The thing with a classic fashion item, whether it be clothes or jewellery, or even a makeup look, is that the more iconic they were, the more strongly they can tie an overall look to specific time or place.

In some cases this may be worked towards a particularly stand out ensemble, such as the retro, statement outfits often attributed to the punk, goth or hipster movements. However, for the most of us who aren’t chasing a singular aesthetic, classic pieces can have the effect of dating your look.  

The good news is that, in fashion, there is always a way to reinterpret and reinvent the genius and the style of the greats who’ve come before. 

Here’s a look at how we can make pearl jewellery part of a fresh get-up. 

An accessory steeped in tradition

“Perfected by nature and requiring no art to enhance their beauty, pearls were naturally the earliest gems known to man,” (Kunz, The Book of Pearls, 1908).

Pearls have had a long-standing place in jewellery history, in both their true and imitation forms. The stories concerning their mystical origins were many, but one thing was for certain, women have been in love with pearls for over a century – a devotion seen in the way pearl jewellery keeps cropping up in different reincarnations.

Keeping pearls current

The art to achieving a well balanced look is down to a bit of yin and yang. Pearls, with their soft opalescence and pale, creamy colour tend to soften looks and make them more girly. This why pearls, especially pearl necklaces are a great way to make more tomboy looks like leather jackets and dark palettes. 

In addition, a pair of pearl stud earrings make a fantastic addition to any jewellery collection – they’re all at once glamorous, adding a touch of pizzazz to a plain old t-shirt and jeans, whilst blending seamlessly with a whole range of styles. 

For style inspiration when it comes to pearls, look no further than the inimitable Audrey Hepburn. In addition to her charming wit and wistful head in the clouds demeanour, who can forget the ropes of pearls in the iconic opening scene of Breakfast at Tiffanys? Surely one of film’s most coveted pieces.