Have you ever wondered how to choose the right necklace lengths that suit you? We know it can be challenging to figure out and get it right. Selecting the right necklace sizes is an important consideration when purchasing jewelry, as it makes a big difference on your entire look.
Necklaces may be one of the oldest types of ornaments worn by humans. It is a decorative item suspended on the neck to add color to your outfit.
They are not only a mere piece of jewelry but also a non-verbal form of communication. Depending on the materials used, a necklace can communicate a person’s character, wealth, power, and association.
Necklaces are available in a variety of measures, but not every length looks the same on you. It is believed that a necklace can either make or break your costume. Several key factors contribute to the overall look of a necklace on you, including your height, shape of your face, body type and the size of your neck.
This necklace length guide discuss all that you need to know about making such a decision.
Standard necklace lengths for women
When choosing the right necklace chain length, a first step is to know the different lengths and how they will look on you. The jewelry industry has standard necklace sizes for women that are measured in inches, often in even numbers. The chain size chart too demonstrates each chain length, their names and postions.
For women, 14 inch necklaces are placed tightly around the neck.
Such chains are worn best with open-neck clothing such as V-necks, scoop necks, or off-the-shoulder and boat necks. They are known as collars and work well with evening looks.
16 inch chokers are placed against the base of the throat.
Second on a necklace length chart is the choker, which is the most popular size of 16 inches. These chains are placed right against the base of the throat. Chokers go well with almost everything except turtlenecks. It is also popular for weddings and bridal parties.
18 inches is the most common size.
18 inch necklaces are the most common on a necklace size chart, also known as a princess. They are placed on the collarbone and can be worn on almost every occasion. Such chains also look great if you want to add a pendant.
20 and 24 inches are placed between the collarbone and the bust.
Necklaces between 20 and 24 inches are placed between the collarbone and the bust. They are great for both business and casual wear and are also known as Matinee. These chains are considered sliming because they form a vertical line for the eye.
26 and 28 inches are placed on the bust or an inch below.
Necklaces between 28 and 26 inches are placed on the bust or an inch below. They are known as opera and go well with high necklines and evening looks. These necklace lengths are the sweet spot for both day and night looks.
36 and 42 inches sit on or below the center of the bust
Lastly, there are necklaces between 36 and 42 inches. They are wrapped to sit on or below the center of the bust, also known as rope and go well with elegant business and evening looks.
1. How to choose the right necklace lengths based on face shapes
If you are a jewelry enthusiast, you should know the different necklace lengths and the face shapes they blend with perfectly. Suitable necklace chain length helps frame your face and accentuate features by changing how people perceive your face. This is why you should know your face shape before purchasing a necklace length.
|Face shape||Necklace lengths|
|Round or oval||20 to 26 inches with pendants to present a V-shape|
|Heart-shaped||14 to 18 inches to soften angles|
|Rectangle or oblong|
Short or layered necklaces with round pendants to present a soft curve
Round or oval: 20 to 26 inches with pendants to present a V-shape
If you have a round or oval face shape, then a necklace between 20 and 25 inches is perfect for elongating your face. Chokers do not fit women with round faces as they can instead highlight the roundness.
You can also choose necklaces with pendants, because this kind of necklaces presents a V-shape on the chest so that your face can be elongated visually. You’d better not consider necklaces close to the neck, thick and round, or really complicated.
Heart-shaped: 14 to 18 inches to soften angles
A heart-shaped face is characterized by a broad forehead and a narrow chin. For this type of face, wearing long necklaces that create a ‘v’ would only emphasize your long chin.
Therefore, it would be advisable to wear short necklaces between 16 and 18 inches with round curves to balance your forehead’s length and to soften face angles. For example, a choker helps to create an illusion of fullness.
Rectangle or oblong: short or layered necklaces with round pendants to present a soft curve
A rectangle face is distinguished with a strong jawline and angular cheekbones. They may have a flattened or sharp chin, but the face shape will still be identifiable. Women with a rectangle or oblong face need a shorter necklace like a choker with a soft curve or round pendants, as they will help soften the face’s sharp angles.
You’d better avoid wearing V-shaped long chains, which are not suitable for you.
In addition, if you want to add a pendant, curvy or circular one would be the way to go. It is best not to choose pendants with geometric shapes like squares, triangles, and diamonds.
2. How to choose necklace lengths based on height
Shorter individuals of 5’4” or below need medium necklaces.
Your height is also an essential factor when selecting the right necklace chain length. Short individuals of 5’4” or below need medium necklaces to help elongate the frame. For example, 16 to 18-inch chains will fit perfectly short people.
Taller ones can wear necklaces of any length, but longer ones work better.
Women with a taller body frame have the advantage of looking good in any necklace length. However, longer necklaces will specifically look good on them. In the case of buying a shorter necklace, taller women should put into consideration their face shape.
Those between 5’4” and 5’7” can purchase a necklace of any length.
Those with a regular height between 5’4” and 5’7” can purchase a necklace of any length as long as their face shape matches.
3. How to choose necklace lengths based on neck sizes
Thinner necks go with shorter necklaces, while thinker longer.
The necklace sizes are also a factor when selecting necklace lengths. If you have a thinner neck, it will be ideal to buy a choker as it perfectly fits your neck. Those with thicker necks should consider longer necklaces instead since a choker will look stretched.
Apart from sizes, there are other elements to consider when it comes to necks.
For example, women with wrinkled necks should go for longer accessories to avoid drawing attention to the wrinkles. If you have a full bust and wear a long necklace, the bottom of the chain will likely sway back and forth in an exaggerated manner. This can be a distraction.
