January 5th, 2016
On My Mind

Follow The Rules

For my daughters’ big birthdays last month, I gave them each a classic, 16″ pearl necklace. When I told my sister my intention, she promptly sent me her strand saying “At my age I should be wearing them, which is why I don’t.” I, too, have not worn pearls, a knee-length fur, or matching bag and shoes in years—they felt age-appropriate, and not in a good way.

But, maybe my fashion pendulum has swung a bit. I’ve been wearing the above bag and shoes together and love the look. As for the pearls, I’m going to wear them again—oddly, some of the old rules feel fresh.

Image left Vanessa Traina Snow, right © WSJ. Magazine.


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  • Couldn’t agree more. I’m totally into matching my shoes and bag now, after years of deliberately not doing so. And I love wearing my strand of pearls, with jeans, tucked inside of a white shirt. Sometimes classic just feels so right – classic.

    KathyJanuary 5th, 2016  10:27 AM

  • Couldn’t agree more. I just packed pearls to wear with a white Self Portrait lace top.

    catherineJanuary 5th, 2016  10:41 AM

  • I bought my pearls over 20 years ago with the bonus from my first year in business so they have emotional significance. I wear them with anything and everything, alone or with other necklaces. My hair is white/platinum so they look chic. I also like matching or at the very least, coordinating shoes and bags. But I am secretly a matchy-matchy sort of person! Especially as I get older and my face and body starts to crumble ha! Looking polished and well put together becomes ever more important. I still like to look modern – working the pared back athleisure look at the moment – but it’s with navy leather eytys sneakers and a navy cross-body bag! Happy New Year Preston!

    Jill, GlasgowJanuary 5th, 2016  11:08 AM

  • I 100% agree with your sister. Now that I just turned 40, my pearls, Hermes silk scarves, matching shoes/bags, full length furs are on hold. Loved and wore in my 20s and early 30s, love it on my 70yo mother, cannot wear myself. My best friend, who is my age, is embracing all the things I put on hold. She looks amazing.

    julieJanuary 5th, 2016  11:36 AM

  • I wore my 16th birthday pearls every day from age 16 to age 32: I wore them to fraternity parties with a hanes t-shirt and ripped levis, with a suit in my first job, and with my maternity dresses. I put them away when I had my first child so they wouldn’t be destroyed by all the pulling and spitting and drooling that accompanied those years. Maybe it’s time to pull them out!

    ellaJanuary 5th, 2016  11:42 AM

  • People around me wear so many black accessories, most end up matching their shoes and bag anyway, intentionally or not. Pearl stud earrings and pearl pendant necklaces have made a noticeable resurgence among women in their 20’s and 30’s. I think the only reason pearl strands haven’t caught on as much is because the price is more prohibitive. What a wonderful present to receive as a young woman.

    AnnJanuary 5th, 2016  11:42 AM

  • Your post made me realize that unintentionally, I hadn’t worn my strands of pearls or Hermes scarves throughout my 40s but having just passed the half century mark, they suddenly feel fresh again and I’m enjoying both. I’ve never been one to either match shoes and bags purposefully or not but sometimes it just happens and then it just feels right.

    YNYJanuary 5th, 2016  2:15 PM

  • I think your gifts were perfect for your daughters! They will have their pearls forever. I turned 52 last month and I am also reaching for more classic pieces in my wardrobe. In my forties I was able to wear a more thrown together look and felt good. Now, not so much. I feel better throwing in a classic, or two, to look a bit more pulled together. I wear my pearls with some of my dainty necklaces, layered, to keep the look more personal. Your handbag and shoes look fabulous!

    KarenJanuary 5th, 2016  4:03 PM

  • I agree with Ann, it’s a truly wonderful present for your daughters. Happy New Year!

    IsaJanuary 5th, 2016  4:04 PM

  • Just remember Coco Chanel and pearls – always classic and beautiful. I have my eye on some beautiful vintage Chanel pearl earrings.

