Jewelry Blog

Find the Right Fit With This Necklace Length Guide

Looking for the perfect necklace to accessorize your favorite outfit? There are so many lengths and styles to choose from that sometimes it can seem overwhelming.

Here's a quick and simple necklace length guide to help you perfect your pieces!

Necklace Length Guide

 Image via Jonelle Maira, Design Thrift.

Necklace Length Guide: Choker 14"

Photos via Craftsy members Crafty Spright and ZaneyMay 

14" Necklace: Choker

Wraps closely around the neck.

Chokers can be made from a variety of different materials, including velvet, metal, ribbon, lace, beads and rhinestones. The style of a choker can also vary greatly depending on the materials used —Everything from formal and elegant to gothic. Chokers are very on-trend for the summer of 2015, so you're likely to see them everywhere. They're a great choice to accompany a high-necked top or dress, and they're also a fun statement accessory. Chokers work best on women with long, thin necks.

Necklace Length Guide: Collar

Photos via Craftsy members Abby Hook, DafnaDar, BienAimeBeloved 

16" Necklace: Collar

Falls around the base of the neck.

This necklace length is a good choice for when you want to accessorize a high neckline but prefer something with a little more breathing room than a choker. While you can create it out of any material, it's common for a collar to be made of large beads, natural stones and metal. Collars are usually intended to be statement pieces, so large and colorful is the way to go!

Necklace Length Guide: Princess

Photos via Craftsy members Tea Rose Home, LunaLovegood.

18" Necklace: The Princess

Falling just below the throat at the collarbone, this is the most common necklace length.

The perfect length for a dainty charm, an 18" necklace is often composed of a simple gold or silver chain with a stone, bead, or monogram or metal pendant. This is a popular length for metal-stamped and personalized necklaces as well as shaped charms like animals, letters, etc. A princess necklace is often more of an understated accessory than a bold statement piece. It's great for everyday wear and works with just about any neckline.

See a full tutorial for the Nail Polish Necklace on the Craftsy blog.

Necklace Length Guide, Matinee

Photos via Craftsy members plbstudio, vanillasquare, Ali E Ville

20"- 22" Necklace: The Matinee

Sits below the collarbone but still above the neckline of many tops.

Less common than the princess length, the matinee is usually reserved for plunging necklines, as it hits just above the bust. This style of necklace is often beaded all the way around. Women with larger necks and busts may choose this length for a pendant style necklace too, if an 18" chain feels too short or tight.

Necklace Length Guide: Matinee

Photos via Craftsy members Jersica, DafnaDar

24" Necklace: The Matinee

Falls at or just below the center of the bust, below any neckline.

A matinee necklace is perfect for both business and casual wear, and it's meant to make a statement! These necklaces are often beaded and may have several different layers and strands working together, as seen in the examples above. Matinee necklaces will always lay on top of your clothing, so be sure to think about how the colors and textures will work together. One note of caution with this length is that it draws attention to the center of the bust area, so be sure to consider your own body shape and size when deciding whether this style is right for you. Women with larger busts may want to opt for a longer necklace to create a more balanced look.

Opera Length Necklace

Photos via Craftsy members Aga Designs, Decadent Decay, sewmom

30" Necklace: The Opera

Hangs below the bust.

An opera necklace tends to be slightly more formal than its shorter counterparts. Hanging just below the bust, it elongates the torso and works well with high necklines and evening wear. Often made of pearls, gemstones and crystal beads, necklaces of this length are intended to make a statement. Opera necklaces can be worn by any body type, although they can overwhelm petite figures if they are too large and chunky. 

Necklace Length Guide: Lariat

Photos via Craftsy members mlwillingham, chrissyma1315323, Camp Chapin

36" Necklace: The Lariat

Hangs below the bust with room to spare.

A lariat necklace can reach all the way to the navel and is often made in a pendant style. Even if there is beading along the chain, it tends to be small and subtle, drawing attention to a focal point at the bottom of the necklace. Occasionally, a lariat necklace may be longer than 36", in which case it's good to double and layer it. Lariats work wonderfully for elegant business and evening wear. When choosing a lariat, avoid plunging necklines that don't pair well with the necklace's length.

What length necklace is your favorite? Which ones work best with your body type and wardrobe?

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8 Comments

Michael McDaniel

Love the explanation… would like to know if there is a calculator for figuring out the total carat weight of a beaded piece of jewelry

Reply
Amy Latta

Hi, Michael,
There may very well be, but I’m not aware of it. That may be a good question for a jeweler.

Reply
Georgiana Archer

This is a really helpful explanation, thank you 🙂 I can’t believe that I am nearly 50 years of age and yet no one has ever explained this to me!

I have a question about this though, as I have a couple of micro businesses where I make and sell jewellery, what happens when you have men and women with very different neck sizes? I know that some of my clients would fit that sizing in that some are much smaller and some much larger so the way the necklaces would hang wouldn’t meet the criteria of the diagram above.

Reply
Amy Latta

Great question! First of all, there’s a different sizing chart when it comes to men {you can easily find one by searching “Men’s necklace length chart”}. And yes, you’re absolutely right; extremely petite or larger customers will find that these necklaces hit their bodies in slightly different places. If I were you, I would mention that your necklaces generally fit the chart but that the fit may vary depending on body type and size.

Reply
Finding the Right Necklace Length

[…] The wonderful thing about necklaces is the variety of lengths you can choose to make them. However, some necklaces are meant to be chockers while others are meant to hang low below the bust. It can be difficult to determine the proper style length for a necklace, but 14” is the standard for a choker and a low-hanging lariat is typically 34.” Get a full necklace length guide by clicking on the link here:: Find the Right Fit with This Necklace Length Guide […]

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