Former First Lady Michelle Obama is adept at sending subliminal messages through her outfits. While in the White House, she was known for wearing garments by nascent American designers — Jason Wu, Zac Posen, and Thakoon, to name just a few — and helped to propel these talents into the spotlight. And, of course, there was her eggplant Sergio Hudson look from Inauguration Day that launched a thousand think pieces about the powerful meaning behind her color choice, which was purple. Her thoughtful sartorial approach extends to her jewelry, too. Case in point: Obama’s multiple BYCHARI necklaces — all of which deliver statements that extend beyond their trendy and minimalist designs.
On Sept. 28, she and her husband, Barack Obama, broke ground on what’s to become the Obama President Center in Chicago. The center, which is being built in the South Side of Chicago, not far from where the Obamas first met and later lived with their family — will be a presidential library that doubly serves as a community hub.
The former First Lady wore an olive green two-piece silk set consisting of a robe-like, front-tie blouse with coordinating trousers. Around her neck hung not one, but three of BYCHARI’s Kelia Necklace, a paperclip chain necklace adorned with several pearl drop beads. Obama opted to wear all three versions of the necklace’s lengths (13-inches, 15-inches, and 17-inches) at the same time to create an artfully staggered and layered effect.
Pearls, and pearl necklaces, in particular, have had a significant impact on America’s fashion and political history. The milky gem has become a symbol of dynamic feminity, primarily due to the innumerable powerful women who wear the piece — ranging from Angelina Jolie to Vice President Kamala Harris to current First Lady Jill Biden. Thus, Obama’s choice to don a trio of pearl necklaces was not merely a styling afterthought, but perhaps a way to exude the elegance and timelessness of the gem at an important public event. The accessories signaled Obama’s own fashion prowess and status as a cultural icon, too.
Obama’s golden chain pearl necklaces aren’t her only BYCHARI pieces. She also owns a gold “VOTE” necklace that was custom-made by the founder of the brand, Jamaican jewelry designer Chari Cuthbert. Obama wore the action-encouraging necklace during last year’s Democratic National Convention, and the piece quickly went viral after she made her appearance on the livestream.
If you’d like to build your own jewelry collection from the brand, you’ll find both of Obama’s BYCHARI necklaces below. In addition, you’ll see similar golden chain pearl necklaces are included, too, like Arms Of Eve’s La Perla Necklace, which comes pre-stacked with a double-strand design.
We only include products that have been independently selected by TZR’s editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.