Why Did Jackie O. Kennedy Love Pearls So Much?

jackie kennedy pearls

Throughout history, numerous style icons have incorporated the iridescence of pearls into their aesthetic. Jackie O. Kennedy was one the first to transform pearls into an everyday style statement, claiming that “Pearls are always appropriate”.

Jackie Kennedy reinvented pearls, as well as other icons such as Coco Chanel, taking them from a symbol of status into a status of style, allowing women to exude the panache of both. Read the post to find out why did she love pearls so much!

With fashion and trends constantly evolving on a seasonal basis, we believe that all truly stylish women should keep a few timeless and beautiful enduring pieces in their possession. Therefore, the classic pearl stands the test of time and will always have a home in a well-dressed woman’s wardrobe.

Jackie O. Kennedy – The Ultimate 60s & 70s Style Icon

jackie kennedy pearl necklace

Kennedy, as a committed champion of the arts and active preservationist always appeared charismatic and magnetic in her public appearances. There was something about her presence that was extremely alluring and she quickly became one of the most influential fashion icons of the 60s & 70s.

The former first lady, known for her simple yet highly chic style was the subject of much media attention. During her time spent in the White House and during the years after, she was responsible for a rise in popularity of a number trends including, shift dresses, pillbox hats, and most importantly, Pearls.

As Hamish Bowles, European editor-at-large of Vogue stated,  Jackie Kennedy set the standard for how “an entire generation” of American women aspired to “look, dress, and behave.”

jackie kennedy wearing the triple strand pearl necklace

Pearls are always appropriate

Through her belief that “Pearls are always appropriate” she was able to transform the jewelry into an everyday fashion staple. Compared to the fashions of the 1950s that involved expensive large skirts and petticoats, Jackie O’s style was far more affordable and simple to replicate. Her style was often modernly minimal and perfectly accessorised with her signature triple strand Pearl necklace.

Jackie Kennedy inspired an entire generation of women’s fashion through her unique style.

At PearlsOnly, we are inspired by her transcendent stylish looks, in particular her use of Pearls, and will provide you with useful tips on how you can incorporate elements of Jackie O’s outfits and elegance into your own wardrobe.


Jackie’s unique style and accessorizing can be replicated and incorporated in today’s fashion and we have compiled our top suggestions on how you too can inject timeless elegance into your wardrobe.

jackie kennedy triple strand pearl necklace


Of course, we will begin with Jackie Kennedy’s signature (and our favorite) accessory – Pearls. Although Jackie did on occasion wear diamonds, her go-to necklace comprised of pearls. She used to say “Pearls are always appropriate” and she couldn’t have been more right. Who said that there are set rules as to when and where you should wear pearls? They can add an air of elegance to many looks.

Pearls were the perfect way to compliment her sophisticated, yet a fashion-forward sense of style and exquisite fabrics. They added an extra dimension of status and elegance to her chic fashion sense.

From the images below you will see that she wore a number of different pearl necklaces but her signature look was the triple strand of pearls.

jackie kennedy wearing the triple pearl necklace

Source of Images: Pinterest

Incorporate Pearls into your Wardrobe: Jackie would often wear her pearl necklace over a shift dress, but for a modern day twist why not pair a Pearl necklace with jeans and a T-shirt for a charming juxtaposition?

jeans and pearls

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Jackie Kennedy ignited the two piece skirt suit trend. The popular former first lady revolutionized the two piece skirt suit by opting for a cropped boxy jacket sitting just above her hips.

Jackie O’s Suit was an iconic look and was often double breasted with statement, elaborate buttons. More often than not, Kennedy’s skirt suits were fashioned by Chanel and were crafted from brightly colored woollen cloth in feminine shades in order to mirror her elegant/poised nature and ensure that she stood out amongst a crowd.

