Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Can You Wear A Simple Pearl Strand With Simple Pearl Studs?

Joyce Hor-Chung Lau, a reader of this blog and, more importantly, a writer for the International Herald Tribune and The New York Times, asked me this question in a comment. (Wait. Small aside. Is that cool or what? She writes about Hong Kong and China. OK. Onwards.)
Question: Would you wear simple pearl earrings with a simple pearl necklace?
Well, no, I wouldn't. Does that mean that no one can do so? No. Does it even mean that no High WASP would do so? No. It means that High WASPs from California (we like a little counter-culture) by way of New York (we like a little flash) and New England (we like a little quirky), wouldn't wear little pearl studs and a 16-inch 7.0mm pearl necklace. Not together.

I have good data, however, indicating that winds blow differently down South. First, way back when, I mentioned, "wearing pearls irresponsibly." I meant the pearl stud with pearl strand combination. Mint Juleps and Magnolias took me to task. Wore her pearls irresponsibly with impunity. Quailing not one whit in the face of my pronouncement. Hmm.

Data point number two. One of my son's best friends was recruited to play tennis at a highly-regarded Southern university. She left California with wavy blonde hair, t-shirt and shorts. She returned with straight, even blonder hair, and dresses. Also pearls. She may even wear them to play tennis. I don't know. So let's assume that what I am about to say may possibly NOT apply south of the Mason-Dixon line. (Wait. Where IS the Mason-Dixon line? Hold on. Oh, OK. Onwards.)

Here's what my sub-species of High WASPs thinks about pearls. If you wear a simple strand, punk up the earrings. Or flash, or bling. Something. If you wear simple studs, elevate the necklace. Or do without, and wear a pin instead. Pearl pins are one of the great cross-cultural inventions of all times. Artsy Cousins, Sturdy Gals, Grandes Dames, we can all find a pearl pin that speaks our language.

Earrings to Wear with a Simple Strand

From Mary Jo Matsumoto. These are among my all-time favorites. I don't own them. Yet. But I love the contrast of shiny smooth pearl and rougher fittings. To say nothing of whimsical sea creatures. Sturdy Gals are addicted to whimsy. We are guilty of almost every single present of Santa underwear you will ever receive. Onward.

(Much as I love the chocolate pearls at top, I wouldn't mix them with a white strand. Looks too accidental. But these earrings in white, with the starfish fittings, and a simple white strand. Yes. Would do it.)

Another option? Go vintage. They knew from pearl earrings in the Mad Men era.

Wouldn't those clusters look nice with, say, these?

Necklaces to Wear with Pearl Studs

Add chain links to pearls for a little motorcycle debutante chic. Or, for the Grande Dames who would not be seen dead on, or even near, a motorcycle, add a clasp. Simple.

Or one you notice.

Finally, pearl pins.
Tell me that's not cute. Go on. Try.

And before you buy any pearls at all, read this post.

Mary Jo Matsumoto 12MM Chocolate South Sea Starfish $2,400
Mary Jo Matsumoto 15MM White South Sea Shells $4,000
Beladora 2 Cluster Earrings $395
Blue Nile 16-inch 6.5-7mm Akoya $860
Beladora Pearls With Links $470.25
The Pearl Outlet Square $110
House of Clasps Toggle $1280
Beladora 2 Pearl Pin $295



Blogger Megan said...

You are right about the south, LPC. Down here, it would be considered wrong to NOT wear your pearl studs with your pearls if you were doing any number of things. Including, but not limited to: attending a football game, attending a frat party, deb-ing, attending church, and going to the grocery store. You can take the necklace off at the gym, but you better leave on the studs! And, possibly, if you are attending a black tie event you might want to trade out one set of pearls for something with a little more sparkle (but only if its real). Trust me on this one, ya'll. I went to the University of the South.

January 6, 2010 at 1:29 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Lisa, I just saw my chocolate pearls pop up in my blogger reader and caught my breath! Thank you so much for the kind mention! Btw, the creamy white south sea starfish earrings look great with the long white Akoya strand with the sandblasted 18k seahorse with diamond eye--it's very classic with a twist...


