How to Find the Perfect Necklace Length for You

How to Find the Perfect Necklace Length for You


If you’re not sure which necklace length will give you the look you want, we’re here to help with this practical guide. First, we’ll go over your length options and explain where each one rests when you wear it. Then, we’ll give tips on how to take measurements and test different lengths without buying new necklaces. 

Understand Your Length Options 

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Necklaces are sorted into style categories based on their length, but it can be hard to understand where these lengths will fall without trying them on. The chart below can give you a good idea of where the six standard necklace styles will sit when you wear them, as well as which neckline they tend to look good with. 





14 inches

Collar Necklace

Snugly around the neck

Scoop necks, off-the-shoulder clothing, and boat necks

15 to 16 inches

Choker Necklace

At the base of the neck

Most necklines, especially scoop necks

16 to 18 inches



At the collarbone

Most necklines, especially v-necks and scoop necks

20 to 24 inches

Matinee Necklace

Slightly below the collarbone

Work and casual wear, especially collared shirts and high necklines

28 to 36 inches

Opera Necklace

At or just below the bust

High necklines, especially evening wear

36 to 42 inches

Rope Necklace

Below the bust

High necklines, especially evening wear

Notice that each style of necklace ranges in length. You may find that you prefer to go shorter or longer in that range based on your body type and the look you’re going for. For example, princess necklaces, which are designed to rest at the collarbone, range from around 16 to 18 inches. A petite woman with a small frame might prefer a 16-inch necklace, while someone with a taller frame may prefer an 18-inch necklace. How short or long you want to go within a range may depend on where a specific length falls on your unique body. 

Measuring Your Neck and Necklaces 


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If you’re not sure which necklace length to choose, it’s a good idea to measure your neck. It’s helpful to know your neck size–especially if you’re in the market for a shorter style that could be uncomfortably tight in the wrong length.

An easy way to measure your neck is with a soft measuring tape, also called a cloth measuring tape or flexible measuring tape. If you don’t have a flexible measuring tape on hand, you can use a piece of string or ribbon with a standard tape measure or ruler. 

To take your neck measurement using string, stand in front of a mirror so you can easily see what you’re doing, then wrap your string around your neck. Hold the string where it meets, pinching with one hand on each side. Now remove and straighten your string while keeping a firm grip. Line your string up with your tape measure or ruler, and measure the length from finger to finger. 

Another way to get an idea of your preferred necklace size is to measure a necklace you already have. Place the necklace on a flat surface to measure it. Unclasp your necklace first so you can measure the full length. 

If you already have a necklace with a length you like, measuring it will tell you the length you’re looking for in other necklaces. If you don’t quite like where it sits, you’ll know you want to look for longer or shorter necklaces.

How to Try Out Lengths Without Buying New Necklaces 

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One way to see how you feel about different lengths is to buy necklaces in a variety of lengths, or go somewhere that will let you try on a range of necklaces. However, that’s not always practical or possible. You may only have time to order online or you may be shopping for accessories for something that you wouldn’t want to wear to a store, such as a ball gown. 

An easy way to try out different lengths at home is by making mock necklaces using materials you have around the house. String and a safety pin is a great combination, since string falls similarly to most necklaces and a safety pin will allow you to easily adjust length. 

To make a string necklace, measure out a length of string that’s slightly longer than you think you may like. Use a safety pin to join the ends of the string together at various lengths and try them on. To make it easy to adjust to specific lengths, consider tying knots along the string at various points, like at the 14, 16, and 18 inch marks. If the length of your safety pin will make up some of the necklace length, keep that in mind as you place your knots.

As you try on your mock necklaces, remember that different necklace materials and styles will fall a bit differently. For example, a beaded necklace will be more rounded than a fine chain necklace and any necklace with a pendant will fall in a v-shape. You may want to adjust your string necklace’s placement to help you better visualize different necklace shapes. 

Making mock necklaces is an easy and free way to get a feel for styling necklaces on your unique body. Common necklace lengths can look different depending on things like your height, neck size, and bust size. Playing around with different lengths at home can help you decide how each type of necklace works with your proportions and various outfits. 

Final Thoughts 

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We hope this guide has been helpful as you hunt for your perfect necklace length. If you have any questions or need personalized advice, send us a message and we’d be happy to assist you. 

If you’re in the Los Angeles area, visit our Beverly Hills showroom and try on different necklace lengths in person. Our styling experts would love to help you find a necklace that suits your needs and personal style.