Pearls can be worn with a variety of dress styles

An elegant white strand of pearls somehow never goes out of style. Refined and subtly lavish, pearls can be worn with a variety of dress styles. Be it an elegant sari, chic frock, short black dress or leggings, pearls are a perfect accessory to a multitude of styles.

Pearl strands are of varying lengths.

The two or three layered ‘pearl collar' of 12-13 inches lies snugly on the middle of the neck. This suits plunging V-necks, boat necks and off-shoulder necklines. The single strand ‘choker' of 14-16 inches goes on just any neck-line. But if too much skin is showing, a choker will get lost. The ‘princess' length of 17-19 inches is for high-necklines or plunging necklines, best complemented with a pendant.

At 20-24 inches, the ‘matinee' is for western style business dressing, landing just at the cleavage. It looks great with a bateau (boat), jewel, or a lower neckline. And the 28-34 inches ‘opera' is a single strand elegant stylish necklace, which can double as a two-strand choker. It complements a jewel or bateau neckline. The pearl ‘rope' which hangs below the waist is more than 45 inches. Usually it can be separated into a whole set – necklaces and bracelets.

To care for your pearls, always remember that it should be the last thing you put on and the first thing you remove. They are durable, but need to be protected from acidic or alkaline substances like perfumes, hair-sprays, strong soaps and lotions. Use soft water, soft cloth and a mild baby shampoo if cleaning is required. Always store them separately in a soft bag or in tissue to protect them from scratches.

UMA CHODAVARAPU

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