January 6, 2010 at 1:30 PM  
Anonymous Jan said...

Ahhhh - that explains a lot. I'm from the South, where if you're wearing diamond earrings, you wear diamonds on your fingers and around your neck. Emeralds go with emeralds, rubies go with rubies, pearls go with pearls - and ALL of it is understated. Big and flashy is for gauche Yankees. Or so my Grande Dame of a Grandmamma always said.

Me? I don't wear jewelry except for my wedding set because I'm a damn klutz and even real gold and silver earrings irritate my ears.

January 6, 2010 at 1:40 PM  
Blogger Jessica Ryan said...

I must be a gauche Yankee. I had on a large chunky pearl necklace today worn with large pearl earrings, a simple floral blouse, winter white cords and a quilted bright pink jacket and matching flats.

In my teens and 20s I wore smaller pearls. Now that I am "a certain age" I do whatever I damn well please. And I do it well, if I may say so myself.

I have one small pair of diamond stud earrings. I'm not much of a diamond girl -- save for my engagement and wedding rings, of course. And yet, what I wear most often are my simple, small gold bands. Simple understated and they don't get in the way.

I stand to inherit some very grand and flashy pieces. I am not old enough to wear those yet;) And you betcha I will when I get them!

The necklace I wore today I wore on my wedding day. It is dramatic. I think I have earned that privilege.

Small aside, yes it is very cool. But then, so are you!

January 6, 2010 at 1:59 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Oh dear, I wear simple pearl studs with my strand. To me it's such a traditional look. Something Jane Wyman would wear.

January 6, 2010 at 2:00 PM  
Blogger Belle de Ville said...

Thanks for the Beladora links!
I wouldn't wear simple pearl studs with a single pearl strand, but my daughter would. I think that it is less a matter of style for me than of age. The simple stud and strand, while classic, just seems to be a little too ingenue for me. I would mix it up a little and do a stud with a triple strand, or a pearl drop earring with single strand.
I like those south sea pearl earrings...they are a more funky version of our Orbit earrings.

January 6, 2010 at 2:19 PM  
Blogger Suburban Princess said...

I am in the fortunate position of living in Canada where we can wear our pearls with pearl studs or any other type of, gold, silver...

January 6, 2010 at 2:26 PM  
Blogger ELS said...

"motorcycle debutante chic". Just an advance warning that I will be shamelessly stealing this delicious phrase for personal use...

January 6, 2010 at 2:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are so WRONG! I just keep thinking you must be a fake because of the things your write about. Pearl studs and a simple strand of pears is understated, preppy, old money, elegance. Where did you hail from? It took your son's friend to come to the East Coast South to learn to dress like a lady. No offense intended, but you could not be more wrong.

January 6, 2010 at 2:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Privilege. I am from the south, old Virgnia, and my mother is a yankee. Although she has been here for 45 years, she still insists on wearing her gaudy jewelry that I will one day (Yikes!) inherit. A southern, classy woman would surely wear her stud pearl earrings with a single strand around her neck. We wear our pears to the grocery store, to the park with our children, to the doctors, to the malls, to church. We wear them everywhere. The old money I see, and I see a lot (work in a brokerage firm) is all very understated and not flashy at all. It's more the neaveau riche (spelling??) that would wear bling or try to be trendy in any form of their jewelry or dress. We live in horse country where the rich wear their wellies and pearls together. Nobody would ever wear a huge diamond, UGHHHH! Pearls while riding a horse, of course. I summer at the cape and it's all pearls there too, so maybe it's a conservative east coast sort of thing. But I agree with the above writer, you are off track here! Happy new year too!

January 6, 2010 at 2:53 PM  
Blogger Susan B said...

LPC - I'm with you and Belle, I like to mix it up a bit. I don't have any pearl studs, but I'm now officially *pining* for those cluster earrings from Beladora 2. Wonder if those could be redone as danglies on wires?

When I do wear a (faux) pearl necklace, I usually go with the diamond studs. Matchy-matchy feels too staid for me personally, though some can really OWN that look.

