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Encore – The Little Black Dress and A Strand of Pearls

Summertime always seems to bring a flood of parties and social opportunities.  Sometimes they are casual, sometimes formal but sometimes we aren’t sure what our attire should be.  Enter Coco Chanel and her fashion wisdom.

No matter what your style is, there are two things that are timeless ~ the “little black dress” and pearls.In the 1920’s Coco Chanel brought us the “little black dress” that eventually became, and continues to be, a symbol of chic and sophisticated simplicity. As Vogue magazine predicted at the time, it became, “a uniform for all women of taste”. Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffanys epitomized the standard for wearing the little black dress accessorized with pearls.

Now, as we mentioned yesterday, not every style of the little black dress is going to suit every one of us. With this, as with everything else in your wardrobe, make sure you chose the style that suits your figure, brings out your great curves and camouflages your not-so-great ones.

The pearl was known as “The Queen of Gems’ and it was not until the beginning of the twentieth century that the common person could afford to buy pearls to go with their “little black dress”. Kokichi Mikimoto, in the early 1900’s, perfected a way to culture pearls, which made pearls affordable. Up until this time, it was only the wealthy who were able to have them and quite a status symbol they were! By mastering the techniques of culturing, Mikimoto, and afterwards hundreds of other Japanese firms, made pearls available to virtually everyone in the world.

Pearls, being a symbol of harmony, perfection and purity, were often used for engagement rings and symbolized eternal love and togetherness. In the past, pearl engagement rings were very popular but today they are relatively uncommon.

If you are not sure whether your pearls are faux or real, rub the pearl against the edge of your teeth. If the pearl feels smooth, it is probably faux, imitation. If it feels rough or gritty, it is probably natural or cultured.

Once you have deciphered that your pearls are real, it is important to look after them well. Keep your pearls in a cloth bag. Wash them with a mild soap, like Ivory, in warm water. Never put them in an ultrasonic cleaner or clean them with any acidic cleaning material. Do not use any type of jewelery cleaner that is not specifically for pearls.

We pearl lovers are in great company. Royalty, down through the ages can be seen with pearls adorning their necks, hands, ears and clothing. So, Queens and Princesses, go and find yourselves a wonderful “little black dress” that suits you, put on your pearls and have Breakfast at Tiffanys!


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One Comment
  1. Faith Halverson Olson #

    Right around the corner from my flat in Brussels is a brass plaque on a building saying this lovely and talented star was born there.

    July 19, 2014

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