How to Modernise Pearls


If you’ve been gifted a string of heirloom pearls that aren’t quite your style, you may well have wondered what to do with them. Traditional pearl styling is usually quite conservative, and this may not be your thing at all.

But fret not, as there are ways to modernise the look of pearls, both through clever styling and potentially having them restrung. Talk your ideas through with an experienced jeweller who carries out jewellery repairs on the premises to see what you can achieve.

Monochrome Styling

A simple but dramatic way to upstyle pearls is to embrace the monochrome look. Team them with a simple little black dress. Ensure that you choose a dress with sharp tailoring, or perhaps a black trouser suit, to give it a modern edge. You want to think more Carrie Bradshaw than Audrey Hepburn.

Alternatively, wear the pearls layered over the top of a black necklace. This will give a really dramatic look which instantly updates the pearls.

Monochrome Stringing

If you know for certain that you won’t wear the pearls in their current form, think about having them restrung with different black coloured beads interspersed amongst them. This will really update the necklace and give it a youthful twist.

Opt for black beads which are larger than the pearls, as this will keep things edgy. Any jeweller should be capable of doing this if they are experienced in jewellery repairs. Talk through your ideas with your jeweller in advance, and perhaps choose your alternative beads together.

Pearl Chokers

Chokers are really fashionable at the moment, but don’t think that you have to go for a plain black fabric one. If you’ve been gifted a chunky pearl short-length necklace, you could probably fashion this into a choker style.

Some shorter necklaces have the option of shortening their length just by adjusting the clasp on chain. If you can’t do this, talk to your jeweller about having the necklace professionally shortened. As jewellery repairs go, this is a straightforward procedure.

Once they are choker length, pair it with a denim jacket and plain white tea, or a simple shift dress for a modern look.

Mixed Pearls

Coco Chanel once said that a girl should have “ropes and ropes of pearls”. We couldn’t agree more! Remember to mix them up, and there’s no problem in pairing an heirloom string of pearls with a variety of high-fashion imitation pearls in different sizes and tones. Adding pink pearls into the mix really lifts the look.

Pearls needn’t be old fashioned, but if you’re unsure how to rejuvenate them, ask a jeweller who carries out jewellery repairs on the premises. Ilford pearl aficionados can seek the advice of EK Jewellers. We carry out pearl restringing on the premises to bring outdated pearls up to modern day standards. 


Posted on by Ian Tubby.