January 6, 2010 at 2:54 PM  
Blogger the gardener's cottage said...

I love to wear pearls. I'm not from money. I just like them. I often wear pearl studs to work w/o a necklace, or vice versa. At home I wear them like Belle De Ville suggests. Studs with at least a triple strand at the neck. That would be for going to dinner or movie. For daytime around the house I like a simple strand, they seem to elevate whatever I'm wearing.


p.s. You seem real to me!

January 6, 2010 at 3:04 PM  
Blogger LPC said...

Well, guys, last time an anonymous person accused me of being not real, you were all fantastically helpful and came to my rescue. I don't want to make you do that again, so let me answer.

I am exactly what I say I am. I have given no personal detail that is not true.

That said, does my background make me the Queen of All Ladies? No. We haven't even defined what a lady IS. I don't lay claim to undefined terms.

Now, to take this to the next level of detail. Please read what I actually wrote. I was VERY CAREFUL to specify that I understand regional differences. Very careful to specify that this is what I would do.

One thing I do know. Ladies never say mean things anonymously and in public. That's both rude and cowardly. Eleanor Roosevelt is my icon of a lady. She would never have made mean anonymous comments. And, by the way, she wore 3 strands of pearls and large ear studs. In case that means something.

January 6, 2010 at 3:14 PM  
Blogger Mouse said...

Mama Mouse is not from money, but she was a home-ec major in Tennessee and Georgia in the sixties and seventies, and I'm pretty sure the matching pearls thing is entrenched down there. It's like the little black dress of jewelry.

January 6, 2010 at 3:30 PM  
Blogger Mouse said...

P.S. That doesn't mean we need to be snippy about it, Anonymous-es. (Anonymi?) LPC said she was talking about NOT the South.

January 6, 2010 at 3:32 PM  
Blogger Bumby Scott said...

Hello LPC, speaking as a Male, Southern High WASP.
I will agree that our women do tend to wear pearls everywhere.And every male knows that a womens pearls is one of her most protected appendages, and every women knows that the strands must strung strong.
Living in Colorado, I for one miss all of the pearls.
Always Bumby.

January 6, 2010 at 3:33 PM  
Blogger Maureen@IslandRoar said...

I don't know Lisa; I think you may be the Queen of All Ladies. I would vote for you. If we voted for queens. SOME people are a little snippy today, no?
Well, I am no High Wasp, but I come from a pretty good NY family and I would never wear pearl studs with a strand. But then, I'm an "artsy cousin," AND Irish. So what do I know???
Fun post.

January 6, 2010 at 3:41 PM  
Blogger Duchesse said...

I've seen more old money (for North America) in a room than god, and some of the women wear pearls the size of a golf balls. Others prefer more modest pearls. The world contains all kinds, and the best kind have manners, which are not conferred by money.

January 6, 2010 at 4:01 PM  
Blogger Duchesse said...

Pesu, why would you make those pearl clusters dangle? I would love them as they are!

January 6, 2010 at 4:02 PM  
Blogger Susan B said...

Duchesse - only because I can't wear clips.

January 6, 2010 at 4:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

*I am on a Chipotle high from heaven* so I say this and I keep it sweet...LPC couldn't be anymore "real" than the air one breathes,let alone be considered fake. I am much too full to say more but if she isn't a real LADY...than I must not be one either. TRUE definition of one.

And about those pearls, would I, an original yankee but now southerner look weird in pearls? I have a bunch with earrings but...I'm afraid my pronunciation of "coffee" (I say kaw-fee) would rat me out.

January 6, 2010 at 4:12 PM  
Blogger hostess of the humble bungalow said...

As a northwest Canadian, I wear both my pearl studs and diamond studs, (fasten your seat belt LPC as I have 2 ear piercings....hope that didn't shake you up!) with my pearl necklace(s). I own 5 strands: 2 good quality (18" inch 7mm; gift from husband, and 38" vintage 8mm, gift to self!), the 3 others are long and some are freshwater, not expensive.
I sometimes wear them all together and I have even twisted and knotted them for a more contemporary feel...I do what feels righ for me at the time. Remember I did not inherit the fashion gene.
I love that you are giving us some insight into what High Wasps prefer to wear with what and do not be put off by anonymous comments...I have seen some pretty wild and unrestrained combinations of jewels out boating, especially on "trophy wives"... do they factor into your Wasp World anywhere? Please let us know if they do!

