This Dainty “Grandma” Trend Was All Over the 2023 Met Gala Carpet — and It’ll Be Everywhere This Season

Pearls for all!

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Met Gala Pearls

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What do Anne Hathaway’s deconstructed tweed Versace dress, Kim Kardashian’s custom Schiaparelli number, Lizzo’s draped, black, high-slit gown, Salma Hayek’s bright-red latex and tulle dress, and Karlie Kloss’ bump-revealing Loewe maxi all have in common? Sure, they hit it on the nail when it came to the 2023 Met Gala theme, “Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty,” and sure, they all looked stunning (to say the least), but I’m actually referring to a small-but-mighty detail all their looks included: pearls

Pearlcore isn’t necessarily new. In fact, experts predicted big things for the trend that might conjure up thoughts of your grandma’s jewelry collection back in 2022, but the Met Gala shined a fresh light on the timeless jewel, inspiring anyone (even me, previously a pearl skeptic) to incorporate the luxe detail into my spring and summer looks, stat. 

Obviously, nothing is more ‘Karl’ than pearls. As Kardashian put it best during a Met Gala interview, “I wanted pearls…The iconic Chanel pearls is what I always thought of. We wanted to be dripping in pearls.” So it’s not a huge surprise that we saw the dainty detail incorporated into so many looks in a myriad of ways. Kardashian obviously went all-out with a draped pearl top and matching skirt. Hathaway’s look displayed them in a slightly more subtle way, with pearl-adorned safety pins holding together her deconstructed Versace gown. And Hayek’s latex dress featured pearl necklace-like sleeves that proved to be an elegant addition to her sexy, red-hot number.

The degree of pearl adornment obviously varied from celeb to celeb, but the dainty detail was easily the star of the 2023 Met Gala, a sign that bigger things are yet to come for it — and not just in its traditional jewelry form, either. We’re seeing pearl embellishments on everything from dresses and shoes to bags and hair accessories, a natural shift in design as the trend becomes more streetwear, casual, and edgy.

Duri Imitation Pearl Slide Sandal


Shop now: $90;

Chloe Imitation Pearl Rattan Bag


Shop now: $185;

Pearls are inherently elegant, classic, and timeless with a rich history, once only associated with aristocracy and royalty. Over time, however, they’ve evolved to be a widely beloved and accessible adornment.

"[Pearls] symbolized great wealth and exotic travels," celebrity stylist Amanda Sanders once shared with InStyle. They were deemed more valuable, rare, and exclusively for the upper class until designer Paul Poiret invented faux pearls and Coco Chanel made elaborate costume jewelry suitable for everyday wear. The evolution! 

Pearls never really went away, but that doesn’t mean they can’t also be in the midst of a major resurgence, with the Met Gala only adding more fuel to the fire. All that to say, expect to see a lot of dazzling pearls this season and beyond. 

Below, we’ve rounded up some of the best ways to add pearls to your wardrobe, from a gorgeous pair of pearl-adorned shoes to a stunning pair of pearl earrings (duh!). Shop everything below.

Bijan Pointed Toe Pump


Shop now: $478;

Mememe Embellished Buttondown Tunic


Shop now: $148;

Premium Imitation Pearl Bead Slipdress


Shop now: $420;

Dolly Pearl Cami

Urban Outfitters

Shop now: $49;

Imitation Pearl Twisted Headband


Shop now: $22;

Imitation Pearl Belt Cotton Blend Bouclé Trousers


Shop now: $89;

Imitation Pearl Beaded Cocktail Dress


Shop now: $298;

Imitation Pearl Hair Clip


Shop now: $109;

Imitation Pearl Raffia Bucket Hat


Shop now: $225;



Shop now: $46;

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