Adding a touch of white elegance has been considered classic probably as long as pearls have been cultivated and lace has been threaded together by hand. Strands of pearls and rows of lace are continually refashioned decade after decade though.
Lace collars turn a plain neckline into a feminine, and even austere, detail, while peeks of lace at the hemline of a skirt, waistline of a shirt, or plunging neckline of a dress or blouse can turn simple into very sexy.
Pearls do tie together conservative and stately looks for women of a certain age, but as an accessory to a modern wardrobe, they can "class-ify" an ordinary T-shirt or turn it from a retro rock shirt to a cute juxtaposition of rocker and regal. Plain suits or patterned dresses almost always benefit from a string of timeless pearls, as do asymmetrical and avant-garde cuts of fabric from blazers to tanks. Even a very inexpensive pair of long-stranded pearls can finish off a so-so outfit.