5 Inspo Looks For When You Want To Wear Pearls Without Looking Stuffy

Pearls have been a staple throughout many eras of fashion. We've seen this timeless jewelry design over the decades as part of regal ensembles. The late Queen Elizabeth II wore them, as did the style icon Princess Diana. But these aren't just relegated to royal women. Kim Kardashian and Rihanna both wore pearl looks to the 2023 Met Gala. So there's no shortage of options out there, and this is why pearls have become one of the hottest trends of the year.


Nevertheless, pearls can sometimes be associated with prim and proper looks. And while this is fine and good if that's what you're going for, you can also incorporate them into styles that suit all sorts of tastes. Thankfully, there are countless ways to style pearls in fresh and contemporary ways. With all kinds of necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and even anklets you can take part in the pearl trend with a modern twist.

Re-styling the classic pearl necklace

First things first, we want all the inspiration for how to style the classic pearl necklace, because nothing's more timeless than this. Jin Junsura, the founder of jewelry brand Matara, told Marie Claire that when in doubt, opt for pearl necklaces that are "classic or contemporary, but minimal." The classical pearl necklace pairs well with everything and is perfect for creating unexpected looks, like combining it with a T-shirt or an athleisure outfit. Plus, you can layer multiple strands as you get more comfortable with the trend for a statement-making look.


TikToker Kristine Fernandez offered more tips on how to style simple pearls in a cool and modern way. She suggested pairing various pearl necklaces together, combining a classic strand of pearls with a gold, T-bar necklace that featured one oversized pearl. She paired her layered necklaces with a pair of pearl drop earrings to further add to the look. This combination gives a look of edgy opulence, which can be fun to channel once in a while.

Go big with your pearls

Because pearls are such a classic jewelry staple, there's a lot of room to get outrageous with them. TikToker arabella wore a whole look around her massive pearl chain. Keeping her outfit simple, she allows the pearl jewelry to stand out and make a unique statement. Rather than seeing them as part of our grandmother's wardrobes, modern shapes take this timeless jewelry and make it innovative. 


Because we read pearls as so classical, seeing them in abundant, unexpected stylings makes the look that much more interesting. Omer Herzog, the founder of jewelry house Omè, told Marie Claire,  "Sometimes I'm in the mood for a discreet, subtle necklace, and at other times I feel like wearing something long and overstated — perhaps even large pearls, or crazy baroque pearls." 

Anklets and other unusual pearl stylings

One of the more unique places to find pearls is in an anklet, but the look is a total home run. The look is dainty and feminine, but the location is so unexpected. Even better, you can either dress them up or pair them with sneakers or a functional sandal to play with contrast. 


Pearls work well in other accessories too. Headbands lean more into that traditional look, though they're playful and elegant at the same time. Pearls also work beautifully in hairpins and barrettes, hair combs, and claw clips. While these looks can often be associated with bridal accessories, the new trend with pearls is to take them out of the traditional and play with unexpected stylings. So, look for pearls as embellishments on garments, or go all in with an entire pearl bralette top like this one from Etsy.

Pearl earrings can be both maximal or minimal

Pearl earrings are a classic and iconic choice, but that doesn't mean they also can't reflect your style. Luckily, these natural stones come in an endless array of shapes and sizes so you can truly find a one-of-a-kind pair. Look for bold shapes like oversized hoops to make a stunning and unique statement.


The colors of pearls available also make them fabulous earring options. Make a statement with multi-colored drop earrings like these from Nicole Rose. Or, if you have multiple ear piercings, you can create an edgy monochromatic look by mixing and matching small black and grey pearl studs.

Pearl rings: stack them or wear as an engagement ring

Pearl rings are another beautiful way to wear them. You can go big and bold with this choice, or sleek and minimal, depending on the size of the pearl you choose. Jewelry brand Bruna explained how to style pearl rings on TikTok. You can easily stack them with other rings and feel free to mix up the metals. Wear pearl eternity rings with simple gold bands, or wear a huge pearl ring with other gemstones for a bold look.


Pearls also make great engagement rings. "Pearls are among the more, if not the most, delicate choices for an engagement ring," gemologist Lorraine Brantner told Brides. "Pearl rings are not very common, so it is an easy way to stand out and get people talking about your engagement."