My blogging mate, the so lovely Anna of Mutton Style, invited me to join her in putting together some Chanel pearl layering. After a day sorting our my jewellery into colour-groupings, Anna's email was serendipitous, her timing impeccable. Yes, I'd created a neatly stored stash of pearls in one of my jewellery drawers, so it was game on.
But hold on, pearl layering? I know about pearls layering my lovely Zara top, but not much else. Time for a bit of research. Oh how I do love research!
I think of Chanel and I think elegance and timeless dressing. I think boucle and braid trims. I think chain belts. I don't immediately think of pearls, but having
spent hours drifting around Pinterest thoroughly researched the subject matter, I now know that was something Coco did with panache. She piled them on in abundance, more being more, and it's seems that, as always, many have copied her perennial style.
However, pearly layers alone would look indecent on this blog, so I had to think up outfits to go with my pearls. There are some styles which are synonymous with the house of Chanel and with its founder, Coco. Join me on my journey as I match some classic "Chanel" outfits with pearls.
I had to dig deep in my archives to find a pink boucle suit from Alexon, from yonks ago. Time for some 2nd lovin' for this pinkie.
I used the jacket on its own in order to create a black column with a skirt from another boucle suit. It's black. You can't see the texture. Trust me, it's textured boucle!
I teamed it with a Next frill-front blouse and Clarks heels with a errrm, with a "reptile that shall not
hiss speak its name" print.
And I started piling on the pearls.
This is a nice mixing up of the two suits. Sort of brings pink into winter.
Coco showed more restraint here though, just a doubled-up pearl strand. Elegant, eh?
Of course, those with Chanel-style jackets can try mixing it up a bit with jeans. I love these looks and I feel some mixing up brewing in my wardrobe too. And if I am going this route, I will search around for some braid to Chanelify the jacket.
OK, boucle and pearls, in the bag. What else?
Well, you can imagine how excited Lady Leoprint was when she realised that pearls and leoprint look pretty fine together.
Out came my ancient black boucle Marina Rinaldi suit, which has an animal print fur trim.
I decided to do some pattern mixing with my animal prints. I added a Next leoprint jumper.
I piled on more pearls. I discovered you just keep adding to the pile around your neck. Peasy.
Then I had a plan ...
Excitedly I discovered that I could create a muff-effect feature . Cute, huh?
I like this outfit because the pearls and the leoprint tone each other down. Maybe the layers got a bit messy, though.
So, suits n pearls, done.
My mate Keira guided me towards longer strands for dresses.
My black base is an Artigiano faux-wrap dress.
I introduced some length. I realised that it's quite a challenge to keep long strands tidy.
But I think I could work on this to tidy up the layering.
So, LBD and pearls. Classic. And done. I felt TP would want to take me places in this outfit. And probably leave me there!
Seems like there are two ways to go with layering. Mess 'em up, or keep 'em orderly.
I chose orderly for my next look, wearing a long Rohan jersey dress. Black, of course.
I realised that by de-cluttering the neckline and adding a medium length to the mix, it created the orderly look that I was going for. Graduated.
Oh how I would love to go places in this black and pearl number!
And I read that longer length skirts are the thing for AW17, so here I show you something pretty near to bang-on-trend.
Well what about throwing lace into the mix?!
I felt lace needed something soft-coloured. Pink.
I paired up the suit as
nature the designer intended, skirt and jacket now together in pinky union.
The lace top is from Dotty P.
You can see my jewellery cabinet on the right. Missed a photo opp here, should have opened it up so you could see my brilliant organisational skills at work with jewellery categorisation. So proud.
I felt that the model had been right to keep the pearls high around the neckline, which is what I did instinctively with this outfit.
But, dear reader, do you have any ideas where I could take this outfit? I felt I was all dressed up with no clue as to where to go in it. It was a smart step to far for a lady in retirement.
I was surprised to see that Chanel did casual too.
Here's Coco in a cream skirt and cardi. Well, I don't have a skirt that follows this look so, lucky me, I found a pic in ... black. And I have an abundance of black, eh peeps?!
Firstly, I decided to follow the model's headless queue for consistency.
I also followed her queue with the limited layering for this outfit, keeping pearls to just a few twisted strands and slightly away from the neck. I felt that was a good call in terms of balance.
I wore the black boucle skirt again, with a black M&S cardi. I added a Next ivory layered blouse.
I think this is a look that would be soooo nice to wear out somewhere posh for lunch or Earlybird dinner. But I think what's pulling this outfit down is the a fail in rule-of-thirds dressing. The outfit would look better with a shorter top, as Chanel and the model demonstrate. You live and learn, eh?
Again, I see this outfit as having its casual cousin. Switching the skirt for jeans, tucking in the blouse and keeping the court (pump) heels and I'd have myself a nice smart-casual outfit in the making.
So, what more can I do with my pearl layering?
Well, enough of all these smart lady-wot-lunches outfits, I needed something cosier to slip into so that I could sit in my chilly garret and write up my notes. So how does this look work for ME-casual?
I took my inspo from this lady.
I threw the lace top over a pair of loose jeans and introduced a bit of gold. A large pearl pendant on a gold chain. A necklace of gold and pearl. I added a loose grey cashmere merino cardi.
And just when the poor Photographer had thought his work was done, I decided to switch cardis.
A shorter Woolovers cardi.
And as The Photographer clicked,
I reflected on the paring back of pearly layering in this outfit, pitched just right.
And I thought, "The Pout did good".
But not that good, for one last category is missing.
No pearls. Just this. Inspo, Miss Monroe.
There you have it, darlings. I have given you an abundance of pearls, in varying degrees of layering. And it's been fun.
Through this little exercise, I've learned that one has to play around, add and subtract, to achieve balance that's right for the outfit.
I've learned that there are times when a mix of pearl sizes and graduation suits the outfit, and there are times when the pearls need some serious mixing up.
Pile it on. Just like Coco did.
Yes, I've learned a lot on my pearl layering journey.
Did you enjoy the journey with me, dear reader?
So my mind turns to you, dear reader.
Do you pearl-layer? More is more?
Or do you think a single strand showcases the pearls, that less is more?
And has my little exercise helped you think up some outfits and how to accessorise them with the pearls from your jewellery box/cupboard or charity shop raid?
As ever, I'd love to hear what you have to share. There's a comment box below just crying out for you!
Now, I'm off to Anna's blog to see what styling treats she has for us here. Why don't you pop on over too.
A la perchoine.
Pinterest photos were sourced in this post.