See the portrait of George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham, painted by Michel Janson van Mirevelt between 1625 and 1626. Around the Duke’s neck is a long-tiered men’s pearl necklace made of milk pearls. Now it’s hard to believe, but in the West, since the beginning of the 16th century, pearls in men’s wardrobe were considered a sign of wealth and health. Since ancient times, maharajas and Chinese emperors have adorned the neck and ears with massive pearl necklaces and embroidered their vestments with them. Few could afford to own pearls, because, until the beginning of the 20th century and the legendary discovery of the Kokichi Mikimoto method of growing pearls, they were mined by hand by divers.
Men’s jewelry by itself no longer surprises anyone, and jewelry brands have recognized clients in men who can look into the store for a gift not only for the faithful but also for themselves. It is hard to remember which of the men at the last Grammy ceremony denied himself the pleasure of wearing pearl necklace fashion, sapphires, and other stones that a maharajah would envy.
Over time, pearls became associated with tenderness, innocence, and femininity, so they migrated to women’s jewelry boxes and were safely forgotten by the stronger sex until the 21st century. Although gender stereotypes began to gradually collapse back in the 1920s – then it concerned exclusively the right of women to wear trousers, but there was still no talk of transforming men’s fashion. Significant advances began to occur only in the 21st century. The fashion market began to adhere to the concept of “unisex” in order to reduce the level of gender discrimination. But this was not enough – Gucci, led by Alessandro Michele, was among the first to break fashion chains, to dress men in dresses and skirts, delicate colors, and, of course, to supply male models with massive jewelry, including pearls. So yes, can men wear pearls.
Because pearls are one of the most ancient accessories that people used as jewelry. In all ages, only persons of noble blood could afford pearls, but now everything is different. Only in the XX century, pearls moved from a number of elite jewelry to the category of jewelry that women of almost any position and age can afford. Who wears pearls, and does it really suit everyone? Why pearls, despite their democratic character, are jewelry that requires a careful selection of clothes and accessories.
Before the Renaissance, pearls were considered the most expensive jewels. He was valued more expensive than diamonds, emeralds, and rubies. Pearls could only be afforded by the rich, who demonstrated their status by wearing jewelry made from it.
At the end of the 19th century – the beginning of the 20th century, the thread of men wearing pearls was still considered an expensive adornment that was worn at balls, parties, banquets of the wife and daughter of millionaires or dignitaries. That all changed when the Japanese man, Kokichi Mikimoto, received a patent for pearl cultivation in 1895. Pearls began to be bred on special farms: every year more and more mother-of-pearl came to the market. The value of the jewel began to plummet. Because of this, men wear pearls, as it makes them stand out from the crowd, and not only.
As you can see, there are many ways to wear pearls today, but the events of the past few months seem to be much more curious. So, last year, most Western publications christened Harry Styles with a pearl earring and Nick Jonas necklaces in their headlines.
One thing’s for sure: pearls are already a potent, booming red carpet trend. Celebrities looking for new ways to present themselves and gain attention have found a hidden diamond in pearls, pardon the pun. Rockers and rappers, bloggers and athletes, business people. What difference does it make what you do, and what gender you have, if it looks very nice?
It turns out that modern men’s pearls are very different – large shapes, and small delicate pearls, and their combinations will be relevant. If you are thinking about how to approach such jewelry, start with proven options like smooth rings and pendants on a thin chain or even a small pin brooch with one pearl. So, you have read our information about men’s pearls. Therefore, the choice is yours, to wear it or not.
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