First, a reminder shot of the "base necklace", lustrous 10mm Chinese freshwaters. They are large enough to stand on their own, but I have not been moved to wear them like that for awhile, maybe because that feels too business-formal these days.
More ideas of how to tart them up without restyling:
I wound the whites with a Tahitian strand and one of the gold chains from #1.
Play with your other necklaces alongside your pearls. It's worth removing pearls to make the base necklace a touch shorter if that allows you to wear them inside another favourite. I've combined the base with an amethyst, pearl and turquoise necklace made by Artworks Gallery, Toronto, of stones I bought in India.
Round whites loosen up when invited to a party!
Below, the base with
- double rope of dove-grey Akoyas with vintage white clasp (Kojima Company)
- pendant of three fancy-coloured Tahitians (Kojima Company, custom-made), and
- pearl chain (2mm-10mm) from Montréal's Joanna Szkiela of Red Sofa.
Surprisingly light and comfortable.
When I mixed the base with a different palette and variety of pearls, I found a more casual look:
- "Tin Cup" necklace of mixed-colour metallic baroques (Lucile, Paris)
- Blue baroque akoyas (a gift more than 20 years ago)
- 35-inch rope of pink freshwater keshis (Kojima Company)
8. On your wrist
Knot the pearls so that they wrap around your wrist twice, and wear as a bracelet. Shown with a '60s grey mabé pearl ring by Spanish designer Joachim S'paliu.
Except for the bracelet, you do need jewelry to mix with the pearls, but I'll bet you have something, and a white strand will take nearly anything you throw next to it.
Conventional wisdom is to not let anything touch the pearls except other pearls, but better they are worn with pleasure than languish with nothing but dim memories of the oyster bed to call a good time.
There's a luscious world of reasonably-priced beads that you can string up to mix with those pearls: turquoise, garnets, agate, quartzes, onyx and more.
For a start, check out Etsy seller Joyful Otter Beads. (Shown, 10mm emerald-colour onyx, about $9 for a 14-16 inch strand.)
If buying pearls to zhuzh that base, go for contrast, even if subtle. Kojima Company have pearls I keep drooling over: a 30-inch 6mm rope of natural colour tangerine freshwater pearls. (Price, $275.) Put these next to Auntie's strand and bang, sunshine all winter! (These are not big pearls, but the pungent colour is divine, so they have a lot of presence.)
In case you wonder, I have no commercial interest there—or anywhere else—but truly love the pearls Sarah finds.
You can always wear that base necklace on its own, as Cornelia, who commented Tuesday, does: with skinny jeans and a white button-down shirt, for example, an amusing tweak.
Or try yours with lingerie, or less. Also pleasing, and not only to you.