Not sure which necklace length is right for you? We’re here to help. In this guide to choosing your perfect necklace length, we’re going over everything you need to know about your six necklace length options. We’ll cover where different lengths of necklaces rest on the body, then go over how you can measure your perfect necklace length at home. To help you style your jewelry collection with confidence, we’re also giving handy tips on which necklines pair best with each necklace length.
The 6 Necklace Lengths
Before you can choose the right necklace length for you, you need to understand your options. There are six categories of necklace lengths: collar, choker, standard, matinee, opera, and rope.
Collar necklaces measure between 12 and 14 inches (30 and 36 centimetres), making them the shortest type of necklace. Collar necklaces are designed to be fitted and wrapped tightly around the neck.
Chokers are short necklaces that measure between 14 and 16 inches (36 and 41 centimetres). Choker necklaces rest at the base of the neck.
Standard / Princess
Standard length necklaces, also called princess length necklaces, are necklaces that measure between 17 and 18 inches (43 and 46 centimetres). Standard necklaces rest at or just below the collarbone.
Matinee length necklaces measure between 20 and 24 inches (51 and 61 centimetres). Matinee necklaces rest at the top of the sternum, in between the collarbone and the bust.
Opera length necklaces measure between 28 and 36 inches (71 and 91 centimeters). These long necklaces fall on or just under the bust when worn as a single strand. Opera necklaces are usually long enough to be wrapped around the neck twice, so they can also be worn as shorter necklaces.
Rope length necklaces measure between 36 and 51 inches (91 and 130 centimetres), making them the longest type of necklace. Rope necklaces fall at or below the waist but are often worn in ways that shorten their length. It’s common to wrap rope necklaces multiple times or knot them to create a lariat-like effect.
Measuring For Necklace Length
Different necklace lengths will rest at different places depending on the body type of the wearer. This difference can be more dramatic if you have a very petite or tall body type.
If you’re unsure where different chain lengths rest on you, it’s a good idea to take some measurements. There are three ways to measure your necklace length at home:
- Measure an Existing Necklace: If you already have a necklace with a length you like, measure it using a tape measure or a ruler.
- Create a Mock Necklace: If you don’t have a necklace you can measure, use string, a ribbon, or a long chain to create a mock necklace. Stand in front of a mirror and see how different string, ribbon, or chain lengths look on you. When you find the perfect necklace length, measure it. It may be helpful to use a safety pin to mark the ends of your ideal necklace chain length.
- Use a Soft Measuring Tape: If you have a fabric measuring tape or another soft measuring tape, you can loop it around your neck like a necklace and adjust the loop until you find the right length.
If you’re measuring your neck size for a collar or choker style necklace, take deep breaths and look around when you think you’ve found your perfect length. Your neck muscles can expand slightly as you breathe or move, so you may find you need a slightly longer chain length than you thought.
Another thing to consider when taking measurements is how different necklace styles, especially pendant necklaces, will lay on the neck. Take, for example, two different types of pearl necklaces. A classic stranded pearl necklace will create a gently curved u-shape. On the other hand, a chain necklace with a pearl gemstone pendant will hang in a more narrow v-shape. Even if both of these pearl necklaces are exactly the same length, the pendant necklace will rest lower than the stranded necklace due to its elongated v-shape.
Best Necklace Lengths For Different Necklines
Now that you understand how different necklace lengths rest on your body, let’s go over the best lengths to pair with common necklines. These are general tips to keep in mind as you style your outfits– you can always ignore them if that works better for your personal style. But if you’re having a hard time pairing your necklaces with your clothes, these tips should help you get started.
Collar length necklaces wrap snugly around the neck and tend to look best with higher necklaces that feature rounded shapes, like crew necks and boat necks.
Like collar length necklaces, chokers look fantastic with crew necks and boat necks. Since chokers sit slightly lower than collar length necklaces, they also tend to pair well with off-the-shoulder necklines.
Standard / Princess
As you may have guessed from the name, standard is the most common necklace length. Standard necklaces, also called princess necklaces, are common because they’re extremely versatile. The standard necklace length rests at or just below the collarbone, which works with most necklines and clothing styles.
Standard length necklaces look particularly good with scoop necks, square necks, and strapless clothing. Standard length pendant necklaces also look fantastic with v-necks and sweetheart necklines.
Matinee length necklaces are versatile and easy to style with many outfits. Like standard length necklaces, matinee necklaces pair well with scoop necks, square necks, and strapless clothing. This slightly longer necklace sizealso looks especially good with high necklines and collared shirts.
Opera length necklaces fall at or just below the bust, which gives them a more inherently formal look compared to shorter necklaces. When worn as a single strand, an opera necklace is a lovely choice for evening wear and most high necklines, including turtlenecks. Opera length necklaces can also be worn as shorter double chain necklaces, in which case they pair best with the same necklines as collar or choker necklaces.
When worn as a single strand, rope length necklaces have a decidedly dramatic or formal look that pairs best with evening wear and high necklines. Yet, rope necklaces can also be wrapped multiple times or tied to create a lariat-style necklace, giving them versatility.
Final ThoughtsHave styling questions that weren’t answered in our guide to necklace lengths? At JustDesi, we’re here to help! Stop by our Beverly Hills showroom or send us a message through our website. We’re always standing by to help you style your jewelry to perfection.