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16 vs 18 inch Necklace : Which Necklace Length Works Best For You?


16 inch necklaces are more popular and versatile than 14 or 18 inch lengths. It really isn’t an exaggeration to say that the 16 inch length looks good on everyone. 

However, 14 inch and 18 inch necklaces are also common necklace lengths and favored by many pearl lovers. All three lengths offer a different but attractive look and allow jewelry wearers to explore their personal jewelry style.

With many different lengths on offer, choosing the right necklace may seem overwhelming. But don’t worry. Our guide discusses different necklace lengths, making it easy for you to find the perfect necklace, one that is both a flattering length and a great addition to your jewelry collection.

Baroque Freshwater pearl choker necklace

 Baroque Freshwater Pearl Choker Necklace, Pearls of Joy

16 vs 18 inch Necklace

16 inch Pearl Necklaces

The 16 inch necklace is called a choker. Necklaces of this length sit close to or on the collarbone. This is a timeless necklace length that is a must for every jewelry collection. It is a great look for both casual everyday and formal evening wear and especially complements women with slender necks.

Very often, a white pearl choker strung with Freshwater or Akoya pearls is seen as a starter necklace. This is a popular 16th birthday or high school graduation gift for young girls. Because of its shorter length, the popular pearl sizes for a 16 inch necklace are 6.0mm to 7.5 mm.

Because of the smaller size of pearls, necklaces of this length can be worn as single or multiple strands. A great example of a multi strand choker is Princess Diana’s famous three row pearl necklace which is rightly regarded as one of her most iconic jewelry pieces.

Recently, women have started wearing larger size Tahitian and South Sea pearls in choker necklace lengths, giving a fresh and chic makeover to this classic. Large round or baroque South Sea or Tahitians worn in a 16 inch necklace are instant head turners, transforming a demure necklace length into something sexy and contemporary. This necklace length works perfectly with plunging necklines, scoop necks, V-necks, and strapless dresses.

18 inch Pearl Necklaces

The 18 inch necklace is called the princess length. It sits below the base of the neck. This is again one of the most common necklace lengths, which makes it both timeless and stylish. This necklace is great for graduated necklaces where the pearls go from larger to smaller.

The 18 inch length of princess necklaces makes them perfect for formal wear - it can just as easily be worn with a little black dress, a formal evening gown, or a sweater twin set. Pearl and chain style necklaces also look great in this length. Plus, it is the most flattering length and looks great on a petite woman as well as one with a tall frame. 

Angelina Jolie wearing princess length pearl necklaces

From left to right: 10-12 mm Tahitian Pearl Necklace, 9-11 mm Gem Quality Golden South Sea Pearl Necklace, Pearls of Joy. Angelina Jolie (Getty Images)

Princess Length and Modern Royalty

Just like a choker, a princess length necklace can be worn as either a single row necklace or a necklace with multiple rows. Style superstar Angelina Jolie loves wearing choker necklaces. Not only is the princess necklace a great length for her tall frame, it also looks effortlessly stylish. In a way, this necklace falls perfectly and looks great on all women. This necklace length looks great with turtlenecks, square necks as well as V-neck tops.

This pearl necklace length is also a favorite among men. This is a subtle length for men which allows them to experiment with their personal look without making a big, obvious, jewelry splash. Plus, it looks great in both Akoya and Tahitian pearls on men, exuding a modern, sophisticated and edgy vibe.

How Do 16 inch and 18 inch Necklace Lengths Compare

Both necklace lengths have a lot to offer their wearers. Both are versatile and timeless and make pearls the focal point of any look. Both can be worn as a single strand or multiple strand necklace.

However, even though the choker length has been there for a long time, it has a fresh and contemporary feel. Worn on the collarbone, it exudes a sense of confidence and modernity. The princess length has a more classic and elegant look. It sits below the collarbone and drapes lower than the choker. Also, it is a great length to accentuate a formal look for women but it looks great on men too.

Here is a pearl necklace size chart to give you an idea of how these two necklace lengths look when worn.

Pearl necklace size chart

14 vs 16 inch Necklace

14 inch Pearl Necklaces

The 14 inch necklace size is also called a collar. This is a short necklace length and it fits around the neck instead of resting on the collar bone.

It is usually worn as a multiple strand necklace with smaller Akoya or Freshwater pearls and is a striking piece of jewelry. However, some people prefer to wear it as a single strand with larger pearls. In either case, this is a pearl necklace that demands to be noticed and appreciated.

This necklace style was very popular in Victorian times when women wore clothes with high necklines and the collar would fit snugly on the neck above. 

The collar has recently made a happy comeback but this isn’t a temporary necklace fad. As a pearl necklace length it oozes glamor. The 14 inch necklace looks particularly good on women with long and slim necks because it draws attention to the beauty of their neck.

The 14 inch necklace length looks really good with a crew as well as a cowl neck (check necklace length chart above to see how these necklace lengths fall).

How Do 14 inch and 16 inch Necklace Lengths Compare

People looking to buy shorter pearl necklaces often find themselves unable to decide between a collar and a choker.

While a collar is shorter than a choker, the 14 inch necklace has more glamor wattage because of the way it fits on the neck. The collar is striking and is a great length for layering with other longer pearl necklaces or gold chains. However, neck size is important for collars. It looks awesome on women who have slender and long necks, accentuating its gentle curves.

The choker, by comparison, is a longer and popular necklace length that can carry any look, whether formal or casual, with style. This is a necklace length that is loved by women of all ages and can be worn with both smaller pearl sizes as well as larger ones.

For many women, the choker is their go-to necklace length, and it gives them a well deserved sense of confidence. 

Keira Knightley wearing a baroque pearl choker necklace and necklaces from Pearls of Joy

From top to bottom: 10 – 12 mm South Sea and Freshwater Pearl Necklace, Black Akoya Pearl Necklace, Pearls of Joy. Keira Knightley (Getty Images)

The Right Necklace Length and Face Shapes

Pearl necklace lengths can help accentuate the beauty of the person wearing them. So, choosing the right length for your face shape is very important.

  •  Round – Long necklaces, such as the 18 inch necklace help elongate the face.
  • Square – Should wear shorter necklaces, like a 16 inch choker, help soften the angles of the face
  • Heart – Slightly short necklaces like the 16 inch necklace or the 14 inch necklace, tend to highlight the higher cheekbones of this face shape.
  • Oval – Longer as well as shorter necklaces complement the oval or long shape face by accentuating its symmetry.
White freshwater pearl necklace by Pearls of Joy

    Different Necklace Lengths, Always Beautiful Pearls

    Each necklace length has a lot to offer to the wearer in terms of stylishness and confidence. Plus wearing pearl necklaces are a great way to explore and develop your own personal style.

    At Pearls of Joy, you will find a vast selection of pearl necklaces. These include multi colored Freshwater pearl necklaces , gorgeous Akoya pearl necklaces, mysterious and exotic Tahitian pearl necklaces and luminous South Sea pearl necklaces. Available in a range of necklace sizes, hand knotted with the finest silk thread and with a choice of attractive clasps, the pearl necklace collection at Pearls of Joy is second to none!

    So whether it’s a collar, choker or a princess necklace you are looking for, we will help you select theperfect pearl necklace length for you

    Featured Image : Multicolor Tahitian Pearl Princess Necklace, Pearls of Joy


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