Style + Ask The Edit

Ask Belle: Pearls with a Twist

Hi Belle!

With a very simple, traditional style, I wear an heirloom pearl necklace nearly everyday. It is such a great complement to any outfit! I’m looking for an update, though, to my jewelry wardrobe. What are some modern interpretations? I prefer longer necklaces, but I’d love to add a dozen or so new pieces that really pop. Love your blog, by the way… it’s the first I scan to in my Google reader.



While a pearl necklace is a Washington, D.C. fashion staple, I’ve never really warmed up to the traditional Jackie Kennedy look.  Luckily for me jewelry designers are lifting the humble pearl from its staid strands and using other materials to give the iridescent gemstone a new identity.  Here are some pearl necklaces that are both pretty and modern.

Layered Pearl Chain (Express, $60)

This necklace mixes pearls, cut glass and linked chains to create a piece that will make even the most basic outfits less boring.

Pearl Bow Necklace (White House, $128)

This necklace is perfect for those of us who like a few pearls mixed in with our sparkle.

Lee Angel Juliette Necklace (RenttheRunway, $50)

This necklace adds a single black bow for a bit of SATC chic.  If you want to jazz up a necklace you already own, buy a brooch or pin from an antique store and add it to the strands with some thread.

Graziano Faux Pearl Necklace (Bloomingdales, $18)

The pearls, wrapped in black lace, are in the gemstone witness protection program.

Haute Hippie Long Pearl Necklace (ShopBop, $395)

If you’re a pearl purist, you can still achieve a modern look by mixing pearls of different sizes.


    leave a comment

  1. Shannon says:

    I also saw a lot of longer pearl necklaces at H&M this week. Personally, I love pearls, but can't wear short necklaces (the skin around my decolletage is very sensitive and itchy). So these longer ones are going to be a godsend.

    September 23, 2010/Reply
  2. Allison says:

    Belle offered some great alternatives to the traditional pearl necklace. Below are a few others that I think you might like, plus I added some earring options. You could wear a simple gold or silver necklace (or none at all) but still keep that traditional, yet simple vibe. Petal&defaultSizeType=Regular Petal&defaultSizeType=Regular

    September 23, 2010/Reply
  3. the capitol fashionista says:

    girl, i love all of these!!! gorgeous. hmmmm…. might just have to get the necklace from express.

    September 23, 2010/Reply
  4. Ash says:

    There is a small store inside Union Station right next to Lucy that sells accessories for $10 — lot of the stuff is TACKY but there are a few gems here and there. I got a great pearl necklace and earring set from here a few weeks ago.

    The necklace is similiar to this one, although traditional white pearls Petal&defaultSizeType=Regular

    The earrings are pretty similiar to these (without the jewel on the end) Petal&defaultSizeType=Regular

    Like I said, the place is hit or miss but totally worth a look.

    September 23, 2010/Reply
  5. Katherine says:

    You should check out the beautiful pearls at Stella and Dot.

    This one is such an eye-catcher and has a matching bracelet that is the best conversation starter–

    And then I love this one, too. The grosgrain ribbon is so cute and can be an every day piece–

    Thanks for the great posts! I don't live in D.C., but your blog makes me want to. ­čÖé

    September 28, 2010/Reply