January 6, 2010 at 4:16 PM  
Blogger Jessica Ryan said...

I am truly enjoying all these comments!

And yes I have been known to mix real and faux pearls to gussy up a black tie or formal dress party.

Jackie, after all, had great big pearls. What about Audrey? Hardly classless. Hardly Gauche. But most certainly not Southern!

January 6, 2010 at 4:31 PM  
Blogger Jessica Ryan said...

Ooops, meant to write party dress as opposed to dress party... I just got overly excited I guess!

January 6, 2010 at 4:32 PM  
Blogger LPC said...

So I take away that pearls matter in the South.As a sign of something larger than ornament, maybe. I think I just might research the anthropology of that phenomenon. Deja Pseu hit it on the head, here in Northern California, moderate studs and moderate strands look ingenue. For whatever reason. We can do big, we can do little, we can do moderate mixed with other stuff. We just wouldn't do moderate + moderate without some kind of extra thrown in. And there you have it.

January 6, 2010 at 4:49 PM  
Blogger Sue said...

Interesting post and comments LPC. I always learn so much every time I come by. Do not let the rude anonymous comments bother you. Easier said than done, I know. The one and only one that I have ever had, in the three years that I have been blogging, still rings in my head every now and again.
You have every right to share your opinion from your prospective. That is what we come here for and I love it.

January 6, 2010 at 5:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Lisa, I am vowing to wear my pearls as soon as the weather breaks and we can get out of snow boots. My conundrum is that my husband gave me a lovely diamond solitaire necklace for our 25th wedding anniversary. The carat weight even has private meaning! I always wear it (except at the beach)and I feel it clashes with the pearl strand my grandmother brought me back from China when I was about 16. They are not great quality, but have much sentimental value. My sister on the other hand has a similar necklace from China, but also inherited grandma's much nicer, larger and better quality necklace. She mixes both with great success as do some of your other readers with their real and faux pearls. Being an Eastern Girl above the Mason Dixon, I would never mix the pearl earrings and the pearl strand, nor do I ever wear my diamond earrings when my solitaire can be seen. Too showy!

On being real: an old friend and I spent the day together today. One of our many conversational topics was the comfort we had in ourselves in our very late 40's. We agreed that it is so lovely not to be uncertain in ourselves and to shed pretense. I see you that way--secure in yourself enough to embrace what you are and be at peace with that.


January 6, 2010 at 5:31 PM  
Blogger QueenBeeSwain said...

love this post- I'm a dichotomy the Northern gal that I am with Memphis blood in my veins. I do both, but feel more "right" when the pearls match. One noted above that when they wear diamond earrings, the necklace must be the same- true here too.

And I'm also dually guilty of wearing pearls when: lifting, running, coxing (I've got a lucky racing pearl necklace- I should blush and curl up into a ball for admitting this)... oh it just goes on!



and PS- the genesis of this post- HOW COOL are you for one such reader as high-brow as she?!

January 6, 2010 at 5:55 PM  
Blogger LPC said...

Stacy, only just this side of secure enough:). And Queen, if they are lucky, you can wear pearl-studded Snuggies if you want! High WASPs like that winning thing...

January 6, 2010 at 6:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

LPC, I love the idea of wearing "punked up" pearl earrings with my pearl strand! Like your son's friend, I went to college in the South, and I love my pearl strand with plain pearl studs,* but I wouldn't mind changing it up a bit. The vintage earrings are particularly stunning.

First Anonymous, LPC defended herself splendidly, but I can't help but ask -- why bother saying "no offense" when you clearly mean to offend? Disagreeing is one thing, being disagreeable is quite another.

* I am 28, but I am frequently mistaken for a college freshman. The pearl-on-pearl combo helps me feel ever so slightly more authoritative and put-together.

