Ask Jeanne

ASK JEANNE Classic accessories, British weddings

March 21 print
Question: “Fashion week is here and I’m dressing up for the shows. I love wearing classic accessories like pearls but they can look too conservative-even matronly.  What are some fresh and fashionable ways to wear them?” -Caren
DEADLINE: Friday, Feb 22

  • To accurately explain the etiquette of pearl-wearing, we must understand its history. Up until the 20th century, pearls were the rarest, highest-prized and most sought-after jewel in the world. In fact, pearls were so uncommon that they were typically owned and worn only by aristocracy and the very wealthy upper-class as a symbol of status and importance.
Perhaps the most famous historical pearl was the earring Cleopatra dissolved in a glass of wine and drank in order to prove to Marc Antony that she could, in fact, throw the world’s most expensive dinner party. The Roman empire held pearls in such esteem, that the poor were prohibited to wear them “unworthily.”

Pearls Today

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In the early 1900’s pearls became much more common, as the process of creating cultured pearls came into practice. However, the history of pearl-wearing lends an idea on the etiquette of wearing them today. Obviously, there are no restrictions on who can wear pearls and where they can wear them, but the historical significance of pearls make them perfect for special occasions that call for both class and elegance. Weddings, church services and dinner parties are the perfect time to wear a strand of pearls.

March 28 print
Question: “I’m attending a formal wedding in England in June and I’m not sure what to wear.  Are there different rules when it comes to black-tie dressing in the U.K.? Do I have to wear a fascinator like Kate Middleton? Help!” -Chantal
DEADLINE: Friday, March 1