Pearls are one of the world’s oldest jewels. Unlike most gemstones, pearls are special as instead of originating in the earth, pearls originate in the sea. Pearls also do not require any polishing to maximise their lustre, unlike other gemstones and precious metals.
Pearls have a rich history, dating back thousands of years. With the first written record of a pearl dating back to 2206 BCE and the oldest fragment of a pearl being from 420 BCE, it is safe to say that pearls have been adorning human bodies for as long as civilisation has existed.
Pearls have always been seen as precious, and because of this, the supply of pearls is extremely limited. This means that natural pearls are high in demand but also low in supply, which is why they are extremely expensive and synthetic pearls are usually seen as a much more affordable option.
Pearls are valued because of the symbolism they are associated with. Pearls are believed to be associated with wealth, purity, patience and peace. Since they are white in colour, they have also been associated with the moon. Pearls are still considered lovely gemstones.
Historically, pearls have been associated with women. Pearls were seen as a feminine adornment, gracing the beauty of women and illustrating it with their feminine qualities. Millions of powerful women and millions more women that looked up to those powerful women wore pearls as a sign of their femininity, ranging from the iconic Audrey Hepburn, Princess Diana, Coco Chanel, and even Queen Elizabeth.
However, lately, it has been seen that there is a new trend that is emerging, with men starting to wear pearls. Here is where it is important to point out that this is not exactly a new trend. Since pearls projected wealth, power and status, the Dutch masters wore pearls, as well as the Maharajas of India, who were photographed with pearl necklaces and bracelets on them. It was only pre-World War I when pearls started falling out of favour with men that they gained prominence amongst women and became a feminine adornment.
In recent times, many male celebrities have stepped forward and worn pearls for their favourite fashion designers; check here to see the many pearl options for men. Shawn Mendes, Asap Rocky and other celebrities including Harry Styles have embraced pearls, switching out their gold chains for this classic adornment.
Harry Styles’ pearl necklace has been the talk of the town. Pearls have gained popularity as a sign of femininity, they can be a way to express androgyny or gender fluidity, and for men to wear pearls is an instant statement about their gender identity or security in their self-identity. With the widespread appeal that pearls have been bringing lately, they are an embrace of menswear of things that are soft and fragrant and that look good as well.
Pearls are also popular based on the design of the overarching piece; they can be versatile and can denote different moods and different styles. They can be minimalist, luxuriant, statement-making or gaudy. Different styles of pearls can also give off different effects, projecting the vibe that the wearer is trying to convey and his sense of fashion expression with his choice of pearls along with his overall outfit.
Finally, pearls have a quality that makes them a popular choice amongst people. Their rich history and the lore that surrounds them along with all the connotations that they are seen in conjunction with gives them an almost solid personality, a sense of character and regal bearing. This means that pearls can automatically give off a sense of restrained gaiety, expressing the fact that they contribute to an outfit with character and a sense of occasion, no matter how they’re styled or how they’re worn.
Pearls combined with other jewels can also give a modern contemporary look, as many celebrities have opted to customize their pearls with gold or diamonds, giving them a hip, chic look that is both flashy and classy at the same time.
The fact that pearls project power is what draws men to them, along with their versatility, which enables men to make the sort of sartorial choices with pearls that allow them to combine pearls with masculinity to project a stronger kind of man. These reasons are why pearls are gaining popularity in men’s fashion.
Let’s look at some of the male celebrities who are rocking men’s fashion by making a statement that pearls can be worn by everyone:
If you have to write about pearls and men’s fashion then Harry Styles’s name needs to be on top because he was among the first to rock it. Harry Styles wearing pearls over his jumper was much talked about and commented upon in the social media space which eventually led to it becoming a major male fashion trend. He is often seen at galas and parties wearing pearls.
Nick Jonas and Joe Jonas
Both the brothers are very fashionable and rock every trend and they have been early adopters of the pearl trend too. Both wore similar pearl necklaces while performing in the Grammys in the year 2020. It was also widely talked about and well received.
It seems all the boys have accepted pearls as a male fashion accessory. Shawn Mendes was clicked wearing a pearl choker while attending a party during the Grammys and was also seen wearing a waistcoat chain made of pearls.
ASAP Rocky is often known as a trendsetter when it comes to fashion. He is known to incorporate the latest fashion trends and he has taken to pearls like a duck takes to water. He has been clicked wearing pearl rings, pearl necklaces, pearl chokers and many more at the various fashion shows he attends frequently.
Usher is known for his trendy fashion sense and he has been seen rocking pearls at after-parties recently. He has been clicked wearing big pearl strings as well as chokers.
At the screening of the movie “Like a Boss”, Billy Porter was seen wearing a pearl necklace.