5 style lessons to learn from 'Queen Sono' star Pearl Thusi

In celebration of the actress's many ground-breaking achievements this month, we're giving her a sartorial salute

28 February 2020 - 00:00 By Ricci-Lee Kalish
Actress Pearl Thusi at the launch of the Mac x Pearl collab on February 20 2020.
Actress Pearl Thusi at the launch of the Mac x Pearl collab on February 20 2020.
Image: Masi Losi/Sunday Times

It's been a BIG month for Pearl Thusi. This February saw the actress become the first local celeb to collaborate with cosmetics giant MAC on a make-up collection. Queen Sono, the series she headlines, will also become the first script-to-screen original African production to debut globally on Netflix.

In celebration of these achievements, we decided to give Thusi a sartorial salute by showcasing her fashion prowess. Whether on the red carpet or the beach, she's often an inspiration.

Here are five style lessons to learn from her:


No matter the event — or lack thereof — Thusi seems to have an undeniable attraction to the colour red. While no hue oozes confidence quite like it, it can be a tricky colour to wear: pick the wrong shade and you can end up looking sallow and sickly.

Blue-based or true reds like those Thusi tends to wear are the most flattering choice for those with dark skin tones. If your skin has a yellow undertone, go for a red with an orange or cherry undertone to brighten up your complexion.

If you have fair skin with a pink or blue undertone try reds that have a pink base. If your skin has olive to caramel undertones, opt for brick red shades.


We love how Thusi celebrates her African culture through fashion, and she seems to do it with class and ease. Whether it's a form-fitting dress in a vibrant print, a head wrap or beaded jewellery, she always knocks it out the park.


Never one to shy away from bold prints and colours, Thusi's beach days are a riot of glorious costumes with unique silhouettes. Let her inspire you to think beyond the traditional underwire two-piece when buying your next bikini.

Speaking of which, swimwear is the one thing you should always try on before purchasing, so you'll likely have more success finding the right suit if you head to the change rooms rather than click 'add to cart'.


Few things are as classic or as versatile as denim jeans. Thusi shows that they can be uber chic too. She's a sucker for skinny jeans, but she's also been spotted trying the 'Canadian tuxedo' look (wearing denim top and bottom).

When buying a pair of jeans, keep in mind that it's not just the cut, but the wash that'll determine whether they're flattering or not. If you're on the curvy side, opt for darker indigo tones. If you have an athletic build, try light or acid-washed jeans.


Thusi often keeps her silhouettes clean and colours loud on the red carpet. She also wisely allows her gowns to do all the talking by keeping her styling minimal.

Follow her lead by remembering the wise words of design icon Coco Chanel: “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off.”