Fab Collab: The Ageless Appeal of the Pearl Necklace at Seventy-Plus

Pearl Necklace worn by 4 generations-the 40's through the 70's.

This week, Sherry from Petite Over 40 is joining us in a Fab Collab. The goal of this alliance is for each generation to take a chosen style item, give a personalized story from their life regarding that item and then style it in today’s life! 

The Pearl Necklace Styled by Charlotte

Sherry (the 40’s generation) told her story here,  Jodie (the 50’s generation) related her history here, and Nancy (the 60’s generation) explained her feature here.

In Charlotte’s (the 70’s generation) words (with a little of Jodie’s humor thrown in):

This graduated pearl necklace was a wedding gift from my husband to be in 1960. Of course the only reason he bought it was because his mother told him it was the tradition to buy the bride a wedding gift (we were so inexperienced in these matters, and there was no internet to turn to).

At that time, all of the pearl necklaces were opera length which was about 24” long or mid chest. However, I wanted it to lay at the base of my neck so I decided to have it shortened. The leftover pearls were then saved for many years. Finally, when my daughter, Jodie, was confirmed, I had them put on a gold chain as her present.

Before I received this necklace, I never really had any “good” jewelry besides my engagement ring. I grew up in Indiana on a small farm, and there wasn’t the money for all of these extras. Or a place to wear them (would the chickens really care if I had on a necklace or not?).

Presently, I like to wear an enhancer (it’s like a charm that clips between the pearls) with the necklace because it seems so plain otherwise!

Here’s a black & white photo of the wedding day with my shortened necklace (this was in 1960)

Pearl Necklace worn by 4 generations-the 40's through the 70's.

And then a colored version with my bridesmaids!

Pearl Necklace worn by 4 generations-the 40's through the 70's.

And look…I haven’t changed a bit (Jodie’s interjection)!!! I’m wearing a necklace extender with the pearls for this outfit so it would fill in the space on my decolletage better.

Pearl Necklace worn by 4 generations-the 40's through the 70's.

70’s Outfit: I’m so proud of mom that she opted for her green shoes instead of her yellow ones. Slowly but surely she’s getting out of that “matching” thinking (with a little shoving from her daughter)!

Dress: Mom made it (similar here)~~Shoes: Connie (similar here)~~Scarf: Mom made it(similar here)~~Necklace: (similar here)~~Necklace Enhancer or Charm: (similar here)~~Earrings: (similar here)~~Bracelet: (similar here)

We really appreciate your comments and support! Linking with 10 Things of Thankful

Now for some modern pearl earrings, bracelets & rings to add to your collection:

  • Jodie, it’s obvious that you get your fashion-forward thinking from your mother (despite her resistance to some modern trends). The shortening of a necklace back when the style was for longer lengths is a subtle and yet very personal way of expressing one’s individuality. And Charlotte looks lovely in her pastel outfit.


    • Jodie Filogomo

      Well, you know, we always say the nut doesn’t fall far from the tree—ha ha!!
      Thanks Rena!!

  • Kathleen McDermott

    Charlotte is such a stunner – then and now. Her yellow dress and scarf creations are beautiful, as always. I love jewelry of all kinds, but pearls are my favorite. Wearing them is like having moonlight shimmering against your skin or clothing. Universally flattering. My husband bought me an 18″ Mikimoto necklace for our 30th anniversary. I wear them with anything and everything. Love all the outfits above.

    • Jodie Filogomo

      I’m so glad to hear you say that about your pearls! Because I just submitted an article to Sixty + Me on wearing our pearl jewelry—not just for weddings, ha ha!!
      And isn’t my mom so photogenic?? She just had her pictures taken for her church directory and they asked if they could use one of them for their marketing!! Maybe she’ll be modeling for big names soon?!!

      • Kathleen McDermott

        I found your blog by chance when I stumbled upon Sixty + Me, then became entranced with your posts and started rabidly reading backwards from there. I have Sixty + Me in my favorites, so I’ll keep watch for your pearl post. I also went to PetiteOverForty to read Sherry’s wonderful pearl post. I can’t tell you how much fun it is to enjoy the stylings of women closer to my age. I love young people but truth be told, I’m far more interested in ladies “of a certain age” like myself. (FYI – you could all be models, but Charlotte seems like she’s done this professionally her entire life.)

