When Joc Pederson, the Atlanta Braves’ center fielder, donned a strand of white pearls during games this season (including the World Series!), he did what Harry Styles, A$AP Rocky, and Machine Gun Kelly couldn’t: Make pearls for even the manliest, most traditional-looking men look fresh and fitting.
Pederson’s progressive choice of adornment—a 24-inch strand of 14 mm cultured pearls, courtesy of Happy Jewelers in Fullerton, Calif.—marks a turning point in the quickly evolving conversation about men’s jewelry. In just a couple of years, A-list male celebrities have gravitated to jewels, such as diamond necklaces, that have called gender norms into question. But nothing unravels the assumptions about who is supposed to wear what kind of jewelry more powerfully than a jock (named Joc!) wearing what is arguably the most feminine object in the known jewelry universe.
Are pearls a boy’s new best friend (as The New York Times declared last year)?
We sure hope so!
In honor of all men embracing their inner pearl junkie, we’ve collected five new pearl styles that wouldn’t look out of place on a dude, even, or especially, if he’s heading into a board meeting. (Mikimoto was on to something when it unveiled its groundbreaking 2020 collection of unisex pearl necklaces with Commes Des Garçons and used a series of striking and transgressive images featuring men in suits to promote it.)
Sure, women are bound to covet the styles featured below. But these baubles—they’re for the boys.
Top: Passionoir M Collection black South Sea cultured pearl pendant in black rhodium–plated 18k white gold, $5,400; MikimotoFollow JCK on Instagram: @jckmagazine
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