Stranded: Navigating Pearl Necklace Lengths

Spey Pearl Necklace Lengths Sketch
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Selecting the perfect pearl necklace length may be a bit daunting; strands of pearls come in any number of measurements. Finding one that not only meets your style, but also complements your neckline might leave you guessing. Fortunately there are pearl standards that, with a few simple considerations, will help you choose the best length for your lifestyle.

Many women start their collection with shorter strands of smaller pearls. These pearl necklaces pair well with both casual and formal looks – seamlessly transitioning from office to evening. The more pearls that are added to a strand, the longer and more dynamic it becomes. Longer pearl necklace lengths can be doubled or tripled to form layers, or knotted to draw the eye down the silhouette.

While only you can decide what is best for your personality, you might consider different pearl necklace lengths for different occasions. The most common pearl strands are between 16 and 20 inches. With that in mind, here is a brief guide to understanding pearl necklace lengths and choosing the most suitable strand for you.

The Pendant

Sliding a pearl pendant onto a simple chain is an excellent way to add a dash of luster to a look. Pearl pendants come in a variety of designs, from a demure solitary pearl to a radiant bloom of gold and diamonds. Pendants pair well with casual, everyday outfits.

The Bib

A bib necklace consists of several strands of varying lengths that lay flat against the chest. Button-up blouses are an excellent excuse to sport this look, creating an armor of luster that dresses up the outfit. With gowns, the bib necklace can look very formal and stately.

The Collar | 12-13 in

Pearl collars are composed of multiple strands of equal length worn high and wrapped closely around the neck. A favorite of Queens Mary and Alexandra, this sophisticated style was reinvented by Princess Diana and lends a regal flair to a strapless ensemble.

The Choker | 14-16 in

A pearl choker sits lower and more loosely than a collar, typically nestling at the hollow of the neck. This length of pearl necklace works well when layered over a turtleneck, or mixed with longer necklaces to bring interest to jeans and a T-shirt.

The Princess | 17-19 in

The princess is the classic and most popular pearl necklace length. Resting below the neck and on the collarbone, the princess is a versatile necklace. This length is well-suited for a variety of collars, from crew and high necklines, to V-necks and scoops.

The Matinee | 20-24 in

A matinee strand is an excellent addition to semi-formal outfits. The extra length adds a playfulness and femininity to business dresses and pant suits. The pearls rest at the top of the bust and can be paired with shorter strands for a multi-layered look.

The Opera | 28-36 in

Falling below the bust line, the opera necklace stands up to the most formal occasions. This strand can be doubled or knotted for a variety of looks, or draped to elongate the frame. The opera necklace looks best when it stands alone; avoid additional accessories.

The Rope | +45 in

The longest pearl necklace length, the rope can be wrapped and styled in any number of ways. Rope pearls create a dramatic necklace for draping in layers over the back. These necklaces often have hidden clasps which allow them to be divided and shortened.

If the strand is intended for a young girl, the most appropriate length is 14-16 inches. If you are still not sure what pearl necklace length is best for you or a special outfit, simply drape a string until it hits just the right spot. Then, lay the string flat and measure from end to end. With that knowledge in hand, get in touch to create a custom necklace that suits you perfectly.