When it comes to pearls, have you ever heard of the collar, choker, princess, matinee or opera? These are various terms to describe the length of pearl necklaces. They are a fun way to incorporate pearl styles with a little but of history.
Starting back in the Victorian era, the collar was very popular. Just like it sounds, the collar is a multiple strand necklace which sits in the middle of the neck. Depending upon the woman’ neck size, this necklace will be around 12 – 13 inches long. It is easy to picture women in portraits with their boatneck or off the shoulder necklines paired with a pearl collar.
A more modern look is the choker, a 14 – 16 inch necklace which sits above the collarbone. It is a versatile piece which, in today’s times, is a favorite of more petit women.
A classic is always a classic and the Princess length, 17-19 inch necklaces, are the go-to length for most women. The Pearl Girls Classic Necklace, at 18 inches, is a princess length. It looks just a good with high or low necklines or a simple crewneck. It is The Pearl Girls most popular length.
Some women just need a little more length which is why the Matinee length is growing in popularity. Historically it has been the choice for semi-formal attire but these days women love pairing this length with business suits. At 20-24 inches, it falls at the top of the bustline.
The opera length necklace, at 24 – 54 inches used to be the essential length for formal attire but, given its versatility, women will wear this necklace in a variety of settings. It is meant to fall just above the midsection but it can be either doubled or tripled for a look similar to a choker or collar. The flappers of the 1920s loved to knot these necklaces or just wear them long. It is also a great choice for women who prefer a double strand look. The doubled version looks great with crew or high necks. We prefer to create our opera length as a more dramatic 54 inch necklace although we can customize any length to suit specific taste or preferences.
I am a modern day treasure hunter who travels the world for gorgeous pearls and amazing adventures. I own a pearl jewelry and jewelry repair business, ThePearlGirls.com, with a cute retail store in Athens, GA. I also have a Pearl Travel business and travel blog at TheWorldofPearl.com.