Once upon a time, tortoiseshell patterns were the absolute height of fashion. It’s been a while since that look was all the rage — until now. Tortoiseshell patterns are back, and they have moved into even more accessories than ever. Start adding tortoiseshell pattern accessories to your jewelry box, and become the height of fashion this year.
Who’s Wearing Tortoiseshell?
The first time tortoiseshell was trendy, ancient Rome was the center of the known world. It was so popular in ancient Roman times that it was used for furniture and decoration of all types. While the trade of real tortoiseshell has been banned since the 1970’s to protect tortoises and turtles, the versatile pattern is still used today for all kinds of elegant looks. Tortoiseshell patterns look great in hair clips, phone cases, sunglasses, earrings, bracelets — the list goes on.
Know the Difference
Tortoiseshell pattern accessories are made in such a way that they resemble an actual tortoise’s shell by using plastics. Once you know how to recognize it, you’ll be able to spot it anywhere.
Modern tortoiseshell items are no longer made from actual shells, however, be on the lookout to only purchase faux tortoiseshell items to ensure you don’t contribute to the illegal trade. Hawksbill sea turtles, the creature primarily hunted for the tortoiseshell trade, has become critically endangered due to the demand for tortoiseshell accessories. This is why it is important to know the difference between faux tortoiseshell items and (illegally traded) items from actual animals. Faux tortoiseshell items will often be very smooth from the molding production process while actual tortoiseshell items may be naturally uneven. Faux tortoiseshell items will often feature very uniform patterns while actual tortoiseshell features more irregular patterns and asymmetric shapes.
(Photo via www.tooraretowear.org)
Because tortoiseshell is such a simple, elegant look with neutral colors, it’s easy to wear this trendy look with anything. Tortoiseshell can be casual or formal depending on your outfit. Carry a tortoiseshell clutch with a black evening dress, or slip a tortoiseshell hair piece into your hair to accent a formal updo.
Add some tortoise print hoop earrings to any casual outfit, or add a belt in this pattern to give your jeans a pop of high style. This pattern is so popular and so red-hot in the fashion world, it’s cropping up in everything from clothing to smartphone cases. If it’s not already popping up in your wardrobe, it should be! With so many options to choose from, you can find ways to wear tortoiseshell anywhere and with any outfit.
The great things about the tortoise pattern is that it will come back in style again and again.