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Necklace Length Chart

Necklace Length Guide:

How to choose the right necklace length!

layered necklaces

Buying new jewelry is always exciting! Adding items to your jewelry collection opens up new possibilities for outfits: those old blouses stuffed in the back of your closet look fresh again when paired with that brand-new, cute personalized necklace! However, when buying a necklace online, there are a few things to keep in mind so you find that perfect piece! For instance, you want to make sure you find the right chain length size, whether you are looking for yourself or for someone else. This comprehensive necklace chain length guide will help you choose the right necklace length to highlight your new gem, your darling outfit and your physical characteristics.


This necklace length guide will tell you:

  • What different necklace styles are best worn with
  • The average necklace length for women and for men
  • How to determine necklace chain length (for yourself & others!)
  • Things to consider when choosing different lengths of necklaces

Women’s Necklace Length Chart

necklace chain length

Generally, there are about 6 different types of necklaces that are based on a specific necklace length. While there may be some necklaces that don’t necessarily fall within the standard necklace lengths, most necklaces you buy will be within these common 6 styles. The most common different necklace lengths for women are the choker length/style and the princess length/style. The following necklace size chart will help you determine where necklaces fall on the body and what outfit they are best paired with.

Check out what each necklace style is best worn with:

Necklace Length Style Position On Body Best Worn With
13 - 15" Collar Tight around the neck V-neck, scoop neck, boat neck, off-the-shoulder
15 - 17" Choker At base of neck Almost everything
17 - 19" Princess (Most Common!) On collarbone Almost everything
20 - 24" Matinee Between collarbone and bust Business & casual wear
28 - 37" Opera From top of bust to a few inches below High necklines & evening wear
37 - 60" Rope From center of bust to stomach Elegant business & evening wear

Average necklace length for a woman

average necklace length for a woman

The most common necklace length for the average woman is the Princess Style necklace, resting on the collarbone at 17 - 19”. The second most common necklace length for women is the Choker Style necklace, resting at the base of the neck at 15 - 17”. These necklace styles are flattering to most women because they generally don’t get in the way of clothes or necklines and they look good with most body types and facial shapes.

Longer styles (Matinee, Opera, or Rope), or shorter styles (Collar), are also very popular styles of necklaces, but you might need to pay closer attention to your outfit when wearing these necklace styles. Also keep in mind your height, body type and facial shape to determine if these styles suit you.

 

Men’s Necklace Length Chart

In this men’s necklace lengths guide, you will discover where each length of necklace lands on the body and what it is best worn with.

Necklace Length Position On Body Best Worn With
17 - 19" At base of neck Crew-neck
19 - 21" On collarbone (Most Common!) If worn over clothes: almost everything. If worn under clothes: low V-neck or unbuttoned dress shirt
21 - 23" A few inches below collarbone Worn over or under almost everything
23 - 25" On chest Generally for religious or meaningful pendant, to be worn under clothes & close to heart. If worn over, tends to make a fashion statement (such as a dog tag necklace)

Average men’s necklace length

average men's necklace length

The most common necklace length for the average male is the 19 - 21” length, resting on the collarbone. For skinnier men with smaller frames, 18 - 20” suits their body shape better. For men of a larger build, the 22 - 24” length is most common. For the very tall men, 24” and above is best.

  • 18” Necklace. This shorter length is popular for beaded necklaces to be worn just above the collar of a crew neck shirt.

  • 20” Necklace. This is the best length for men’s necklace since it falls right at the collarbone. Meaningful pendants can be hidden just beneath the collar of a crew neck or can be displayed with a low V-neck or unbuttoned dress shirt.
  • 22” Necklace. This length of necklace can be worn over or under the clothes. This is a common length for men’s chain necklaces because the longer length offers more breathing room.
  • 24” Necklace. This extra long necklace style is most commonly used for religious or meaningful pendants.

Different Necklace Styles & Lengths

different necklace styles

In addition to the necklace lengths and styles previously mentioned, there are some other necklace styles that do not necessarily adhere to the 6 common necklace lengths. While the following necklaces tend to fall within a certain length of necklace, they are not identified by their length like the previously mentioned 6 common necklace styles are.

  • Bib - covers your breastbone like a bib! Main chain rests at choker length with its layers hanging off at longer lengths.
  • Festoon - has draped elements with its main chain resting at choker length.
  • Graduated - single strand necklace usually with beads that gradually get smaller as they reach the base of the neck. Usually princess length. (For example: pearl necklaces.)
  • Lariat - a variation of the rope length necklace. It does not have a clasp and you can often pull the chain through a rounded filter at the front.
  • Lavalier - a slender chain with a pendant in the front that generally has decorative stones on it. Usually princess length.
  • Locket - a pendant necklace that has a small compartment usually for holding pictures. Usually princess, matinee and opera length.
  • Pendant - a single silver or gold chain necklace that features a focal piece at the front. Usually princess, matinee and opera length.
  • Plastron - heavy and tend to cover the entire area in front of the bust. As it covers the entire bust area, it includes princess, matinee, opera, and rope length.
  • Riviere - one or two rose of precious gemstones that tend to get smaller as they go back. Often princess or choker length.
  • Sautoir - French term used to describe a long necklace with a large decorative pendant at the front. Usually opera length or longer.
  • Statement - bold, large pieces with pendants and ornate details. Commonly princess or choker length.
  • Torque - made of a solid metal and is open in the back and comes to a point in the front. Usually choker length.
  •  

    (For a more complete guide to different types of necklaces, necklace clasp types and necklace designs, this is a great post by Gracefully Made Jewelry!)

