How To Choose The Right Necklace Length: Best Expert Tips
woman putting on pearl necklace

How to choose the right necklace length? When choosing a necklace, everyone goes for the style, the type of stone, and similar points.  You have to have something that looks great and fits your style, right?

So now that you know the look of the necklace, it’s time to choose the right necklace length (and width).  There are no standard necklace lengths, but many different necklace lengths.

young woman with bohemian style jewelry

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What you may not know is just how personal and individualized a necklace length is.  Everyone’s different. The human body comes in so many wonderful shapes, so there’s no “one size fits” all approach. 

So, we’ll take you through all the things to take into consideration, and how to get a necklace at a perfect length.

Your Traits to Consider to Choose the Right Necklace Length

The first thing, of course, is to have an accurate measurement of your neck.  Use a cloth tape measure, have a friend take the reading for you, and write it down immediately. 

If you’re going to shop for a choker, chokers, be sure to add two inches (6 cm) to that measurement.  From there, here are the other things to keep in mind.

1. How To Choose the Right Necklace Length: Height

First off, if you’re a woman under 5-foot-4 or so, embrace it and be proud of your stature! We all have looks and necklaces right for us. 

Woman in Blue Blazer Wearing Gold Necklace

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At that height, what you’re concerned with is the chain possibly looking bulky or heavy against your awesome frame.  Therefore, your necklace should be 16-20 inches (40-60 cm). 

If you are 5-4-5-7, the right length is about 22-28 inches (56-71 centimeters).

Fall a ravishing tall gal, 5-7 and taller, start at roughly 25 inches (63 cm) and go as long as you’d like.  Here’s the thing—if you feel that your height won’t benefit from being accentuated, you can actually wear a long chain, which has the effect of moderating your height. 

How to choose the right necklace length: woman with very large pearl necklace
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The chain is long and hangs down, causing its backdrop—you—to seem shorter than it really is.  Something to keep in mind!

2. Face Structure

A chain of the right length can accent the contours of your face perfectly.  If you have a rounded face, go for a long chain. 

Woman face types, 8 different face shapes

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If your face is more angular and vertical, wear a short chain—no longer than 18 inches.  The curves of the chain will soften your face’s look.

If you have a heart-shaped face, go with a choker or other short chain.  Its shape will cause your chin and surrounding areas to seem much less narrow or abrupt.

If you have a diamond face, go with a choker.

If you have a triangle face, you have some options.  A choker usually won’t be the best, but a relatively short chain is the best, bringing your face into perfect proportions.

Those with oval faces can wear something of any length.  If you try a choker and find it makes your face look more rounded than you’d like, go with something longer.

Check our necklace collection here.

Women with square faces can just go crazy and wear chains of any length.

3. Your Features

Another thing to take into consideration is which of your features you’re most comfortable calling attention to.  A necklace like a choker, closely around the neck, can draw attention to a person’s neck, and that really is a part of the body that can be alluring. 

young woman choosing jewelry

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However, many people noticing a shiny necklace around someone’s neck usually finds their eyes drawn to various facial features, including the eyes.  If that’s what you’re going for than a choker can be great.  If not, go with something that draws the eye toward whichever features you want to, well, feature.

Now, a 16-inch (40 centimeters) chain is not a choker, but instead hangs below the Adam’s apple, right at the very top of the chest.  It is somewhat neutral in that sense.  This is a great length for that go-to necklace or pendant you want to wear regularly.  It can be to 18-inches (46 cm), particularly if you are longer-torsoed.  

How to choose the right necklace length: necklace length chart
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A 20-inch (60 cm) chain (also called MATINEE) is below the collar bone, making it acceptable in a wide variety of settings.  A chain of this length really stands out with a dark dress or evening wear, yet is at a good comfort level for casual wear.

Check our necklace collection here.

A 22-inch chain on most women will go to the very top of the cleavage, and will draw the eye there if wearing a plunging collar or neckline.  These are nicknamed matinee chains.

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Keep in mind that women with a small bust are often good candidates for a long chain, including one even longer than 22 inches.  Women with larger busts or torsos may benefit from a shorter chain between 14 and 20 inches.

It is best to spend time in the mirror, adjusting, laying, or knotting chains as needed. To get the right length necklace, measure your neck! What's the width of your neck?

Just always keep in mind that the outfit you are wearing has a lot to do with its appearance, not just the chain length in relation to your body type.

Choosing the Right Chain for Your Outfit

Shorter chains are great for two main outfits, those that are dressy and those with lower necklines.  A choker or a chain of less than 15 inches (45 cm) usually doesn’t make sense with a neckline that goes all the way up. 

A choker is generally too fancy for a jeans and sweater outfit, yet one can always make up one’s own mind.

How to choose the right necklace length: Woman in White Dress Wearing Gold Chain Necklace
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However, a benefit of wearing a longer chain particularly with beads or casual gemstones is that it will liven up a plain or monochromatic outfit.

Longer chains are perfect for summer dresses, high-necked a-frame dresses, and business suits.  They particularly work with an a-frame or a pantsuit, accentuating the slimming effect.

How To Choose the Right Necklace Length: Correct Lengths for Men

18 inches: Placement Just below the Adam's apple; if you are long-necked, you will need one slightly longer

african american man with silver neck chain

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20 inches: Placement - The collarbone for most men, slightly below for shorter ones.  This is a common and versatile placement, as most men opt for chains that don’t have a lot of drape or hang.

22 inches: Placement Not far below the collarbone.  These can be good for wearing over outfits that are a bit bulky and need the length for comfort.

24 inches: Placement - Above the sternum.  This is an uncommon length but can be suitable for men with long torsos.

How To Measure When Choosing the Right Necklace Length for You

If you want to be more scientific about it and find out for sure if a certain length will work, one great way is to measure from a necklace you already have. 

Take into consideration everything you’ve learned here, including face shape, body type, etc.  That means you should do this while wearing one of your favorite, outfits, one you may wear a chain with.

Now, you might be saying, “well, if I already had a perfect necklace, I wouldn’t be asking!”  Well, do not give up hope.  Even if you don’t already have a necklace to compare, you can still measure in the way we’re describing.

In place of an actual necklace, you might simply choose to use some string, ribbon or a soft measuring tape to get a good scientific measurement.  Have a friend over, open a bottle of wine.  Make a night out of it!

How To Choose the Right Necklace Length: Stand In Front Of A Mirror

This will work best and easiest if you stand in front of a mirror while measuring. Grab the nearest person and have your slightly-tipsy friend hold the ends together to help you to get totally scientific on how different lengths will flatter your already gorgeous figure.

Female buyer try on accessories in front of a mirror

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While you’re at it, try on some various fashions.  This will help you ascertain what’s lacking in your jewelry collection. 

Note, a pendant will generally hang in a V shape ( V neck). Keeping this in mind, please, darling, be sure to should factor in the length of the pendant to learn where the bottom of it will be on your fave outfit.