January 6, 2010 at 7:25 PM  
Blogger CDS said...

Ok, so I LOVE pearls. I wear them a lot. I tend to mix them up though...I'll wear big pearls with a triple strand...or my friend Kristin Pearce makes the most beautiful jewels and plays with pearls a lot in traditional and non-traditional ways. You should check her out.

SO this Florida girl agrees with you...but I do remember when I was in college in Texas doing the simple on simple. I was young and naive! :)

January 6, 2010 at 7:39 PM  
Blogger Mouse said...

Amen to Petite Chablis.

January 6, 2010 at 8:02 PM  
Blogger Lipstick said...

LPC...personally I do not like the matchy-matchy look. Being a lifetime resident of The South, I certainly see the pearl necklace-earring match. I think it is beautiful. I just think it looks boring *on me*. I'm not really sure why.

Very regal rebuttal to Anon BTW.
(p.s. I linked to you in today's post about Lilly although it usually takes about 12 hours to show up in Google reader)

January 6, 2010 at 9:48 PM  
Blogger Joyce Lau said...

Oh Lisa. Thanks so much for the incredible shout-out. I'm a bit embarrassed now.

On my wedding day, I wore a simple, single strand of pearls and matching pearl earrings. Though they were dangly, with little silver and diamond bits, and not studs.

In fact, I don't own pearl studs. But I wish I did. If I had, I might have worn them. What do I know?

It's not a faux pas here. In those old Chinese period dramas, with the Shanghai ladies in their silk gowns, they are always wearing pearl studs and single strands. Same for the Japanese royal family, who still dress like it's 100 years ago in England, with their pearls, matching hats, little white gloves, etc.

Then again, Hong Kong is like one big celebration of nouveau rich fashion cluelessness. Pearl usage was the least of my problems, when the cousins who were supposed to work the reception table for the lawn ceremony showed up in cowboy boots paired with puff skirts. (My mom tried to vet the outfits in advance, but failed).

I checked on our big world map at work.
Hong Kong is WAAAY below the Mason-Dixon line! But I have a feeling those distinctions don't mean much when you're on the other side of the world. :)

January 7, 2010 at 3:39 AM  
Blogger The Blushing Hostess said...

Oh, dear. I'm afraid I disagree that thigs could ever be geographically related when it comes to fashion, nevermind jewelry. I wear studs with a matching mm choker. Sometimes in white, sometimes in a creamy pink shade from Hong Kong a few years ago. I love this against starchy white cottons as well as all manner of bright cashmeres and poplins, and always with black.

Having spent so long watching the homogenization of American fashion from the front line, I am always grateful when women, especially, are encouraged to try it all and walk with confidence which is all it truly takes to wear something really well.

Individualism and courage and refusing to accept your neighbors rules are key to having any style at all. We must, MUST, stop the tendency towards cookie-cutter dressing in this nation and make all women confidenct enough to make their own choices even if it means one girl at this past weekends' party did not (thankfully) wear J. Crew... she was so fascinating to others because they did not recognize her rig!! Can you imagine?

January 7, 2010 at 5:50 AM  
Blogger DocP said...

Geographic influence may be a generational thing. I'm the same age as LPC, and among women our age there do seem to geographical differences in how we were taught to dress and the "rules" for jewelry that influence us to this day. I agree the internet and our moblile society are changing that and it may well be different for younger women.

January 7, 2010 at 6:35 AM  
Blogger Tish Jett said...

Never mind about the pearls -- although I really like the chain link look -- how utterly cool to be interviewed about your take on the subject.

Entre nous who would wear pearl studs and a simple strand? Does the word ditzy come to mind? Not as in nuts/dumb, but rather why would you?

January 7, 2010 at 8:16 AM  
Blogger Muffy said...

I often wear both studs and strands at the same time. Having said that, it is clearly NOT the norm in California to do so. I don't really care. I like to be different. It's a "California" thing.

About the first anonymous commenter, people who live in glass houses should not throw stones. If you wish to discuss what denotes being a lady, you should first come out from under your cowardly "anonymous" cover. At that time we can discuss who is more authentic. Until then, your words don't carry much worth to me.