    How To Measure Necklace Length For Yourself

    how to measure necklace length for yourself

  • Compare the necklace you are purchasing to one you already own. If you have a necklace in similar style and length to the one you are considering purchasing, you can compare the two! Measure the one you own and wear it to see where it falls on your frame. Keep in mind the chain thickness of the one you already own and compare this to the one you want to purchase: note the similarities and dissimilarities to know if the chain thickness on the necklace you want to purchase is right for you. If you don’t already own a necklace of the same length and/or style that you want to purchase, you can use a string of a similar thickness.
  • Wrap a string around your neck. This is best done with the help of someone else. At the back/base of your neck, have your friend press the string to your skin. You can adjust the length in the front to suit the length you are looking for. Once you’ve adjusted it so the string falls the way you want it to in the front, have your friend mark the spot at the back of your neck where the necklace would clasp.
  • Measure the string by laying it flat. Lay the string/chain flat on an even surface and stretch it out. With a measuring tape, measure the string up to the point where your friend marked it. This will be the necklace length you want!
  • How To Choose A Necklace Length For Someone Else

    how to choose a necklace length for someone else

    When choosing a necklace for someone else, you want to make sure you get the necklace length and style that suits their likes, facial characteristics and wardrobe. It is important to consider what length of necklace flatters his or her body when choosing the right fit for someone else. It can be difficult to pick out the right necklace length for someone else, which is why we have a few tips for you:

    • Find one of their existing necklaces, measure the length and observe the style.
    • Consider their facial shape, body build, and overall wardrobe & style.
    • For women, the most common necklace length is the “princess length” at approximately 18”. For men, the most common necklace length is “on the collarbone” at approximately 20”. If you stick with these common necklace lengths, you can be sure that, at the very least, your necklace choice won’t be too long or too short.
    • If they have a larger build, a chain that fits too snugly against the neck can make their neck appear too bulky.
    • A chain that is too long can dwarf a small frame.

    Things To Consider

    Whether you’re looking for someone else or for yourself, sometimes you are making an educated guess as to which style and length is best. Thus, there are a few other things to consider before making that purchase.

    Consider an Extender

    necklace chain extender

    If you’ve found the necklace that you think fits the style of the individual, but you’re not sure what length is best, getting an extender for the necklace is probably best. This way, the individual can decide the length themselves! When you add a necklace chain extender to a necklace, make sure that it can be adjusted both longer and shorter! For example, if you want to get her an 18” necklace and also an extender (just in case!), get her a 17” necklace with a 2” extender. Don’t order an extender for an 18” necklace (unless you think she’d like that longer size).

    Consider Your Facial Shape & Body Build

    face types

    When finding the right necklace, you should find a necklace length that compliments the shape of your face. For instance, rounder faces should usually have a necklace length that is longer, while a longer face will want a shorter necklace to balance out. Petite women might want to avoid longer-style necklaces since these might make a small frame appear smaller. When in doubt, remember that you will almost never go wrong with the “princess length” for women and the “on the collarbone” length for men.

     

    Different necklace lengths for different facial shapes:

    Facial Shape Best Suits Avoid
    Round Princess, Matinee, Opera, Rope Collar, Choker
    Long Collar, Choker, Princess Matinee, Opera, Rope
    Heart Collar, Choker, Princess Matinee, Opera, Rope
    Oval Almost All Almost None
    • Neck Size. Before you purchase a necklace, take the time to measure your neck so that you can safely guess where different styles of necklaces will land on your body. This is especially important if you want to purchase a choker style necklace. The easiest way to measure your neck is to take a measuring tape and wrap it closely around your neck. Whatever your neck measurement is, take that length and add 2”. This is a comfortable length for chokers, which is generally around 16”. For medium length necklaces, add 4” to your original neck measurement. Choker length necklaces tend to work better for individuals with longer necks, while shorter-necked individuals should mostly avoid choker length necklaces.
    • Height. When choosing the perfect necklace to flatter your body type, your height is another important factor to consider! Women shorter than 5’4” look best wearing 16 - 20” length necklaces (Choker, Princess and Matinee). Too long of a necklace (20” and longer) tends to overwhelm and dwarf a smaller frame. Women between 5’4” and 5’7” can usually wear any style of necklace, when considering height alone. Women taller than 5’7” can also wear any style of necklace, though longer necklaces (20” and longer) look great on a taller frame, since the long chain accentuates the tall body.
    • Body Type. As a general rule, people tend to observe the area in which the necklace ends. For instance, if the necklace rest right on top of a woman’s bust, observers’ eyes tend to gravitate towards that region. So, if you are looking to avoid getting too much attention on any particular region of your body where a necklace would land, then avoid those necklace lengths. For women with a smaller bust, longer chain necklaces and layered styles (including multiple necklaces of varying lengths) tend to look the best! For women with a larger bust, necklaces that are 18 - 22” look best; avoid longer necklaces that hang below the breast line since they do not hang properly on this body type.

    Consider Your Wardrobe

    consider your wardrobe

    It is important to keep in mind your wardrobe and overall style when buying necklaces. Certain styles of necklaces pair better with certain styles of clothing, so, in addition to pairing your new necklace with your facial shape, pair it with the clothes in your closet!

     

    Necklace chain length chart for your different outfits:

    Outfit Suits Avoid
    Turtlenecks Opera Collar, Choker, Princess
    Scoop Necks Princess, Matinee Opera, Rope
    Round Necks Opera, Rope, or Collar Statement Necklace Princess or Matinee, since they might fall too close to the neckline of the shirt
    V-Necks Princess, Matinee Collar, Choker
    Boat Necks Collar, Opera Almost None
    Button-up Shirts Princess, Matinee Opera or Rope, since they class with vertical buttons
    Strapless Almost Any Style Almost None

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