Cool Girl Pearls – Fashion Style Tips Straight from the Stylists

According to a recent article in Moda Operandi “Pearls are officially the cool girl’s preferred jewelry choice of late.” With pearls on red carpets and runways galore, there is no doubt that today’s trendsetters are wearing pearls. Cool Girl Pearls are perfect for women at every age – from Cardi B at the Grammy’s to Candace Bergen at the Golden Globes. We decided to talk to the pros, and let the experts explain the momentum behind this lustrous trend. We also got some tips on how all pearl lovers can join the cool girl pearl revolution. #coolgirlpearls

We chatted with celebrity stylist Tiffany Gifford who styles a wide variety of celebrities like Miranda Lambert, Sheryl Crow, Shania Twain and more. We also got perspective from Shaye Strager, fashion expert, stylist and CBS Trend Tracker for Atlanta and New York.

Why are pearls so popular right now? Any thoughts on what is driving the trend?

Clockwise L to R – ASSAEL South Sea pearl earrings, ASSAEL Tahitian pearl and Bi-color Tourmaline Drop Earrings, ASSAEL Essential Akoya Pearl Necklace in Various Lengths, RT3 NY Fashion Week 2019, Cardi B at the 61st Annual Grammy’s, Phoebe Philo for Celine Paris Fashion Week
Clockwise L to R – ASSAEL South Sea pearl earrings, ASSAEL Tahitian pearl and Bi-color Tourmaline Drop Earrings, ASSAEL Essential Akoya Pearl Necklace in Various Lengths, RT3 NY Fashion Week 2019, Cardi B at the 61st Annual Grammy’s, Phoebe Philo for Celine Paris Fashion Week

TIFFANY: As with everything in fashion, it’s cyclical – I think pearls never went away. They have come back into style recently because the pearl is being turned on its head by people like Phoebe Philo who have introduced a historically “traditional” jewel in a very untraditional way. Trends often take hold in that way. It’s certainly what attracts me to art in general.

SHAYE: For me, it has always been important to style with pearls— for the meaning behind them and for their visual significance. What I’ve noticed recently is the wide variety of fashionable pearl settings – whether paired with vibrant gemstones or more edgy gold or rose gold design elements.  Seeing so may styles of pearls gives women more ways to wear them on a daily basis.

What is your favorite way to wear pearls? How do you use them when styling?

Clockwise L to R – Riani Berlin Fashion Week Winter 2019, ASSAEL stacked pearl bracelets, ASSAEL Contemporary Cuff Bracelets, ASSAEL Abacus and XO Bangles, ASSAEL Forever Hoop Earrings
Clockwise L to R – Riani Berlin Fashion Week Winter 2019, ASSAEL stacked pearl bracelets, ASSAEL Contemporary Cuff Bracelets, ASSAEL Abacus and XO Bangles, ASSAEL Forever Hoop Earrings

TIFFANY: I love making pearls edgy – so I have a recent pair of hoops (also a huge trend at the moment) that I bought in Mexico with a large pearl drop in the center as well as a pearl on the bottom of the hoop – I love how sleek and modern they look and combining two large of-the-moment jewelry trends. For clients, I love to use pearls to juxtapose an edgy look – again, two opposites that shouldn’t work together, but do.

SHAYE: I have a collection of baroque and south sea pearl bangles and cuffs—it took more than a decade to collect enough to stack—and I wear them every day. Without fail.

What type of pearls do you recommend for women at different ages?

Clockwise L to R - Assael Double Row South Sea Pearl choker necklace, ASSAEL Near Round Fijian Natural Color Cultured Pearl Necklace, Tahitian Bubble Earrings with Diamond Accents by Sean Gilson for Assael , Pearl Boots from Red Carpet Arrivals Cannes Film Festival, Berlin Fashion Week S/S 2019, Street Style MBFWI S/S
Clockwise L to R – Assael Double Row South Sea Pearl choker necklace, ASSAEL Near Round Fijian Natural Color Cultured Pearl Necklace, Tahitian Bubble Earrings with Diamond Accents by Sean Gilson for Assael, Pearl Boots from Red Carpet Arrivals Cannes Film Festival, Berlin Fashion Week S/S 2019, Street Style MBFWI S/S

TIFFANY: I don’t like making rules for ages when it comes to jewelry and accessories – I think you wear them the best way that represents your personality or how you’re feeling at the moment.

SHAYE: I feel very blessed to work with a group of clients that don’t often borrow anything- they want to buy the pieces we use in our sessions because they make a style statement. So, if younger women are lucky enough to have the income to buy pearls, my advice to them would always be to invest in something real when it comes to jewelry. And, if you have a more adventurous style, I’d say go big and bold with your pearl choices. More classic women should choose pieces that flatter their wardrobe silhouettes. And, a great tip for everyone is to buy pieces that you’ll wear the most. Seems obvious but even the smartest clients will be drawn to a piece initially but when we look to see where it will fit within their day-to-day outfits, re-think their choice to be a more wearable option.

Anything else you want to say or share about pearls, your use of pearls in styling your clients or your personal affinity for pearls?

Clockwise L to R – Celebrity Stylist Tiffany Gifford, Trend Tracker and Fashion/Celebrity/Corporate Stylist Shaye Strager of Strager Style, Assael Classic South Sea Cultured Pearl Necklace in Varying Sizes
Clockwise L to R – Celebrity Stylist Tiffany Gifford, Trend Tracker
and Fashion/Celebrity/Corporate Stylist Shaye Strager of Strager Style, Assael Classic South Sea Cultured Pearl Necklace in Varying Sizes

TIFFANY: I absolutely love the pearl resurgence – I love something soft and delicate mixed with something more hard and streamlined.

SHAYE: Sometimes I feel it comes down to budget, more than desire, when buying for clients in the jewelry arena. I work with a lot of C-level female executives and they have worked hard for their money and like to spend it on investment pieces that will never lose their value or their importance in fashion. I choose pearl pieces a lot for this reason—and for their sentimental value as well.

So whether you streamline your silhouettes with strands or mix your edgy outfits with the softness of pearls, there are many fun new ways to wear Cool Girl Pearls. In a recent review of Instagram, we found lots of options for wearing pearls in the hair (and not just for bridal). Want to wear your favorite pearls more often? Invest in some of the super trendy accessories and fabrics that are accented with pearls – shoe heels bedecked with pearls, handbags covered in pearls, sweaters dotted with them, etc. These pieces give you permission to wear your pearl strands as often as you like. No need for a special occasion!

For more fun ways to wear pearls, check out some of our fashion posts – Fashion’s Love Affair with Pearls by guest blogger Katerina Perez or our spring and fall fashion trend reports. Coming soon, how to wear pearls in the hair (and not just for brides).