The beauty of this season’s fashions, as seen on the catwalks and in the top international stores, is that they are fluid and adaptable. Allowances are made for different preferences in fabric texture, skirt length and, crucially, in the choice of accessories to go with each outfit. It is well known that dramatically changing the accessories that accompany an outfit can completely change the look and quality of those garments, elevating a simple beach dress to timeless evening elegance or dressing down a formal dress to casual barbecue wear.

pearls make wonderful giftsOne gem that is firmly back in the limelight is the elegant and unique pearl, which can be found in long strings of small, even beads or large and baroque on shorter chunky chokers. However you like to wear your pearls, here are some tips to get the best out of these wonderful natural creations.

A single strand of pearls adds cachet and elegance to any outfit, even office wear. Make sure the string is not too long; it should be well above the bust so as to not overpower your look. A pearl bracelet also looks elegant with a well-manicured hand, or neat pearl earrings – but try not to wear more than one pearl piece at any one time as the effect can be over the top, particularly at work during the day. Team your work outfit with just the merest touch of silver, gold or platinum for a rich, yet demure look.

Team a very long pearl necklace, artlessly knotted, with a softly floating maxi dress for a wild-child old-world charm. Wear your hair in loose, profuse curls and use just the bare minimum of make-up for a fantastic and distinctive look. Accessories with feathers and wispy scarfs – the luxurious length of the string of pearls needs no further embellishment than that.

Look after your pearls. The best way to take care of pearls is to wear them often, without subjecting them to any harsh chemicals like perfume, hairspray and even excessive perspiration! Pearls are a natural substance and they are moisturised by human skin oils when worn close to the skin. It is said that wearing pearls brings radiance to both the wearer and the pearl! As an alkali, though, pearls can deteriorate when washed with harsh soaps or acidic beauty products like those named above. Do not wear pearls to work out, or to swim in as perspiration and other substances can strip away the natural lustre that makes pearls so beautiful. pearls make wonderful gifts as they are extremely low-maintenance and long-lasting if not abused.

One new jewellery feature that is hotly touted this year amongst fashionistas on the cutting edge of trendiness is the ear cuff. Ear cuffs wrap around the cartilaginous curve of the ear and fit on without the need for any piercing. This is fabulous for people who must adhere to strict dress codes for work, school or college, but love dressing up and piling on the jewellery for a fun night out.

One message that has been received loud and clear from the catwalks is that jewellery is visible, unique and flashy this year. Choose your favourite gemstone or precious metal and start combining and trying out different looks and styles. Whatever you choose though, do not forget to pop in a couple of pearls to prove that you have true class this season!

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