What To Wear With A White Shirt

They say DIAMONDS are a girls best friend, but for us, PEARLS are the best compliment to a white shirt … 

Chanel AW17, Jason Lloyd Evans

Perpetually elegant (and more accessibly priced), pearls are diamonds’ more subdued sisters. They are equally beautiful but whisper, rather than shout, luxury and glamour and may be the only gem to appeal to a diverse range of women.

The most prized characteristic of a pearl is its lustre; that uniform sheen across each gem. Rather like a good white shirt, this lustre bounces light in the most flattering way; work around the neck, it reflects a soft glow onto the face – like walking around with a personal soft focus lamp!

Pavé adorned brooch, Kenneth Jay Lane, €240, at Brown Thomas

Akoya pearls, from Japan are prized for their mirror-like sheen and Japanese company Mikimoto were the first to develop the technique now used for culturing pearls. O’Reilly’s Auction Rooms has one of their pristine strands in their forthcoming October auction, with an estimate at only a third of the usual retail price.

Signature Akoya pearl and diamond earrings, €1,250, Tiffany & Co

Pearl stud earrings meanwhile, are always elegant, adding polish even when hair is scraped back off the face in a ponytail and make-up hastily applied. We love the range of sizes offered by Tiffany & Co. Something opera-length is a great, fresh way to wear these gems – with  more movement, the longer length feeds into a younger, more bohemian spirit, but is also versatile as it can be wrapped if a more classic double strand is called for, an especially useful trick for desk-to-dinner situations!

Schlumberger Acorn Akoya pearl earrings €1,950, Tiffany & Co

Although Chanel will forever be synonymous with ropes of costume pearls, it was actually Dior who a few years ago revolutionised the pearl stud, adding an extra bead where the back post should have been – a nod to punk from an elegant brand. Cool Danish designer Sophie Bille Brahe is leading the fine jewellery pack – her pearl pieces are designed to climb ears and crawl across fingers, proving how wearing this gem continues to be reinvented.

Natasha Sherling

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