Multiple chain lengths

How to Choose the Perfect Necklace Length

There are a lot of things to consider when buying a necklace. From measuring necklace length, to deciding on the metal and stones you want, to combining your new piece with an outfit and your style, so much factors into your decision when you’re buying a new necklace.

This guide will help you understand the basics when you’re shopping for your next necklace, so you can be sure that you’ll love whatever style it is that you splurge on.

In this article, we’ll cover:

The Standard Necklace Lengths and Measurements Charts

If you're wondering how you measure a necklace, note that there's not just one way to do it. There are various methods you can use to measure necklace size, either at home or at the jewelry store. Use whichever fits your situation best, and you'll always be able to determine the perfect, accurate neck size – which is needed for all necklace measurements – to ensure the right necklace placement on the body.

Measure the Chain with a Ruler or Tape Measure:

If you have the necklace in front of you, measure it using a tape measure so you can determine if it's a good fit

How to measure necklace length

  • Step 1: Unclasp the necklace and lay it flat.
  • Step 2: Use the tape measure and lay it flat next to the necklace, then measure.
  • Step 3: If the necklace has no clasp, simply wrap the tape measure around the necklace and use this measurement.

Use a String to Wrap Around Your Neck:

Wrap a string around your neck, laying it exactly how you'd like your necklace to fit. Mark the length, then straighten the string and measure.

Compare the Length to Another Necklace:

If you're wondering how to measure necklace size without needing a tape measure, choose a necklace you already love and just take it with you to compare it against other necklaces when shopping.

The Standard Necklace Lengths and Measurements Charts

There are six standard necklace measurements on a necklace size guide, ranging from choker to rope. This average necklace length guide won’t accommodate every necklace, but it will cover most.

Understanding standard necklace length measurements can make choosing a necklace a much easier process.

Necklace Measurement Chart

The following necklace guide can be used for reference to help you choose the perfect style and length necklace. This necklace size chart shows you styles of necklaces that hug the neck for a chic look, those that hang down to the chest for a sophisticated style, and everything in between.

Necklace Chain Length Necklace Style Necklace Placement on the Body
13-15" Collar Fits tightly around the neck
15-17" Choker Fits around the base of the neck
17-19" Princess Falls to the collarbone
20-24" Matinee Falls between the collarbone and top of bust
25-37" Opera Falls between the top of the bust or just below
25-37" Rope Falls between the bust to the stomach

Necklace Chain Visual Reference

Using the necklace chain length chart above, you’ll have a better idea of how your necklace will fit with your style and where it’ll lie on your body before purchasing.

Necklace length chart

The Different Styles of Necklaces

Necklaces are unique and can complete any outfit. Even though our necklace chain length guide has six standard lengths, there are many more styles and lengths to choose from.

  • Collar Necklace: A sophisticated style that sits high on the neck and can flaunt the collarbone.
  • Festoon Necklace: A type of necklace with various ornate extensions made of other chains, beads and jewels
  • Choker Necklace: Choker necklaces fit snugly over the neck and can be layered with other necklaces.
  • Torque Necklace: A necklace made from a single, stiff, metal ring.
  • Bib Necklace: A thick style that resembles a baby's bib and covers most of the chest in ornate decorations.
  • Riviere Necklace: A necklace made up of various small gemstones that are typically all the same shape and size.
  • Statement Necklace: Large sized necklaces that are bold and striking.
  • Princess Necklace: A popular necklace size that falls on the collarbone.
  • Graduated Necklace: A necklace with larger pearls or gems in the lowest part that gradually reduce in size closer toward the clasp.
  • Lavalier Necklace: A type of necklace with an ornate pedant at its center – lavalier’s might, but don't have to, include a gem.
  • Matinee Necklace: A longer necklace that falls between the collarbone and bust.
  • Locket Necklace: A necklace with a locket can store a memento or picture.
  • Pendant Necklace: A necklace that ends with a pendant, often a gemstone.
  • Plastron Necklace: A type of bib necklace that covers the chest.
  • Opera Necklace: A long necklace that hangs to the stomach, popular in the 1920s.
  • Sautoir Necklace: A long necklace with a tassel.
  • Rope Necklace: Falls below the waist and is often made of simple materials like chains or beads.
  • Lariat Necklace: A Y-shaped necklace that falls at the collarbone.

