When it comes to choosing the perfect pearl necklace length, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the sheer number of options. To help you we’ve put together a complete necklace lengths guide, covering the most common lengths and key things to take into account before making your selection. We’ve also highlighted some popular pearl necklace designs for inspiration.
Five pearl necklace lengths
Ranging from 14-17 inches in length, pearl choker necklaces are either worn tightly, mid-way up the neck or slightly lower down the neck’s base. Shorter versions are sometimes known as ‘collars’. Highly elegant and reminiscent of ‘Parisian chic’, they tend to suit people with slim, long necks, as they draw attention to that area of your body. They can unfortunately, make thicker necks and round face shapes look wider than they really are.
Choker necklaces that lay at the base of the neck are more versatile and can help to soften angular features on diamond, heart shaped and oblong faces. If you have a long, slim neck, we recommend this necklace. A pearl necklace length that is ideal for clothing with scoop, cowl, V-neck and off-the-shoulder style outfits.
Browse contemporary Parisian leather chokers for everyday wear, multistrand pearl designs in various shades and ornate pearl chokers for special events. Whichever style you choose, opt for a simple set of pearl earrings to avoid a busy look.
Measuring 17-20 inches, princess necklaces are by far the most popular necklace length when it comes to pearls. Resting against the collarbone or just below it, they flatter most figures and face shapes, and are very versatile in terms of styling. Wear them with anything from high boatnecks to low-cut sweetheart styles for a chic finish.
A range of different necklace lengths and designs fall under this category, all of which are perfect for the daytime. This includes delicate pearl drop pendants, modern Biwa chain designs and classic, creamy freshwater pearl necklaces that will effortlessly take you from day to night depending on how you style them.
Princess necklaces are ideal for petite women, as they offer a balanced look that won’t overwhelm a smaller frame. Mature women look great in chunky necklaces and those with multiple pearl strands to cover any visible wrinkles and dowager necks.
The medium size in this necklace lengths guide - the matinee - is typically 20-24 inches long. As such, it rests between the collarbone and the bust. This placement is particularly flattering for larger frames and round faces as the longer length draws the eye down to elongate your face and neck. This is especially true of eye-catching pendants that create a slimming V-shaped focal point in the centre of the chest.
Matinee necklaces are also a great alternative to princess necklaces for taller frames, as shorter designs may not sit in the correct position. Likewise, for petite ladies seeking a long pearl necklace that won’t overwhelm their frame, this medium pearl necklace length is ideal. Pear shaped frames can also benefit from matinee necklace lengths, as they help to create the illusion of broader shoulders without shortening the torso.
From vibrant tassel pendants to quirky Biwa lasso designs, we have a myriad of matinee length designs to suit your style. Remember to factor in the length of any pendant or tassel, to the overall look of the necklace, rather than purely the length of the pearl necklace, when choosing the one for you.
Opera necklaces offer a longer necklace length of between 28-36 inches. Depending on your height, that means they will rest on or just below your bust. With that in mind, opera length necklaces are most flattering on tall frames, while shorter women and those with fuller chests are generally best suited to princess or matinees styles.
At Coleman Douglas Pearls, we stock several opera designs, including a striking three-tier copper pearl necklace,that will complement high necklines such as turtlenecks, boatnecks and collars. Some of our rope styles can also be wrapped several times to create a similar effect, and bespoke designs are available too.
Of all the different necklace lengths, rope pearl necklaces are definitely the most glamorous. Featuring a cascade of lustrous pearls measuring between 37-60 inches long, they are around waist-length and are typically reserved for special occasions. But interestingly, their vast length means rope designs can be styled in many ways.
They are incredibly flattering on taller women and shorter women, as they draw the eye down, creating an illusion of height and elegance.
Our long single strand pearl necklaces can be double wrapped around your neck to create a multistrand look, triple wrapped to create a choker design or folded in half and threaded through to create a lariat pearl necklace. They can even be knotted partway up for a vintage-inspired finish or reversed to complement a backless dress. Either way, rope pearl necklaces offer endless possibilities for a whole host of looks.
Explore different necklace lengths at Coleman Douglas Pearls
Still unsure which necklace length best suits you? Browse our extensive collection of pearl necklaces online to find your favourite or book a one-to-one session at our London studio. Here, our jewellery designers will offer advice based on your height, build and face shape to help you pick the perfect necklace length and make sure you get as much wear out of the design as possible. Or have an online consultation from the comfort of your own home if that’s easier for you.
Whether you’re looking for a staple princess length freshwater pearl necklace or an elegant rope lariat for a black tie dinner, we have a wide array of pearl necklace lengths to explore at Coleman Douglas Pearls.