Throughout history, pearl fashion styles have changed — some generations wore them long and draped, others opted for the multi-strand collar look. Over five hundred years ago, fashion leaders wore ropes of long pearls with shorter strands in-between.
In the spirit of today in this New Great Age of Pearls, you need strands of different lengths to properly achieve the looks of now.
Here are some of our favorite lengths and types of necklaces to wear together or solo:
12-13 inches; usually three or more — graduated or uniform — strands of pearls with a single clasp that lies snugly on the middle of the neck. Pearl collars complement boat neck, v-neck and off-the-shoulder fashions.
14-16 inches; a single strand worn 'tight' around the neck. This classic and versatile piece is appropriate with everything, from street-wear to formal evening wear — and compliments almost any neckline. Chokers are a perfect way to add subtle elegance to any outfit. Pair a choker with a button-down shirt for effortless work attire or better yet, add the finishing touch to a cocktail dress and its just as stylish.
17-19 inches; a single strand worn long enough to show a bit of throat. Considered the classic length for pearl necklaces, this is an excellent choice if you are not certain which pearl strand length is most appropriate for you. It is well suited for crew and high necklines but also complements low, plunging necklines.
20-24 inches; a longer, single strand for lower necklines.
28-34 inches; can be worn as a single strand or doubled as a choker. It can be knotted at the neckline or above the bust to create a stylish vintage look that is popular as a contemporary fashion trend. Traditionally, opera length pearl necklaces are worn with evening wear; though, incorporating them with more casual attire has become a fresh, cutting-edge fashion statement.
40 inches or more; knot it or loop it, a single rope can become a double or triple strand. 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 tripled to create a stunning multi-strand choker. This versatile length may also be tied in a knot for a charming 1920s flapper look. Ropes may also be knotted and slung over the shoulder to accentuate the beauty of a backless dress.
Three or more strands, with a single clasp, that fit together like a bib.
Two or more strands that clasp together to form a single unit. The individual strands can be worn separately, attached or in bracelet/necklace combinations.
A strand of pearls that gradually increases in size from smallest — near the clasp — to largest, in the center.
A strand of pearls in which all pearls are nearly equal, or uniform, in size.