Trend Watch: More Bad Advice as to What’s Out

Last week, I did my part to shoot down the suggestion from Harper’s Bazaar that stud earrings are “Out.” Today, I take aim at another pronouncement on which presumed “trend” is ready to be retired.


“Over and Out” proclaims a contributing editor in the December 2008 issue of Allure magazine, calling oversize pearls one of “this year’s worst offenders.” He scoffs at the gumball-sized pearls worn by Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton and Cindy McCain. “Message from campaign headquarters,” he writes, “Wilma Flintstone called. She wants her necklace back.”



While his comment is trite (the verbal styling that so-and-so called and wants something back is definitely “over and out”), at least the editor is an equal-opportunity detractor. Could he have located less flattering photos of any of the three women? Neither Senator Clinton’s lace collar nor Mrs. McCain’s rhinestone brooch are stylish, and arguably Mrs. Obama’s earrings are too small in scale to be worn with the large pearls.


But as for the pearls, there’s a significant difference between a trend and a classic. I can’t agree more that gladiator sandals, shorts worn over tights and floor-grazing pants (all of which are condemned in the article) were fads destined to run their course quickly, but pearls aren’t in the same category. Coco Chanel, Jacqueline Kennedy, “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” – need I go on?


Well now, why do you suppose all three women on the campaign stage this past year wore short necklaces of oversize pearls? Might it be because the style of necklace is extremely becoming in drawing attention to the face, and works well with politically requisite conservative necklines, and also because there is nothing more beautiful than a luminous strand of natural gems? A strand of small millimeter pearls wouldn’t have made the same powerful visual impact. Indeed, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has made significant pearls her signature. 



I don’t see any chokers of Wilma Flintstone cartoon-sized rocks here. I see each of the women wearing a beautiful, classic strand of pearls, perfectly appropriate, classic and chic. I hope and expect that none of these women will be retiring those necklaces anytime soon.