The history of men wearing pearls

Men wearing pearls is nothing new!

Ancient Civilisations

The history of men adorning themselves with pearls can be traced back to ancient civilisations. In ancient Rome, pearls were a symbol of wealth and status, worn by both men and women as a display of opulence. Likewise, in ancient China, pearls were highly prized and worn by men of noble status. The Persian Gulf region also embraced the trend, with male leaders and warriors donning pearl accessories as a mark of prestige.

Men's pearl brooch
Renaissance and European Royalty

During the Renaissance era, pearls continued to be a status symbol. European royalty, including kings and nobles, were often depicted wearing pearls in portraits and during ceremonial events. Men adorned themselves with pearl-studded clothing, accessories, and even incorporated pearls into their elaborate hairstyles. The association of pearls with power and wealth persisted, contributing to their popularity among male aristocrats.

19th Century to Early 20th Century

The 19th century saw a shift in fashion trends, with men's jewellery becoming more understated. However, pearls remained a symbol of sophistication. Notable figures, such as Prince Albert, the husband of Queen Victoria, were known to wear pearl-studded accessories. Pearls were also incorporated into men's fashion during the Edwardian era, with pearl tie pins and cufflinks being popular choices.

Cultural Influences

In various cultures worldwide, men continued to embrace pearls as part of traditional attire. In the Middle East, men adorned themselves with pearl-embellished garments and accessories, reflecting the enduring cultural significance of pearls in the region. In India, pearls were a staple in men's jewellery, often worn during weddings and special occasions.

Celebrities wearing pearls

Contemporary Revival

The late 20th century witnessed a resurgence of interest in men's fashion and accessories, leading to a renewed appreciation for pearls. Designers began experimenting with incorporating pearls into men's jewellery, challenging traditional gender norms. Celebrities like Johnny Depp and Mick Jagger embraced the trend, further popularising the idea of men wearing pearls as a symbol of individuality and self-expression.

Modern Fashion

In the 21st century, the fashion industry has witnessed a significant blurring of gender boundaries, and men wearing pearls has become a celebrated trend. High-end designers and fashion houses have embraced the versatility of pearls, creating innovative and stylish pieces for men, from necklaces and bracelets to cufflinks and rings. The androgynous appeal of pearls has made them a staple in contemporary men's fashion.