+ Look for Less

10th Commandment: May 11

Pearls are something of a D.C. staple.  And while they’re lovely, they do not go with everything in your wardrobe.  Pearls should not be worn with sequin tops or contemporary, sleek dresses or polo shirts and shorts.  They’re feminine and proper and they’re meant to be worn with other pieces that are prim and ladylike.  Because when they’re worn incorrectly, they distract rather than enhance.

Personally, whether the pearls are real or glass, I prefer I multi-strand.

Elected Official

Four Strand Pearl Necklace (J.Crew, $325)

Hill Staffer

Kenneth Jay Lane Layered Pearl Necklace (Charm & Chain, $120)

Unpaid Intern

Charter Club Three Strand Necklace (Macy’s, $48)



  1. Maggie says:

    I've always wondered: is it REALLY horrible to wear glass pearls? My untrained eye can't tell a difference, but can other people?

    May 11, 2012/Reply
  2. Belle says:

    Maggie: I wear glass pearl earrings all the time. No one has ever noticed. I've been told that the only way to tell is to rub the pearl against your teeth, so no, I don't think it's a big deal. Some people just like to own the real thing.

    May 11, 2012/Reply
  3. Helena says:

    Real pearls warm up against the skin and feel better than glass beads while you're wearing them. I've had the enamel on glass beads chip off, so just make sure to get a decent quality fake strand and you'll be fine.

    May 11, 2012/Reply
  4. Cara says:

    I went to school with a girl who wore pearls with her overalls and Birkenstock clogs. It was the South in the mid-90s. I guess she was trying to be a preppy hippy?

    Anyway, I have both real and fake pearls. The real ones are heirlooms and come out for special events only and do have a nice glow to them. They're also not pure white. I love fakes for trendier styles and, honestly, don't care if people know they're fake.

    May 11, 2012/Reply
  5. S says:

    Belle: Even if people noticed,. would they really say something?

    The average person will not be able to tell the difference between real pearls and glass beads. However, someone who has experience with real pearls (especially high quality ones such as those sold by Mikimoto), would.

    May 11, 2012/Reply
  6. Belle says:

    S: Highly doubtful anyone would be so tacky as to say something to your face. But I'm sure there are plenty of bitches who would talk behind your back. I wouldn't, but some people will.

    May 11, 2012/Reply
  7. Cara says:

    If you're gossiping about whether someone's wearing real pearls, you need to take up a hobby! I'm a horrible gossip but I don't believe I've stooped to that level yet.

    May 11, 2012/Reply