It is recommended to take time and measure your neck size before choosing a necklace, particularly a choker. For example, you can determine the size by wrapping a measuring tape around your neck and adding two inches to your size for a comfortable choker length.
4. How to choose necklace lengths based on body types
When buying a necklace, always remember that the public will always look at where the necklace ends. Therefore, to avoid misunderstanding, choose a necklace with an appropriate length that is comfortable for you. In women, the size of the bust or the outfit will determine how a necklace will sit against your body.
Women with smaller busts opt for longer and layered necklaces while those with bigger busts opt for shorter necklaces usually above 20″. To be deatiled, if you are a full-figured woman, avoid necklaces that sit below the breast line. Instead, choose one that sits slightly higher on the body, such as a 22-inch necklace.
With that in mind, there are different body types, and each has a suitable necklace size.
|Body shape||Necklace lengths|
|Pear-shaped||18″ to 24″ necklaces|
|Inverted triangle||Longer necklaces|
|Hourglass shape||Longer chains to highlight the curves|
|Athletic body||Any size but longer chains appear ideal|
Pear-shaped: 18″ to 24″ necklaces
People with pear-shaped bodies are smaller both on their upper and lower bodies. Necklaces between 18″ to 24″ will help broaden your shoulder and rest above your bust, hence bringing attention to your upper body. For example, the matinee sits above the bust and thus draws attention to the upper body.
Inverted triangle: Longer necklaces
As the name depicts, people with an inverted triangle body type have broader shoulders and smaller lower body. Longer necklaces will look perfect on you as it will bring people’s focus to your lower body below the waist.
Hourglass shape: Longer chains to highlight the curves
if your bust and hips are nearly equal in size and have a smaller waist, try wearing a necklace that will sit on your collar bone to help emphasize your curves.
Athletic body: Any size but longer chains appear ideal
An athletic body is muscular but not predominantly curvy. The advantage of such a body type is you can wear any necklace and still look amazing. However, longer chains appear ideal as they can help further elongate your body.
5. How to choose necklace lengths based on necklines
Necklines are also particularly crucial when choosing a suitable necklace to wear. In fact, a perfect necklace length relates to the neckline of your outfit. This means you should decide neckline shapes before choosing a necklace to wear.
There are a wide variety of necklines such as turtleneck, crew, scoop, strapless, square, off the shoulder, to mention but just a few.
To be short, turtlenecks, boat necks and crew necks should be paired with longer chains to contrast the length since they sit upon the shoulder; while you are wearing scoop necks, V-necks and sweetheart necklines, consider shorter necklaces.
Collared button-down shirts go with any necklace length, but a shorter one is better. For example, if you are wearing a strapless shirt, then a choker necklace appears perfect.
|V– Neck||shorter necklaces with an angular pendant|
choose different lengths to shift the attention as you want
|Halter necklines||a short necklace with an angular pendant or a choker|
|Square necklines||chain length depending on where the neckline ends|
Opera chains are the best but a medium or long necklace will do the work too
|Scoop necklines||a necklace with a big pendant or big beads|
|Button-down necklines||a short necklace of about 16″ or a choker|
|Crew necklines||a shorter necklace or a princess necklace|
V– Neck: shorter necklaces with an angular pendant
V-neck necklines will often draw attention to your cleavage, and therefore so should the necklace you choose. If the necklace has a pendant, ensure the pendant is angular to match the V- neck. Wearing a circular pendant will bring confusion to your outfit.
Strapless neckline: choose different lengths to shift the attention as you want
For a strapless neckline, a choker will complement the outfit and bring attention away from your stomach to your neck. A shorter pendant will also ensure that people’s attention is on your collar bone. In case you want to reduce the attention on your neck, a princess necklace will help shift the attention to your shoulders.
Halter necklines: a short necklace with an angular pendant or a choker
Most people prefer not to wear a necklace with a halter top. However, a halter neckline can be complemented with either a short necklace with an angular pendant or a choker.
Square necklines: chain length depending on where the neckline ends
The length of a necklace when wearing a square- neckline top is dependent on where the neckline ends. If you are wearing a pendant, an angular pendant will go best with it. Avoid wearing a necklace longer than the neckline as you will look mismatched.
Turtlenecks: Opera chains are the best but a medium or long necklace will do the work too
Opera chains are the best for a turtleneck. You can also wear a medium or long necklace with a pendant of your taste. Please do not wear a choker with a turtleneck because no one will see it.
Scoop necklines: a necklace with a big pendant or big beads
A lot of space is left open when wearing a scoop neckline. Therefore a necklace with a big pendant or big beads will fill the space correctly. The pendant should have softer angles to draw attention to the neck.
Button-down necklines: a short necklace of about 16″ or a choker
These types of necklines leave less space to work with. For those with shorter necks, wearing a short necklace of about 16″ with a pendant may work. If you have a longer neck, a choker will go well with this neckline.
Crew necklines: a shorter necklace or a princess necklace
A crew neckline goes well with a shorter necklace. Wearing a princess necklace will also help bring attention to your neck. If you are wearing a pendant, choose a more curved one compared to an angular pendant.
Conclusion on necklace lengths
Thank you for reading this article on necklace lengths. When purchasing a necklace, we need to first ensure that they fit our neck size, height, necklines, body types and shapes of our faces. Getting the right length brings out the best out of your looks while accentuating your strong suit. Read more: The evil eye: Everything you need to know.
Image sources: John Hardy and Adwoa Aboah.