How to Wear Pearlcore, Spring’s Most Nostalgic Fashion Trend

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Pearls have seen a resurgence in recent years, thanks in no small part to the prevalence of period dramas and the cottagecore movement. The TV shows and romanticized lifestyle trend have underscored the nostalgic mood that’s taken over fashion lately, especially as people emerge from the pandemic. More and more, pearls are being incorporated into day-to-day looks, rather than being strictly reserved for costumes or special occasions.

Enter the pearlcore aesthetic, which refers to embellishing garments and accessories with pearls. Pinterest referenced it in its 2022 business report after noticing a spike in search traffic for pearl gowns, pearl wedding decorations, and pearl-themed parties. Around the world, and particularly in Australia, people were also looking up pearl bracelets, pearl chokers, and pearl nails to enliven their looks. The report predicted what we’re now currently seeing, stating, “In 2022, people of all ages will embrace iridescent accents in their homes, in their jewelry boxes and even as nail art. Pearl-themed parties will be on the rise, too, as people opt for pearly gowns and wedding decor.”

Pearlcore regularly receives celebrity endorsements, most remarkably with Barbie Ferreira’s 2021 Met Gala debut gown, which was covered in pearls. We also spotted them again at this year’s Met Gala, where “Gilded Glamour” was the theme and where Anitta’s take on the trend involved dripping layers of pearls on her jewel-tone dress. And back in 2018, Kate Middleton wore elegant pearl earrings for the christening of her third child, Prince Louis.

If you’re curious about pearlcore and want to know how to style pearl items with your wardrobe, read on for more.

What Is Pearlcore?

Pearlcore is a micro fashion and home-decor trend that involves using pearls and iridescent decor accents or beads that resemble them. From pearl necklaces to pearl-encrusted cardigans, these gems have found their way onto garments and accessories alike, giving them a regal update and plenty of visual interest. To go the DIY route, buy your own pearls and glue or sew them onto a pair of jeans, tote bag, or slip dress.

How Do I Style Pearl Items?

Pearls add dimension to any garment or accessory. The key is to let that piece shine by keeping the rest of the look relatively minimalist. Take, for example, a top-handle pearl bag, which can dress up a casual jeans-and-T-shirt outfit or enhance the inherent sophistication of a silk slip dress. Or consider a pearl-embellished denim jacket and wear it with an understated top and relaxed trousers. A striking piece — like Rosie Assoulin’s pearl minidress — needs just a pair of kitten heels and small clutch to remain the star of the show.

If you’re ready to embrace the pearlcore aesthetic, get started with these pieces ahead.

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