl stud and a small diamond is another look I’m loving for everyday.
It’s a bit more elevated than the simple stud pearl earring.
Let’s take a look at how you can incorporate these pieces into everyday outfits.
How do you wear pearls everyday?
Wear your pearls with an open neckline like a V-neck, scoop neck, or button-down shirt to really show them off. Combine them with a solid dark color top so they really pop, or with cream or white for a classic pairing. They add a classy touch to a work outfit and a pop of something extra with a simple t-shirt and jeans. Wear them for formal occasions as a statement piece.
Let’s look at some outfits!
With dark colors to make the pearls pop
Wearing pearls with black or navy or another dark solid-color top makes them pop and standout. Patterned tops have so much going on visually that pearls can get lost with them.
Here I’m wearing my pearl cluster earrings that are slightly elevated, with a tiny diamond nestled next to the pearl. And my gold and mother-of-pearl clover necklace. For a more modern look, I avoid being too matchy matchy with my earrings and necklace. These two pieces reference each other with the gold and pearl, but they’re not from a matched set.
With creams or white for a classic look
This tweed cream open sweater look with pearl drop earrings is a very subtle nod to Coco Chanel.
Cream is a classic neutral that can be dressed up or down. This sweater is a bit more elevated and I’m deliberately trying to dress it down with a simple casual white tee and white jeans.
If you have long dark hair like me, then you know how dark earrings may not show up next to your hair. With their lighter color, pearls are always visible.
I don’t need to wear necklaces with this t-shirt, but you can see some gold layering necklaces peeking out from the top of the shirt. I’d like this look even more without them.
With work attire for a professional look
Pearls are classy and professional for work, whether you’re wearing a suit or more casual work attire like I’m doing here.
Pearl stud earrings and my gold mother-of-pearl necklace are perfect with this white button-up shirt. I’m wearing jeans here, which would work for casual Friday or a workplace that allows jeans.
With everyday attire for a casual look
I don’t want to take off these cluster pearl earrings on a daily basis! I love mixing them in with casual looks. The small addition of the tiny diamond next to the pearl is so good looking!
Small pearls that are smaller than these are more casual and easier to wear every day, whether they’re in small pearl studs or a pearl necklace of small pearls. But you can see how it works to wear these elevated studs with a casual preppy rugby shirt. Fashion is all about mixing formal and casual pieces to create interesting juxtapositions.
And they even work with a graphic t-shirt and jeans.
You don’t usually think of pairing pearls and leather jackets, but you can have a little fun by mixing edgy leather and classy pearls.
Fashion is all about expressing yourself by combining unexpected pieces together.
With a little black dress for formal occasions
Oversized pearl earrings look so elegant with your black dress.
I’ve been looking for statement earrings to wear with this dress and these are perfect. They capture attention, but they’re not over the top. This dress has a lot going on with all the gathers. So less is more here.
How to care for natural pearls or faux pearls
To care for your real or costume pearls, make your pearls the last thing you put on when getting ready, and the first thing you take off when you get home. Protect them from getting sprayed with hair spray or perfume or other hair products since it will damage their luster. Also, store them in a cloth pouch or velvet jewelry case, laying them flat so their synthetic or silk thread doesn’t stretch out. To clean and polish them, wipe them gently with a soft cloth.
Real freshwater pearls are one of the most common types of pearls with jewelry designers and folks looking to add real pearls to their jewelry collection. Since they are relatively soft as far as organic gemstones are concerned, they scratch easily. If you own pearls, you don’t need to leave them in the safety deposit box and only take them out for special occasions. But you do want to be careful with them and take them off when you shower, go swimming and sleep.
How to feel good wearing pearls
There are so many ways to incorporate pearls into your looks. With everything from pearl clips for your hair, to pearl rings, and classic double strand choker necklaces or strands of pearl bracelets. Save them for special occasions or wear them every day. Whether your style is more minimalist like mine or maximalist and you want to be dripping in pearls, wear them in a way that feels like you and have fun with it!