There's no question that the Duchess of Cambridge is an elegant, sophisticated woman. Every time she steps out, the media clamors to cover what she's wearing, and the "Kate Middleton Effect" has both launched and tanked fashion brands. But there's one trick Kate has to ensure you never forget just how sophisticated she is -- and it's hidden in the jewelry she reaches for time and again.
Kate is often spotted wearing a particular dose of elegance: her pearl drop earrings. We know, we know, pearls aren't exactly groundbreaking or new -- in fact, they're the opposite. But that's why they're such a key element of Kate's wardrobe.
Pearls, according to the American Gem Society, are a "symbol of beauty and purity," and the Daily Mail reports that they're also synonymous with "innocence," so they're a natural fit for anyone in Kate's royal position. They're a timeless style, and can be paired with just about any outfit and look perfect. For example, Kate has worn her pearls with just about every color, and with solid hues, bold patterns, even lace.
Kate's go-to pearls are a gorgeous baroque style (how experts refer to "misshapen" pearls -- but they're no less stunning) that hangs from a small diamond and gold hoop. Her favorites are by Annoushka and retail for $420, and she pairs them with Kiki McDonough hoops (£600, or about $730).
The Duchess has also been spotted wearing a more affordable alternative -- the Heavenly Necklaces 'Pearl and Diamond' Earrings (£58 or $70).
Kate may be taking cues from her elders on this one, too, as the Queen is often seen wearing pearls, and Princess Diana also loved them. After all, Princess Diana's favorite tiara featured several long pearl drops, and Kate has now worn that tiara twice.
The Cartier tiara, worn on her wedding day to Prince William, and the matching earrings given to her by her parents.
Photo: UK Press via Getty Images
Her diamond and sapphire engagement ring.
Photo: Chris Jackson/Getty Images
The Lotus Flower tiara, worn in 2013 to a Diplomatic Reception with Prince William.
Photo: Splash News
The ruby and diamond necklace and bracelet, which the Duchess wore to the Sun Military Awards in December 2011.
Photo: ARTHUR EDWARDS/AFP/Getty Images
A closer look at the necklace worn to the Sun Military Awards.
Photo: Indigo/Getty Images
The sparkling diamond fern brooch worn during the royal tour of Australia and New Zealand, when the royal family touched down in New Zealand.
Photo: Samir Hussein/WireImage
These vibrant blue sparklers, borrowed from her mom, Carole Middleton, and worth nearly $20,000.
Photo: Samir Hussein/WireImage
The Lotus Flower Tiara, again for a state reception with the President of China, paired with two diamond bracelets -- one called The Wedding Gift, with geometric elements, and the second, which has also been worn as a necklace. All of Kate's jewels were borrowed from the royal vault.
Photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA Archive
The Cambridge Lover's Knot Tiara, worn during a diplomatic reception at Buckingham Palace, one of the late Princess of Wales's favorite tiaras.