it has been specially cultivated to take on another shape. Detectable blemishes should be minimal–the more markings, the lower the appraised value. With proper care, cultured pearls will last for years.
A beautiful example of a fine pearl necklace comes from Tiffany & Co. A 16-inch, 5-mm single strand with a Tiffany signature is $1,400, and may cost up to $34,000. For more info, call 800-526-0649.
Product: Marvella faux pearl necklace
Features: Also known as mallorca pearls, these are man-made copies of the real thing.
The hard form that makes up the body of a fake pearl is often a glass or plastic bead. Some are covered with a pearl powder and silicone mixture, while others have a plastic, “pearlized” coating. For a set of highquality faux pearls, try those from Marvella. Single strands go no
higher than $36, but double- and triple-strand necklaces are slightly more expensive. The Marvella pearl is available in fine department stores such as Lord & Taylor. For information, call 800-223-7440.
SHIRT & TIE
Advice for consumers: A high-quality shirt and necktie should be the trademark of eve
ry executive. Aside from the suit, the cut-and-fit of a dress shirt are often tell-tale signs of the level occupied on the “ladder,” and the tie brings the two elements together.
“Construction is the essential element of a fine shirt,” says Peter
Salas, a menswear sales associate at New York’s Saks Fifth Avenue. A dress shirt should be of a high-grade cotton, such as Egyptian, with extra attention paid to details such as stitching and buttons.
When it comes to selecting a necktie, silk should be the fabric of choice. “Although personal taste is a major consideration when choosing colors and styles of a tie, the organization’s dress code should be the guiding factor,” says Salas.
Product: Hermes of Paris
Price: Shirts, $300 to $425; Ties, $120
Features: Hermes is one of the world’s preeminent fashion design houses, sharing exclusive status symbol ranking with the likes of Chanel, Versace and Karl Lagerfield. The name signifies high quality and a price tag to match.
For that special executive on your list, consider a 100% fine cotton, oxford shirt, shown here in blue and white plaid. Top it off with a gold silk tie embellished with patterned blue-and-white designs, featured here, and you have a match made for corporate heaven. Call 800-441-4488.
Product: Paul Fredrick
Price: Shirts, $32.50-$59.50; Ties $32.50 and up
Features: This exclusively menswear company maintains a conventional approach to office attire. Featured here is a contrasting white traditional straight-collar, blue cotton shirt with French cuffs, paired with a classic navy and gold regimental stripe necktie in woven Italian Silk.
Imperial cotton dress shirts are $45.50 and up, with an additional cost for monogramming. Ties start at $32.50. Call 800-247-1417, or shop
online at www.menstyle.com.
THE PERFECT ACCESORY
Advice for consumers:
With a twist here and a wrap there, scarves can make an old outfit look brand new. Name brands are not important, but quality is. Inspect a scarf thoroughly. “It should be free of snags and pulls,” says Shari Mahr, a scarf specialist of Macy’s in