The skirt was always modest and cut just above the knee. She often styled her suits with mid-heeled shoes and of course, a double strand pearl necklace.

jackie kennedy suit pieces

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How to Incorporate this Look into your Wardrobe: Whilst a matching suit jacket and skirt may not be the most modern thing for women to wear today,  you can definitely imitate the professionalism of Jackie’s style with a trendy pant suit.

white pant suit

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Instead of her signature pillbox hat, Kennedy would sometimes opt to wear a silk head scarf. She pioneered the trend and stylishly paired her silk scarves with oversized signature Jackie O sunglasses. Jackie would complete the look with a classic little black dress, patterned skirts or a simple T-shirt.

jackie kennedy wearings a scarf

How to Incorporate Silk Scarves into your Wardrobe:  As you can see from the images above, Jackie Kennedy would often wear a printed silk scarf over her hair, especially whilst on holiday or taking part in outdoor activities. To incorporate this look into your own personal style, we recommend either tying the scarf around your neck, or draping it across your shoulders and tying it in front of your chest.

how to wear a scarf

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Throughout her marriage to President Kennedy, Jackie Kennedy’s style was conservative and she would often opt for sleek, elegant, or silky dresses. Her wardrobe was well stocked with simple, yet sophisticated long dresses that exuded femininity.  Also,Jackie was often seen wearing a one color taffeta dress featuring a bow at the waist and would typically rely on two silhouettes of dresses: shift and sheath.

Shift dresses fall straight down from the shoulders, skimming the body.

Sheath dresses generally have a detailed waistline.

jackie o dresses

Both styles are timeless and works on most body types.

As fashion evolved, Jackie began to incorporate dresses with prints and ruffles into her wardrobe.

jackie o kennedy long dress

Source of Images: Pinterest

jackie o  kennedy dresses

How to Incorporate this look into your Wardrobe: Jackie Kennedy, often wore dresses with interesting necklines or opted to accessorize them with her signature Pearl necklace. Why not whip out that old LBD and pair it with a beautiful multi strand Pearl necklace?

jackie o kennedy dresses

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First of all, just like the color of her favorite accessory, Pearls,  Kennedy liked to wear white and often did so from head-to-toe. She would style herself in monochromatism from her headscarf and shades all the way down to her shoes.

Whether relaxing on a boat crossing the Amalfi Coast or meeting the Queen, for example, she became well known for wearing the icy shade. Notably, Kennedy wore a white gown by Carolina Herrera to the American Ballet at Lincoln Center in 1993 for her last public appearance.

jackie o wearing white

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Our suggestion: We suggest taking inspiration from Jackie Kennedy’s beautifully, timeless white gown above and pairing it with black and white accessories, just as Meghan Markle has! Also, what about a gorgeous pair of white pearl earrings?

meghan markle wearing white

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In her older years, Jackie Kennedy, whilst still as glamorous, changed her style to a more relaxed appearance, often opting for classic trench coats.

jackie o kennedy wearing coats

jackie o wearing animal print coat

How to Incorporate this Look into your Wardrobe: With animal print being highly on trend currently, why not mimic Jackie’s style by choosing a leopard-print coat to compliment your outfit? Consider pairing it with a wide-rib neckline sweater in a neutral color and rolled boyfriend jeans.

animal print coat

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Alternatively, you could opt for a trench coat similar to the one she wore in her later years. Look for a mid-thigh hemline in a double-breasted silhouette that skims the outline of your body.

neutral coat

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The former first lady, Jackie Kennedy was highly responsible for making flat and low heeled shoes fashionable.

“She wanted to be beautiful and elegant, but she also didn’t want to tower over diplomats who came from other countries, so she began wearing shorter heels,

How to Incorporate this Look into your Wardrobe: If you’re looking for a sophisticated shoe that is neither too high, nor too flat, we suggest opting for a mid-heel classic pump for instant Jackie Kennedy-style elegance. Style it with cropped, straight-leg jeans for an ultra-modern look.

low heels

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In the end, it is clear that Jackie O. Kennedy was and continues to be a popular style icon. She’s been gone for over 20 years, but Jacqueline Kennedy’s style is still as pervasive as it was when she was the first lady of the United States back in the early 1960s.  Although there are a number of signature staples that have contributed to her transcendent fashion sense, it was her ability to stylish accessorize her broad range of outfits with her signature accessory. The timeless pearl necklace has firmly marked her as a leading style icon and will continue to do so for years to come.

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