Monday, 26 August 2013

Wearing Pearls - 8 Inspirational Women

I love pearls.

I tend to wear them every day, either as stud earrings, a brooch or a necklace - real and fake.  They can give a vintage touch to any outfit, and any era.

There is something special about pearls - their lustre, they way they catch the light, and the way they feel.  The fact that they are made by nature, with a little help from man now and then, is also amazing. 

Nothing evokes timeless elegance more than pearls - when I think pearls I think Coco Chanel,  Grace Kelly, Jacqueline Onassis, Elizabeth Taylor and other glamorous women. Putting on a strand of pearls gives us a link to that glamour, to that past.

Grace Kelly in Rear Window, 1954, wearing pearls
Grace Kelly in Rear Window, 1954

Here is British actress Alma Taylor, who appeared in over 150 movies the 1910s and early 1920s. In 1915 she was voted the most popular British performer by readers of Pictures and the Picturegoers, comfortably beating Charlie Chaplin into second place, and she was on the cover of Life Magazine.

Alma Taylor on the cover of Life, 1915, wearing pearls
Alma Taylor on the cover of Life, 1915 source
I even like fake pearls and cultured pearls - much easier to look after, cheaper and great to wear en masse.  Cultured pearls began to appear on the market in the 1900s when real pears were in short supply.  Neither cultured and or artificial glass pearls were accepted immediately.  Coco Chanel was one of the first designers who started to work with imitative or imitation jewellery, including pearls and gemstones, in the 1920s.  Rather than being for those who could simply not afford buying the real luxury, Chanel brought imitation to the state of art.   She often made her costume jewellery pearls bigger than natural, and her simple dresses were ideal for wearing jewellery.  Chanel herself  wore her own creations, often wearing strands of pearls at a time.
Coco Chanel c. 1936, with red lipstick and strands of pearls
Coco Chanel c. 1936, with red lipstick and strands of pearls source
Jacqueline Bouvier , before she was a Kennedy, apparently purchased her famous  pearls in the late 1950s - at Bergdorf Goodman for about $35. She wore her fake pearls with grace, elegance and dignity, whether she was greeting dignitaries or looking after the children, when she was young and when she was older – if she could do it so can we! 

Jacqueline Bouvier , before she was a Kennedy, apparently purchased her famous  pearls in the late 1950s

More glamorous ladies - actresses Sophia Loren and Gene Tierney -

sophia loren in pearls

Gene Tierney c. 1945 in pearls
Gene Tierney c. 1945 source

I love this photo of Shirley McLaine with her daughter Sachi taken in about 1958 - not really glamorous, but fun!  It' s great to instill a love of pearls into your daughters!

Doris Day, always so happy, and beautiful in pearls - 
Doris day in pearls.
Are you a pearl wearer?

♥ Deb


  1. I love Sophia Loren's photo, she wears pearls so casually, playing with them, as if she didn't even notice she put them on and yet they were the natural part of her. *^o^*
    I love wearing pearls but I think I don't put them on too often. It's a shame, it's such a great accessory which, even if a small brooch or earrings, can change the outfit dramatically (for the better! ^-^*~~).

  2. I am a pearl wearer. I loooooooove pearls. I got my first real set of pearls a few years ago for mothers day. I adored them so much and took them on a trip with me - when i got to the airport my bag was overweight so I tossed my makeup bag....not realising my pearls were in there. I have been devastated ever since. It's back to fake now :(

  3. I Heard somewhere that you need to wear pearls, otherwise they´ll turn yellowish. I have two sets of pearls. My grandmother´s small pearl neacklace that is just so Lovely, but obviously not worn enough, and my mothers with slightly biggerpearls that is still White, but needs a renovation. Is there anything you can do when Pearls turn yellowish, I wonder?

  4. for some unknown reasons i never wear pearls. i should change that. ;)


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