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Pearlcore Explained: Men’s Edition

By November 7, 2022Fashion News, Guest Post

Mr T and Sir Elton John aside, for the most part, the lads just aren’t that into wearing jewellery. And of all gems, pearls are probably near the bottom of the list of ‘most masculine’. Yet we’ve all seen the photographic evidence of superstars like Harry Styles, Pharrell Williams, and 007 \ himself Pierce Brosnan sporting different versions of a mens pearl necklace. Where’s this fashion trend coming from? Keep reading to find out.

As much as many of us consider men donning jewellery to look odd or self-indulgent, the fact of the matter is that throughout history men were always very keen on jewels, not least of all pearls. Pearls have been one of the most prized gems for millennia, and until the modern era, men wore them proudly. Pearls convey an aura of power, authority, and prestige. Don’t believe it? Head over to your local art gallery or google a few famous historical names. King Charles I, Henry VIII, and Sir Francis Drake all had their portrait painted wearing pearls. (Side note: King Charles I loved his single pearl earring so much, he wore it to his execution.) Appearing in public unadorned was actually the anomaly.

For as long as pearls have been known to mankind, cultures in every part of the globe have appreciated their inherent beauty. Warriors of the Polynesian islands used to wear them into battle as symbols of power and protection. The Chinese, Indians, and Europeans alike all saw something god-like and magical about pearls, the only gem created by a living being.

Over time and as men’s fashions evolved to a simpler, less adorned style, pearls became more associated with women. But today, as fashion rules relax and gender fluidity becomes de rigour, pearls are once again seeing a surge in popularity with both sexes.

Another reason for the return of pearls’ popularity comes from an unlikely source: Zoom meetings. When work moved online during the pandemic, people were looking for ways to accentuate the face and neck, and pearls perfectly suited the criteria. Jewellery designers wasted no time hopping on the trend by creating more masculine styles using exotic black pearls, unique baroque pearls, and rough and rugged leather straps, further fuelling their popularity. It also doesn’t hurt that pearls are supremely versatile as an accessory. They can be discreet as a pair of cuff links or make a bold statement à la Vermeer with a single drop earring.

 

For those who are still thinking that real men don’t eat quiche or wear pearls, have a gander at the American professional baseball players Joc Pederson and Dale Murphy. And for those who claim men in pearls is just another example of mindlessly hopping on the latest fad, perhaps, but we see stars making fashion faux pas like sporting socks and sandals and that look hasn’t taken off, proving that we aren’t all sheep.

 

Our take on the trend is that modern chaps are into pearls for the same reason men throughout history have worn them: because pearls convey strength and power and because they are beautiful. Men who wear pearls are utterly confident in their sense of style and in who they are.

 

The only thing to say in conclusion is, look out ladies. If your pearls are missing, check your gent’s toiletry case, because pearlcore is one trend that is here to stay.

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