    BarbaraJanuary 5th, 2016  4:05 PM

  • I am 48, and live in furs (winter) and pearls, however , I wear my furs with skinny jeans and biker boots, it works, and my Grandmother’s pearls with vintage t shirts. @kitscool

    KittyJanuary 5th, 2016  4:37 PM

  • One great thing about pearls is that they bring light to the face. I passed on all of the collar necklaces of the past decade – too heavy, clunky, and droopy for my stature and age. Plus, they reminded me of jeweled dog collars. I layer various pearls and sizes, but keep the lengths very close. Nothing is more gorgeous than a fine strand of pearls (i.e., Tiffany). I also wear pearl stud earrings in all forms–simple, pearl with diamond, and pearl in a gold setting (the Schlumberger Acorn is my go-to). I love pearl bracelets, both multi-strand (more dressy), or single strand with t-clasp (casual). The key is to not wear earrings, necklace and a bracelet all at the same time, regardless what they are made of. A special keepsake for a young woman!

    PaulaJanuary 5th, 2016  6:09 PM

  • I am 46 and gave my pearls to my eldest daughter. I must check, were they 16 inches for her 16 years? I do know they are graduated, and, pretty, and rely on the skin’s natural oils to keep beautiful. Out of the dark drawer and onto a slim young neck! I have three daughters so now need to know where to get 2 more pairs! and to get this pair- restrung–dirty knots are a no-no.

    PaulaJanuary 5th, 2016  6:24 PM

  • As a young girl I admired my grandmothers’ classic, put together look. Matching shoes with belt and handbag looked mature in a good way. I always looked forward to embracing that dignified elegant stage in my life. Here I am. Don’t get me wrong, I mix it up with updated pieces as Kitty mentioined above. Equally unappealing is looking doudy or desparate.

    karenJanuary 6th, 2016  6:49 AM

  • I love that your sister swiftly handed her strand over! That’s my kind of girl! My sisters and I have been blessed with a beautiful jewelry collection and I look forward to gift my niece and daughter when they come of age. The baubles will shine more brightly for their youth and beauty.

    SSJJanuary 6th, 2016  7:39 AM

  • Pearls are classic! Every woman should own a strand of the best she can reasonably afford. I don’t think it is a purchase anyone will ever regret. Matched shoes and bags – a modern. clean look. Nothing boring about it!

    AprilJanuary 6th, 2016  9:49 AM

  • I agree with 100% with April’s comments. At any age, pearls and matching leather accessories are fabulous. Just ask Audrey Hepburn

    PaulaJanuary 6th, 2016  8:29 PM

  • What size and length (and manufacturer) do you recommend for a 60 yr old to make them look fresh? I love pearls but have always shied away from them. Thank you! Carol

    CarolJanuary 7th, 2016  8:10 AM

  • I am totally motivated by all this to go find my pearls and wear them!! Thank you all for the encouragement ladies. I have been feeling like Barbara Bush when I put them on…but now I plan to feel chic and fresh!

    PamJanuary 8th, 2016  5:30 PM

  • I have 4 strings of family pearls 2 with stunning jewelled clasps. To wear them all the time and feel close to my mother and grandmother I wear them wrapped around my wrists almost every day – it’s original and feels modern plus instead of having them strung on white I have them done on black cord!

    @pjcalder Instagram

    PJCALDERJanuary 9th, 2016  9:34 PM

  • Perhaps its not the pearls, but how you wear them ? I wouldn’t wear a strand of them. But dangly earrings or a pearl pendant – yes ! Meanwhile, my mother’s strand of pearls that I inherited lay in the jewellry box untouched. I think pearls need to be worn often to keep them healthy. Something about the body heat and stuff.

    ArchanaJanuary 10th, 2016  2:31 AM


Please be courteous. All comments are moderated. Preachy comments about body weight, age, smoking, and furs will not be posted.

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