STEP 4: Choose the appropriate necklace lengths
Traditionally, different pearl necklace lengths and sizes have been ascribed to particular age groups and attires. But the versatility of a pearl strand should not be limited by such rules, and should ultimately reflect the wearer’s personal taste. Below you will find popular lengths and sizes of pearl strands, along with some of their more traditional guidelines for how to wear pearls.
The Pearl Collar ~ 12 to 13 inches
Pearl collars are usually made up of three or more pearl strands and lie snugly on the middle of the neck. Very Victorian and luxurious, pearl collars go best with elegant V-neck, boat neck or off the shoulder fashions.
The Pearl Choker ~ 14 to 16 inches
A pearl choker is 14 – 16 inches long. This classic and versatile piece is appropriate with everything from casual to formal eveningwear, and complements almost any neckline. The perfect length to add subtle elegance to your workday paired with a button-down shirt, yet just as stylish with a cocktail dress.
The Princess Necklace ~ 17 to 19 inches
The princess necklace is 17 – 19 inches in length. The most common length for pearl necklaces, it is well suited for wear with crew and high necklines. It also complements low, plunging necklines. Because 18 inches is considered the classic length for pearl necklaces. This is an excellent choice if you are not certain which strand length is most appropriate.
The Matinee Necklace ~ 20 to 24 inches
Longer than the pearl princess necklace, and just a bit shorter than an opera length pearl necklace, the matinee pearl necklace is the right choice for casual or business dress.
The Opera Necklace ~ 26 to 36 inches
The opera length necklace is 26 – 36 inches long and offers many attractive options. It can be worn as a single strand with high necklaces or doubled to create a fashionable two-strand choker. It can be knotted at the neckline or above the bust to create a stylish vintage look that is gaining popularity as a contemporary fashion trend. Traditionally, opera length necklaces are worn with eveningwear, although using them to accessorize more casual attire has become a fresh, cutting-edge fashion statement.
The Pearl Rope ~ 37 inches or longer
A pearl rope is 37 inches or longer. This luxurious length can be both elegant and sexy. It can be made with several clasps, enabling it to be broken down into different necklace and bracelet combinations, or doubled and even tripled to create a stunning multi-strand pearl choker. This versatile length may also be tied in a knot for a charming modern look reminiscent of the height of 1920s flapper fashion. A very popular way to wear pearls, ropes may also be knotted and slung over the shoulder to accentuate the beauty of a backless dress.