And now! A woman wise enough to heed fashion guidance from a pearl-loving cowboy-boot-wearing five-year-old. Please welcome Sara Gilbert Frederick.
So, full disclosure: The only time I’ve actually worn a real strand of pearls was as the “something borrowed” on my wedding day. I do have a pearl necklace that belonged to my grandmother, but the clasp is broken and I’ve never worn it. Of course, I probably wouldn’t know how to anyway.
The extent of my fashion sense can be best explained with this story: One morning a few years ago, I came downstairs dressed for work in a black skirt, a pink top, and a pair of black boots. I was feeling pretty proud of myself, because usually the top would have been black, too. But when my daughter saw me, she grimaced. “Really, mom?” she said. “Those boots?”
I went right back upstairs and changed.
The point is that I took fashion advice from a five-year-old. And in all honestly, I still seek her counsel most days before I leave the house—and usually, the critique she gives is right on. So when it came to thinking about this whole how-to-wear-pearls thing, you know who I went to first: Lucy.
A little bit about Lucy: Her first word was “shoe.” She started trying on my heels as soon as she could walk. And she has a drawer full of pearls in the jewelry box on top of her dresser—all gifts from her Grammie, who will keep giving them to her until she has enough to string up for a necklace.
Somehow, Lucy already instinctively knows how to wear those pearls. She already knows when she’ll wear them—and actually, she’s hoping one of her cousins will get married soon, because that would be exactly the right occasion. She even knows what she’ll wear them with.
“Well, a dress of course,” she told me. “But probably not one with long sleeves.”
I asked Lucy, who has grown up without a very pearly role model, what she thought about people who wear pearls.
“I think they are fancy,” she said.
Is that a look she might like?
She shrugs. She’s actually in a sweatpants stage right now, although she wears the look with as much panache as is possible when there are words written across your butt. Her accessories du jour are elastic hairbands around her wrist and a braided pink bracelet that she wears everywhere.
“Maybe. But I just want to look like me.”
Sara Frederick is Editrix of TODAY at Minnesota State, the magazine for alumni and friends of Minnesota State University, Mankato. Also, full disclosure, I would kill a small mammal with my hands if I could have Sara’s massive and naturally curly hair. Oh what. Please you guys. Only six days left in the Pearlest Month. Time to get real.