In the first century B.C., Julius Caesar decreed that pearls could only be worn by members of the ruling class.
Countless have defied him in the 2,000-plus years since, but only now has one emerged that might not have Caesar rolling over in his grave: Harry Styles, the Pop royal who has singlehandedly resurrected the accessory—and put everyone else who’s worn it to shame—over the course of the press tour for his new album, Fine Line.
While Styles has only been spotted wearing the necklace consistently for the past two weeks, the origins of his relationship to pearls appear stretch back to May of 2019, when he stepped out on the red carpet at the Met Gala wearing a universally beloved Gucci ensemble, which included a single pearl earring. (Little did we know it, but that month was something of a turning point for men’s accessories; it was also when Jake Gyllenhaal started making waves with his own choice of neckwear: a gold chain.)
The months that followed saw Styles experiment even further, beyond the many floral suits that marked a new sartorial era for the star in the wake of his relatively staid red carpet appearances related to Dunkirk.
While Gucci became a given, the 25-year-old singer also started to branch out to lesser-known gender-fluid labels like Harris Reed and Lazoschmidl.
Most notably, he changed up his silhouette; for months now, his go-to’s have been tiny tank tops and enormous trousers. (Last week, he summed up his transformation as thus: “I’m having a year of big pants.”)
Now that his wardrobe‘s been fully revamped, Styles seems to be zeroing in to the realm of accessories.
That started simply enough—with a crucifix that stuck around even as he began to experiment with pearls. But as of this month, it seems that Styles’s piety has shifted: the past two weeks have suggested he’s changed-up his devotion entirely to the storied, lustrous orbs of white.
Whether he’s in Los Angeles or London, in a tailored suit or a sweatshirt and Vans, the pearls remain a constant. Here he is on the Graham Norton Show, on December 5:
And backstage at the Jingle Bell Ball, on December 7:
And at the Late Late Show, on December 10:
And again at the Late Late Show, on December 10:
And at a listening party in Los Angeles, on December 11:
And on the Ellen DeGeneres Show, aired on December 18:
And, last but not least, out and about in London, on December 18:
Where did Styles get these pearls? Are they real or fake? How many sets does he have? Naturally, Hazza fans are on the case, though so far they’ve only identified one of the necklaces he wore in a recent shoot for the Guardian, which is apparently a “National Theatre costume hire.” (He even wears a different pearl necklace in the shoot, begging the question: Are pearls dear enough to Styles that he would make a special request to have them on set?)
Of course, to some, these questions are irrelevant; whether or not they can persuade Styles to choke or strangle them with one of his pearl necklaces is the much more pressing issue at hand.