The Different Styles of Necklaces Chains

In addition to size, there are various necklace chain styles to choose from. They can range in style from classic, to vintage, to modern.

  • Bead: Made of small glass, stone, metal or ceramic beads.
  • Mesh: Tightly woven chain that can be thick or thin.
  • Cable: The most common, a durable chain made of small links.
  • Rope: A chain that's twisted to resemble a rope.
  • Rolo: Made of chain links that switch directions and are thicker.
  • Venetian / Box: A chain with squared links (instead of round).
  • Byzantine: Chains that incorporate different textures.
  • Wheat: A chain made up of 4 oval link strands woven together.
  • Snake: A chain woven tightly together that resembles snake skin.

Tips for Choosing the Perfect Length and Size Necklace

It's best to choose a necklace that matches your personal style. Trends can be fun, but they're not the end-all, be-all of jewelry. Classic jewelry never goes out of style, and this is true for necklaces, too. Necklaces can also compliment unique facial features, as well. Below are some tips that can help you choose the perfect necklace for any style or occasion.

Decide on the Body Placement of the Necklace

Use a necklace chart that shows length and placement so you know exactly where a necklace will fall on your body.

Consider the Necklace Material and Finishes

Finishes and materials can dramatically change the look and feel of any piece of jewelry.

  • Gold Finish Necklace: Gold finish necklaces are royal, timeless and classic.
  • Silver Finish Necklace: Silver finish necklaces are striking, modern and luxurious with their chrome-like colors.
  • Rose Gold Finish Necklace: Rose gold finish necklaces combine feminine pink and gold for a soft look.
  • Demi Fine Necklaces: Demi fine necklaces are more affordable than fine jewelry, but these gorgeous, high-quality pieces can really step up your jewelry collection.

Decide How Large or Small the Pendant Should be

Small and large pendants can be complemented by chain size. Choose a necklace length that best shows off any charm or pendant on it, whether that's on your bust or on your collarbone.

Think About if the Necklace Fits Your Neck Size

Thinner necks can cause even smaller necklaces to fall lower on the body, while thicker necks allow the necklace to sit higher. Use a soft measuring tape wrapped around the neck as a faux necklace to see where a specific measurement will sit on your chest.

Get a Necklace that Enhances Your Features

The right necklace length plays an important part in accenting your best features. If you have an oval or diamond-shaped face, a shorter necklace can be very flattering. On the flip side, round and heart-shaped faces can be evened out with longer necklaces – like an opera or rope necklace.

Consider Your Wardrobe or Style Options

Matching jewelry to an outfit or personal style is part of the fun. Choose a colorful bib necklace for an exotic look or to make a statement with your outfit, or wear a princess necklace if it’s an everyday casual style that you tend to wear. If you’re buying a gift, you want to find something that’s meaningful and thoughtful – selecting something they’ll love, and that seems like them is important.

Think about the Neckline of Your Outfit

Necklace length is relative to an outfit's neckline. For example, you might not wear a collar necklace with a turtleneck, so think of how your shirt's neckline will embrace or hinder your necklace's shine and beauty.

Consider a Chain with an Extender for Different Lengths

If you still feel unsure about your necklace size, chain extenders are a great way to keep your jewelry versatile, offering maximum comfort and adjustable style to add length.

Shop Necklaces at Byran Anthonys

Shop the different collections of dainty, cute, and sentimental necklaces for women at Bryan Anthonys today. Whether you're shopping for yourself or you're looking for a gift for someone else, Bryan Anthonys has a variety of options and styles to choose from. Shop now at Bryan Anthonys.

Necklace Size FAQ

What is the average necklace size for a woman?

Necklaces come in multiple sizes, but the most popular and common women’s necklace length is 18 inches. This sits below to collar bone and looks great with a number of different necklines.

How do I know my necklace size?

The best way to find out your necklace size is to measure your necklace. Lay your necklace out and use either a measuring tape or rope to measure the length.

What is a good size length necklace for a pendant?

Wearing a pendant necklace can be tricky; you’ll want to make sure your pendant lays in the middle of your chest. A chain length between 18” and 22” is the best length to ensure your pendant is the main focus of your necklace.

How thick should a woman's chain be?

It varies with the style of the necklace, but as a rule of thumb, the average chain thickness is around 1mm.



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