Trend Alert: Punking Up Your Mama's Pearls

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March 26, 2008

The New York Times (no, not my bastion of fashion, but a reputable source nonetheless) recently reported on a growing trend in the world of high end jewelry in a piece called, “Pearls That Start, and End, With Grit”. Jewelry designers at Justin Giunta, Louis Vuitton, and Tom Binns have taken to dirtying up (if you will) the classically pure pearl by mixing in materials like crystal, brass, and silk cord. The results are several stunning necklaces that feel a little Park Avenue and a lot East Village.

Yes, they’re gorgeous, and by all means drop five grand on a designer set of Black Sea pearls accented with multicolor sapphires, if that’s how you roll. It’s a great look! But personally, I’ve been dressing down my $10 strand of white pearl(ish beads) and funking up my favorite t-shirts for years already. Here are a couple of suggestions on how you can work these jewels from the deep into your everyday wear, without digging too deep into your pockets:

grandpa cardigan    
 

The baby pink ribbon and delicate pearls on this Lanvin necklace ($670) make it a true keepsake. But make sure not to take this strand too seriously. Instead, use it to flirt up Urban Outfitter’s delightfully grandpa-like cardigan ($54). 

unakite necklace bluebird sheath

Etsy artist KenSanKofa offers this multi-strand Sweet Fresh Water Pearl and Unakite Necklace ($39), which would fit nicely with the punky Urban Outfitters Mr. Bluebird sheath dress ($68).    

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Or, don’t be afraid to make a real statement! Nothing mixes the hard-edged with the feminine like the pairing of a few strands of these simple copper pearls ($10) with your favorite graphic tee. My current fave is Old Navy's Peace Tee ($14.50).

 
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