        • Jodie Filogomo

          First off…my mom will love reading what you just said! I asked her if she wanted to look into modeling just lately–but she thought it’d be too much work–ha ha!!
          It’s so nice to hear you found me on Sixty + Me. It’s always so interesting to learn where people find out about blogs!
          And I know what you mean about women of a certain age! I think we all can relate better when we have something in common with what we are reading or seeing? That’s why the Fierce 50 Movement is so dear to my heart!! I want to see more of these certain aged women in the magazines & advertisements!! Like Helen Mirren—she’s my idol through & through!

          • Kathleen McDermott

            Love Helen Mirren. And I can’t watch enough of Maggie Smith’s movies. If you haven’t already watched the documentary “Iris” (2015; on Iris Apfel, another style icon I adore), do treat yourself. (I streamed it on Netflix.)

            And, oh how I would love to sit down with a magazine at the salon with women over 40 and beyond.

          • Jodie Filogomo

            I do love Iris Apfel, but I haven’t seen the documentary—I’ll have to put it on our list to watch!! Thanks for the suggestion!!

  • What a lovely story behind your mom’s pearls! She looked fabulous in the pearls when she got married, and she looks fabulous in them today! Love the green shoes with the yellow dress!

    • Jodie Filogomo

      Thanks Andrea!! It’s so fun to share all these stories–I get to hear them all the time when we’re putting together outfits, but I wasn’t sure if others would be interested!!

  • Laura

    It’s so fun to see the old photos and hear the story behind the pearls!

    • Jodie Filogomo

      Thanks Laura—-I love the old photos too!! What I just realized the other day, was that there aren’t that many of these old pictures, because you only took pictures for special occasions, and not everyone had a camera—crazy, huh (as opposed to now, where we snap pix all the time)?

  • Charlotte Miller

    Thanks for all the comments-I really cherish them.

  • Love seeing the wedding photos! Love the green shoes with the yellow dress too. 🙂

    • Jodie Filogomo

      I always love looking at these old pictures!! See where I get my love of yellow???

  • Nancy Nagy

    Charlotte, you in that outfit and your smile are beautiful!! I loved your story! I got earrings for our wedding!

    • Charlotte Miller

      Thanks for such a nice compliment!

  • Jean Ann

    Jodie thanks so much for the personal stories and photos you shared with us in this series I looked forward to each one and having a 40s guest was a fun change also. When my mom passed all of the girls ( sisters and sis in laws ) wore pearls to the funeral. Made it special to me!

    • Jodie Filogomo

      Pearls really are a special item! Thanks for the wonderful comment Jean Ann!!!

  • Well, Jodie….I too feel proud of your Mum for not matching her shoes!
    Go Charlotte!!
    She is slowly and surely getting away from matchy matchy.
    What a lovely story too!
    Your Mum and Dad made a handsome couple and she is a beautiful now as she was then.
    Age may take it’s toll on some, but real beauty is ageless and never fades.
    I have really enjoyed this series.
    Thank you.

  • Queen of Rods

    This was a great series, Jodie. My father sent pearls home for my mother and her mother when he was stationed in Hawaii during WWII. They were cherished and worn for our weddings and other special occasions.
    There are some goods genes in your family; not only was your mother a beautiful bride, but the groom had great style and would fit right in today’s style without making any changes 🙂 And that cake!

    • Jodie Filogomo

      Doesn’t it make items more special when there’s a great story attached to it? I’m assuming you still have the pearls? Thanks for the wonderful comment!!

  • Amy D. Christensen

    I was anxiously awaiting this post and was not disappointed. Love the photos. Mom was a beautiful bride! I also love that she had the moxie to get the necklace shortened! And today she still looks lovely. Thanks for this series, Jodie! It was a fun way to see pearls in a different light from four perspectives. Great idea. – Amy

    • Jodie Filogomo

      What a great adjective, Amy—MOXIE!! I’m so going to use that! (Usually I just call my mother a stubborn German, but I think she’ll like moxie much better!!)
      I’m glad you liked the series—it was such a fun project looking through the old pictures! We’ll be doing one on sundresses in the summer!!