Pearl Jewelry Isn't Only for Women - Men Can Wear It Too!

Ferdinand Bol painted a man in a fancy robe and a tall cap strung with pearls

If you watched the 91st annual Academy Awards in 2019, then you may have noticed that female actresses weren't the only ones flaunting bold jewelry looks on the red carpet. Men were also sporting eye-catching baubles and bling. For example, American-Canadian screen and stage actor Luke Kirby, known for his role on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, wore a Fred Leighton onyx and diamond pansy brooch on his lapel.

We were especially intrigued by rapper and actor A$AP Rocky, who experimented with a more traditionally-feminine look at the Oscars: a single strand of pearls around his neck and statement pearl rings (you can view his outfit here) on his fingers.

Today, women seem to have the most fun with pearl jewelry, but that wasn't always the case. In the 16th century, Queen Elizabeth I presented Sir Francis Drake with a large pearl, which was a symbol of wealth, power, and nobility. Many jewelry designers today are incorporating pearls into more feminine silhouettes, but that doesn't mean pearls can't also look masculine. For example, nothing says "rock star" like a strand of oversized black Tahitian pearls. A pearl on a cufflink can add an elegant touch to a tuxedo, especially for a groom. Pearls paired with materials like leather and oxidized silver can look edgy and striking.

Public figures like A$AP Rocky are showing other men just how they can wear pearls in a stylish and sophisticated way. We'd like to share a few examples of men who wear cultured pearl necklaces and other types of pearl jewelry well.

Overall, Kanye West might win the award for the best pearl look worn by a man. At the 2016 Met Gala, he sported a custom Balmain bleached denim jacket covered with pearls and other gemstones. According to this article from GQ, the jacket took longer to make than his wife Kim Kardashian's sparkly gown.

Teenage heartthrob Harry Styles also opted for pearl jewelry at the 2019 Met Gala, where he wore a single delicate pearl earring with head-to-toe Gucci: an ethereal and sheer black shirt with high-waisted, black trousers. See the look for yourself here. Couldn't he pass for a figure in a Vermeer painting?

On more than one occasion, rapper and entrepreneur Pharrell Williams has accessorized his outfit with pearls. Not only does he love wearing pearl jewelry when he's performing onstage, but he also loves incorporating pearls into his everyday street style. For example, here he layered a long pearl necklace under a casual Chanel sweatshirt. At the December 2016 Chanel runway show in Paris, he even walked the runway in a classic Chanel look: a tweed jacket with long strands of pearls. You can view the high-fashion outfit here.

Steven Tyler, best known as the lead singer of Aerosmith, is a huge fan of pearls. As a judge on the television show American Idol, he wore a striking leather and Tahitian pearl necklace that perfectly suits his edgy and eclectic rock-star personality.

While it's true that pearls can make a meaningful jewelry gift for the woman or girl in your life, a man can also enjoy the beauty of this natural treasure. Any man who's interested in experimenting with fashion and developing his signature personal style should consider incorporating pearls into his daily or special-occasion attire. If it's good enough for historical figures like Sir Francis Drake and George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham, then it's also good for your favorite man.


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