January 7, 2010 at 8:29 AM  
Blogger LPC said...

Tish, en France, they don't, I suppose? But to be clear, Joyce asked me the question in her capacity as a reader of the blog, rather than as a reporter:). I am just as thrilled however...And Muffy, I am not surprised to hear that you sail against the California fashion winds;).

January 7, 2010 at 9:11 AM  
Blogger Headbands and Hand Bags said...

Good advise and direction! I have jewelry selection reflecting to do!! I may be a combination nightmare and not even have known it!

January 7, 2010 at 9:27 AM  
Blogger Lorena said...

Yes for pearls !
With anything.... t shirt included. It automatically steps is up.
I am not that sure on wearing the ENTIRE set at a time, maybe just the necklace and bracelet - with diamond studs

January 7, 2010 at 10:21 AM  
Blogger Patsy said...

oh, Lipstick - I so agree! The matchy-matchy looks boring on me and I can't figure out why, since I like it so much on others.

I do have to disagree with the lady who said the Cape is all pearls - some very gorgeous, elegant, glam & bling jewelry is worn all over the Cape.

And, yes, Deja Pseu, those earrings can have any kind of earring finding you'd like, provided you know a good goldsmith.

January 7, 2010 at 10:59 AM  
Blogger Summer is a Verb said...

I do wear both together but I must insist that the pearls be of around the same size. Oh, also one last thing; pearls go with everything but a bathing suit. Pajama's, yes. Bikini, no...XXOO

January 7, 2010 at 2:15 PM  
Blogger sle said...

Love your blog! I agree with Allie, pearls do go with everything, especially a tan.

January 7, 2010 at 2:33 PM  
Anonymous the Preppy Princess said...

Very well done Miss LPC, and this comes from one who is much too far over in the matchy-matchy zone! The comments have been fascinating as well (disregarding the crankenstein), I love learning how others feel about things that have simply gone undiscussed over the years.

Smiles at you, this is an outstanding topic.

January 7, 2010 at 4:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Being nominally from the South, I do wear my pearl studs with my pearl necklace, but part of that is general jewelry laziness. Your post inspired me!

I was looking through one of your old posts about a high school (?) graduation, and wondered if you might entertain a reader question. My daughter attends a private school, and while the kids are small and the teachers charming, I feel a little out of my depth with the unfailingly casual, put-together mothers who talk knowledgeably about the local all-girls high school and so-and-so's grandfather's office building.

Any confidence-building tips? Being on a committee helps, but I do feel like an outsider.

January 7, 2010 at 4:16 PM  
Blogger LPC said...

You will find us here, discussing the undiscussed. Including, evidently, wearing pearls with pyjamas. Sounds adorable. Plaid? Florals? The possibilities are endless. Crankenstein? Hahahahahaha.

January 7, 2010 at 4:16 PM  
Blogger Anastasia Schembri said...

Absolutely adore all your selections, especially the vintage-y clusters, right up my alley! Great post as always!

January 7, 2010 at 4:57 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

I grew up in suburban Chicagoland, where EVERYone wore simple pearl studs with simple pearl strands. I've done it myself. I'm sure it dates me, but I'm not sure I care.

I love your approach, and will try it next time.

January 7, 2010 at 5:12 PM  
Blogger hostess of the humble bungalow said...

Good evening, I just popped back to see what new, if any, comments had come in after last night and WOW! this is a full on Pearl Conference.
I did wear my pearls to bed the other night with my LC pj's...was reading late and forgot.
I put my pearl necklace and studs away today, "matchy matchy"and have my diamond studs and pendant on more "matchy matchy!" LOL
Clearly I need more jewelry.

January 7, 2010 at 8:19 PM  
Blogger Marilyn *Pink Martinis and Pearls* said...

