When buying a necklace online, a decision you might find yourself agonize over is choosing the right necklace length, be it for a woman or a man. This guide will help you select the right necklace length that will best showcase your necklace, accentuate your facial and body features and suit your wardrobe.
When selecting necklace length, you might want to take into account:
- Necklace style placement: How you want the necklace to fall
- Body type and facial shape
- Wardrobe style
This comprehensive necklace length guide will tell you:
DIFFERENT STYLES OF NECKLACE LENGTH
First, you need to understand the exact look you are going for with your necklace using the chart of standard necklace lengths.
Standard necklace lengths for women
There are roughly 6 standard looks are that are based on variants of necklace lengths, the most common are choker and princess lengths. The other types are less common, but are good to know when considering necklace lengths.
The different women’s necklace looks are explained in this standard necklace lengths chart for an average woman:
|Length||Style||Position on body||Worn best with|
|13 – 15”||Collar||Tightly around the neck||Any clothes with open neck such as V-neck, scoop or boat necks and off-the-shoulder.|
|15 – 17”||Choker||Sit at the base of the neck||Almost everything|
|17 – 19”||Princess||On the collarbone (the most common necklace length for the average women)||Almost everything|
|20 – 24”||Matinee||Between the collarbone and the bust||Great for both business and casual wear|
|28 – 37”||Opera||From top of the bust to a couple of inches below||High necklines and evening wear|
|37 – 60”||Rope||From the center of the bust to the stomach||Elegant business and evening wear|
The different men’s necklace looks are explained in this standard necklace lengths chart for an average male:
|Necklace Length||Position on body||Worn best with|
|17-19″||Sits at the base of the neck||A crew neck t-shirt. Popular for beaded necklace which sits right above the tee collar.|
|19-21″||On the collarbone (the most common necklace length for the average men)||Almost everything if worn over. Low v-neck or unbuttoned dress shirt if you want it to sit on the skin.|
|21-23″||A few inches below the collarbone||Almost everything worn over or under.|
|23-25″||On the chest||This style is best for either religious or meaningful pendant to be worn under the shirt close to the heart, or to make a fashion statement worn over the shirt such as a dog tag necklace.|
MEASURE NECKLACE LENGTH FOR YOURSELF
When choosing the length for yourself, you can measure a similar necklace chain that falls the way you want. Take note that the chain thickness needs to be similar to the one you are purchasing.
If you don’t have a necklace with similar look or fall, you could use a string or cord of the same thickness. Ask someone to help you wrap the string around your neck, with one end pressed against the nape of your neck. Adjust the other end so that the string falls the way you want your necklace to, and mark where it meets the first end on the back of your neck.
Lay the string/chain flat on a surface and measure the length up to the mark. This measurement should be your necklace chain length.
SELECT THE RIGHT NECKLACE LENGTH FOR ANOTHER MAN OR WOMAN
The best way is of course being able to measure one of their existing necklaces which falls how they like it. As this is not always possible, your best shot is usually an educated guess at both the style they want and their neck size.
If so, consider a couple of things:
Most common average necklace length
If you are unsure, I recommend you to stick with the “princess length” for women and the “on the collarbone” for men as these are the most common. Furthermore, if your guess falls a little short or long, you will not end up with something completely unwearable.
Typically, in my experience, the princess necklace length is 16” for petite ladies, 18” for the average women, 20” for those curvier and 22 – 24” if she is tall with wider body frame.
For men, 18-20” is good for skinnier man with smaller frame, 20-22” for the average men, 22-24” for the larger built, and 24” and above for the really tall, well-built men.
Consider an extender
Since all of the above are still educated guesses at best, when selecting a gift, you should go for some room for adjustment with an extender.
For example, all of Centime’s necklaces can be extended with a 3” extender, with multiple loops that allow wearer to choose the most suitable length.
Note that when you add the extender length to the estimated necklace length, make sure it can be adjusted longer and shorter.
For instance, if her estimated necklace length is 18 inches, choose a 17” with 2” extender or a 16” bracelet with 3” extender. Don’t order 18” plus extender.
Consider your facial shape and body build
You should select necklace length that compliments your facial shape (see table belows). Generally, rounder face should choose a necklace length that elongates, while longer face will want to balance out their shape with a shorter necklace. When in doubt, just remember that you can almost never go wrong with the classic princess length.
|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|
Those who are more petite might want to avoid longer-style necklaces as they might swallow a small frame.
Pair the right necklace length with your wardrobe
You should consider your wardrobe when buying a necklace. For example, if you have a lot of turtlenecks, you should not buy a choker as it will be rarely worn.
The table below shows you which necklace length to get to suit your wardrobe.
|Turtlenecks||Collar, choke, princess|
|Scoop Necks||Opera, rope|
or a collar statement necklace
|Princess or matinee as they might fall too close to the neckline|
|V Necks||Collar, choker|
|Boat necks||Almost none|
|Button up Shirts||Opera, rope as they clash with vertical buttons column|