Pearls are rare and hard to afford, but even extreme exclusivity can’t keep these precious jewels away for long. After a bout of pearly drought through most of the 2000s, the white orb is on the up and up this season thanks to some gorgeous dresses worn by some of Hollywood’s best and brightest. From pearl-covered dresses to fluffy sandals speckled with the rare treasure, these luxurious outfits signal a new age of sophistication for up-and-coming millennials. How will you wear your pearls when the fall fashion season hits in September? Imitate these superstar fashionistas and people will start to wonder why the pearl ever went out of style to begin with.
Decked out in a tiered dress featuring small pearls on the top and thick orbs for the skirt, television star Sarah Paulson is a lesson in how to vary your precious jewels. Pay attention to the arrangement of different sizes and you’ll succeed spectacularly.
Ornate filigree and Victorian vertical stripes make this impressive design stand out. Playing with both size and pearls arranged into patterns, it takes on an almost ancient feel with some dominatrix undertones to keep things interesting.
Movie star Debicki wore this emerald green gown to a tech-themed gathering at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. Deceptively classical, these pearls appear more like prints than 3D adornments. Why not try your pearly dress with floral clumps of jewels rather than an expansive design?
Vega has a knack for making the simplistic look very attractive. She does that here to magnificent effect with a gown covered in so many pearls they blend together like bubble wrap. Meticulously patterned and precisely sewn, a sleek dress and halter top like this will give you a dash of Princess Diana charm at any dinner party.
King has a dress that dabbles in just about everything. There are scattered pearly designs, carefully spaced patterns, and defining strips of jewels all down her snowy white gown. Really embrace those pearly patterns. They’ll keep your admirers busy as you try and size them up.
Mad Men’s Moss takes pearly borders to the next level with this bold black dress. Outlining classic hem locations, these jewels are lined up spectacularly in rows. Just goes to show there are far more useful ways to wear pearls than on a string around your neck.
If you can combine lace and pearls on your gown, you’ll have the ultimate jeweled dress. Just check out this fancy design from the Cinderella red carpet. If matching ornate stitchwork with precious jewels isn’t enough for you, work within a color scheme. There’s something mythical about pearls with a pastel hue.
If you want to use pearls more intentionally in your outfit, go for jewels placed to look like buttons. Like the white circles on Malone’s dress, they’ll give your silhouette a subtle outline while upping your fashion sense one or two notches.
Pearls are far from outdated. Thanks to celebrities like these, the jewel is returning to the fashion spotlight with renewed respect. Get out there and show the world you know how to wear contemporary pearls just as well as these lovely ladies.
— Alice Becker