When Harry Styles debuted a thick pearled necklace along with his grandpa attire, it was obvious that the accessory had to make big. He made multiple public appearances in a single strand of delicate white pearls, which went on to become his staple accessory. Apart from Styles, milky pearl necklaces have adorned the necks of rapper A$AP Rocky, designer Marc Jacobs, singer Shawn Mendes, and Bollywood’s own Ranveer Singh.
The history of men in pearl necklaces can be traced to the early 16th century, during the Mughal Empire in India, when long strands of pearls could be seen on the emperor Babur. In Europe, Henry VIII wore clothes embroidered with them during his reign as the king of England in the first half of the 1500s. Luxury fashion houses like Dior, Alexander McQueen, Ryan Roche, and more have sent male models down the runway wearing baroque-inspired necklaces, tiaras, and more accessories — pearl necklaces in particular — have been sported by famous faces on the red carpet. According to a report by Lyst, pearls were crowned as the hottest jewellery of 2020. There have been 11,000 monthly searches for men’s pearl jewellery since January ’20. The searches for ‘men’s pearls’ are up 17 per cent year-on-year, and searches for freshwater pearl anklets are also up 67 per cent since January.
These necklaces on men might have been seen as pushing the boundaries but now, it’s just another way for guys to add their own signature on their red carpet looks. When we say pearls, we tend to think of soft white pearls with blush pink overtones. While these celebrities may look like they were born to wear white pearls and look good in them, the rest of us might be more comfortable exploring other options. Luckily, there’s a wide range of pearl types available now to suit everyone’s needs.
Who Wore What When founders Pranay Jaitly and Shounak Amonkar think that it’s time for men to not be shy from accessorising. “Pearls can look really chic and smart. You can start with tiny charm necklaces with pearls, which will make any outfit stand out, keeping the subtlety.”
Celebrity stylist Isha Bansali gives basic tips to start out with pearls. “Start out with smaller sized pearls. The accessory should be of the perfect length – slightly longer than your collarbone, or just about around the collarbone or the nape of your neck. Keep it a bit loose, it shouldn’t be tight like a choker,” she says.
Anmol Vaswani, the founder of the brand Love Letter, says, “For a man just starting out with pearl necklaces, keep it simple instead of going for a statement piece or something very out there. Think: a beachy tropical print viscose shirt over a pair of shorts, Birkenstocks, and a thin rice pearl necklace layered with an army tag style necklace. It’s the simplest way to get the look while feeling comfortable wearing something new and unusual.”
Another styling tip, Bhansali explains, “Team the pearl necklaces up with a couple of regular chains, and wear it with a collared shirt to start with. It might get slightly subdued, but a substantial amount will be visible enough to make a statement. For brunch, it will go perfectly with a Cuban shirt for a resort vibe and for a date night, it will fit well with a simple tee and a blazer with rolled-up sleeves. Coming to casual everyday wear, it could be a simple white shirt and denims, and a string of pearls. Nothing can go ever wrong with this.”
“Recently, we have seen pearls in a lot of collections on both Indian and international runways. The H&M collaboration with Simone Rocha and designers Falguni Shane Peacock have used pearls in multiple outfits. H&M x Simon Rocha had a beautiful trench coat that had a lovely pearl detailed collar that you can easily wear over top of a monochrome beige outfit, making it an ideal brunch look. It can be a great conversation starter, thanks to the detailing on the coat. For date night, it could be really interesting to have a stack of pearls around the neck, or just a single layer,” conclude Amonkar and Jaitly.
PEARL ACCESSORIES TO SHOP IN INDIA
Love Letter pearls are all freshwater. Their two best sellers — Playa and Vasco — are most pearl-heavy pieces that are loved by both men and women.
Hannan has a wide range of pearl necklaces and bracelets, some of which are also paired with charms, adding the touch of the Y2K style, which is quite popular these days.
Lune has a range of necklaces, earrings, and studs that will fit into your daily outfits, delicate and chic enough to glam up all your outfits.