My, my, look what I missed yesterday as I was celebrating Mr. PM's birthday ~ a plethora o' pearlized passion! Matchy, matchy? Nope, not moi. One thing is for certain missy, clearly the world is your oyster and your blog is a lovely pearl which captivates all of us. xoxo :)

January 8, 2010 at 2:18 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I am floored by this outpouring of pearl passion! Whenever I'm at a spa and wearing not much more than a tee and sweat + my earrings, there are always several ladies who accost me and tell me that they are "pearl girls" and we end up having quite a time talking about our mutual love for pearls. Speaking of pajamas and pearls, one of my clients told me that she loved wearing them with a pretty white nightie...she is in her 70s, quite beautiful and she and her husband (who picked the strand/earrings out for her) are very much in love. I thought it was so sweet and romantic. Again, love the pearl frenzy that your post evoked!

January 8, 2010 at 8:40 AM  
Blogger Patsy said...

Mary Jo, I adore your jewelry!

January 8, 2010 at 10:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a fun discussion! As one who has always had a hard time keeping up with the social fashion rules, I was at a truly serious disadvantage when I first moved to France 12+ years ago. Imagine my dismay to learn that "nice" girls don't have pierced ears. It was no doubt a scandal at the maternelle when my 4 year old showed up with pierced ears. She was nearly bald until age 3 (I blame my WASP husband's side), at which time she begged Santa for earrings and then stoically endured the piercing at the pediatrician's office. Later I learned that if one must wear earrings, one should not wear a necklace at the same time. See, e.g., Inès de la Fressange, my fashion idole, who also disapproves of wearing a watch in the evening.

Karen in Paris

January 9, 2010 at 3:07 AM  
Blogger Joyce Lau said...

Wow. What an outpouring of pearl-related discussion.
Today I walked by a Club Monaco (OK, not exactly a temple of high WASP-dom) and they had multiple strands of pearls mixed up with black ribbon. These were obviously not real pearls, and were meant to look young, hip, possibly ironic. I thought they looked cool paired with a plain grey cotton dress, or maybe jeans.
My French husband looked appalled. But, you know, he's pickier about these rules than I am.

January 9, 2010 at 9:46 AM  
Blogger Joyce Lau said...

BTW, I didn't buy them. But I was wondering what you thought about fakes, or sort of campy looks like this.

January 9, 2010 at 9:47 AM  
Blogger LPC said...

I think fakes, if we think of them as accessories, are wonderful. I personally love the look of pearls and black ribbons. Heck, I love pearls on leather thongs...But, as with all accessories, they have to be done well, meaning with solid aesthetics in place. Not for the faint at heart. Or the Sturdy Gals. We are terribly at accessories.

January 9, 2010 at 10:54 AM  
Blogger Lindy D. said...

The reason your blog is so much fun is that you talk about things other people never talk about. That said, I don't think that everyone's "High WASP" reality is identical. Many variations. And apparently, the South is like a different country and I'm sure California is its own animal, too. No need for you to defend your own experiences.

To be honest, I'm really taken back when people wear diamonds during the day. I just don't think it's appropriate. To quote the very savy Miss Manners, "Diamond stud earrings and necklaces can be worn with almost any moderately dressy clothes at the proper time. The proper time is evening. Only engagement and wedding band diamonds are properly worn in day-light."

This is why pearls are so important as a daytime accessory. My favorite earrings with a stand of pearls are maube pearls. What size pearl studs do you recommend, LPC?

January 9, 2010 at 10:54 AM  
Blogger Joyce Lau said...

Leather thongs. My goodness.

January 12, 2010 at 10:45 AM  
Blogger LPC said...

Lindy, sorry, I missed the chance to answer your question. Don't know if you will see this, but I recommend either little pearl studs, as in weeny, or big, as in over 8mm. Just to make some sort of point:).

January 18, 2010 at 2:30 PM  
Blogger WorthyStyle said...

Love this entry. So true about the south. And great tips to diversify!

March 8, 2010 at 9:17 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...


April 30, 2010 at 11:23 AM  
Blogger Jill said...

It looks like all "anonymous" commenters wear a lot of fruit around their necks!

August 5, 2010 at 8:41 AM  
Blogger Jill said...

Not all...most.

August 5, 2010 at 8:44 AM  

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