Times sure have changed since the way in which pearls were once worn and by whom, but for all that passing of time, the affinity for these beauties haven’t faded. Today, there are new cultured pearls to wear and new ways in which to wear them: twisted, layered, wrapped or knotted. In fact, when it comes to cultured pearls, there’s only one fashion rule now—wear them anytime, anywhere and with nearly everything. Mix colors, lengths, shapes and sizes, even origin too, from South Sea and Akoya to Freshwater and Tahitian. Wear a single strand or two, or three. Why not ten to mix and match?
The Long and Short of It
Throughout history pearls have had their ups and downs—some generations wore them longer, while others opted for a collar. Over five hundred years ago, during the Great Age of Pearls, fashion leaders wore ropes of pearls with shorter strands in-between. Today, that same spirit is shared in the fashion world, as our New Great Age of Cultured Pearls calls for strands of differing lengths (or a versatile rope of cultured pearls) to achieve the look that reflects the present.
Some favored lengths and styles to wear together or solo:
12-13 inches – Usually three or more strands of pearls with a single clasp.
14-16 inches – A single strand worn "tight" around the neck.
17-19 inches – A single strand worn long enough to show a bit of throat.
20-24 inches – A longer single strand for lower necklines.
28-34 inches – Worn as a single strand or doubled as a choker.
Rope (Sautoir or Lariat):
over 40 inches – Knot or loop it. A single rope can become a double or triple strand.
A necklace with three or more strands 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.
The size of the pearls gradually increases, with the smaller ones near the clasp and the largest in the center.
All the pearls are nearly equal in size, with a variation tolerance of .5mm (1/50 of an inch) or less.
Pearls are the essential adornment today, whether worn with jeans and a T-shirt or dressed for a gala. Suited, booted, and anywhere you're going, they’ll get you there in style. One strand does it all, while 100 inches of pearl power gives you fashion by the yard. Whether looped, knotted, or layered, there are over a dozen looks with a single rope of glorious lotus pearls.
Images and information by Mastoloni Pearls.