If you are particular with how you look with jewelry, then you have to know that there are several considerations before buying a necklace – and one of them is the necklace length.
It is not as simple as choosing a design you like, but you have to take into account the length of the necklace that best flatters your image. Whether you wear a short or long necklace length, it makes a huge impact on your overall look.
Are you looking for a necklace for a date night or a casual affair? Or are you confused about how to style a necklace on t-shirts, dresses, or sweaters?
It can be a bit challenging since necklaces have a variety of lengths that are suited for a specific style and occasion.
Not to worry! I made a detailed guide of necklace lengths for all – men, women, and children. This guide teaches you how to measure a necklace length, how to style them, and factors to consider.
Take a look at your necklace options below before buying one from a store.
- How to Measure Necklace Length
- Mens Necklace Lengths Guide
- Women’s Necklace Length Guide
- Child’s Necklace Length Guide
- Necklace Thickness Chart
- Factors to Consider to Know the Best Type of Necklace
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Wrap Up
How to Measure Necklace Length
Necklaces are usually measured in inches or centimeters. If you already have a necklace you like, measure it with any measuring tool such as a ruler or tape measure.
Once you know the measurement, you can readily buy a necklace of the same length.
However, if you are still figuring out the best necklace length for you, the easiest way to know is by using a clothing measuring tape and wrapping it around the neck.
It is recommended to measure the length in front of a mirror to get a better picture of which length suits you. If you do not have a clothing measuring tape, use any string such as a ribbon or rope that can be tied around your neck.
After securing the preferred length, get a ruler and measure the length or simply bring the string with you to the store to serve as a guide.
If you have a specific outfit you want to pair with a necklace, it is best to measure the length while wearing it to see if the necklace is too short or long for that outfit.
Mens Necklace Lengths Guide
Best Chain Length for a Man
Necklaces are not one-size-fits-all jewelry since each length is designed for a specific height, body build, and shape.
Generally, the average necklace length for a man is 20 inches or 50 centimeters. The length is commonly at the collar bone area just below the base of the neck.
A 20-inch necklace offers a relaxed fit that can be worn inside or outside the shirt. For those with a bigger body build, a 22-inch necklace is typically worn since 14 to 20 inches are already quite tight for the neck.
24-inch and 30-inch necklaces are longer than the average length and are best displayed outside the shirt.
If wearing a pendant, it is suitable with a 22-inch to 25-inch necklace for the most comfort. The longest length is 30 inches which is commonly used only as a chain without a pendant.
The bottom line, the best necklace length should provide enough room to breathe, move comfortably, and represent the style you want.
Necklace Lengths Chart Men
Take a look at a quick summary table of all the necklace lengths for men. The table shows the typical position of the necklace on the body and how it is best worn.
|18 inches||At the base of the neck; most suitable for a smaller body build with narrower neck sizes or those who prefer tighter necklaces|
|At the clavicle or collarbone; the average necklace length for men|
|22 inches||A few inches below the clavicle or collarbone; commonly used for a more relaxed fit or for those who like to wear necklaces with pendants|
|24 inches||Above the sternum or breastbone; one of the longest lengths commonly worn outside the shirt|
|At the base of the sternum; the longest necklace length for men worn outside of the shirt without a pendant|
Women’s Necklace Length Guide
Best Women Necklace Lengths
Women have six standard necklace lengths: collar, choker, princess, matinee, opera, and rope. The average women’s necklace length is usually the princess type, an 18-inch or 45-cm necklace.
It is the most common length since it is easily worn on most clothing styles and occasions.
For those with a bigger body build, the next best size is the matinee which is between 20 to 24 inches long. If you have a petite body, a 16-inch necklace is an ideal choice to fit comfortably around the neck.
A 14-inch and 16-inch necklace are the best lengths to further accentuate the neck.
The longest necklaces are the opera and rope, which are 28 to 37 inches and 37 to 60 inches, respectively. These fall below the bust and are usually the most suitable necklace lengths for evening attires.
Overall, the best women’s necklace lengths depend on the outfit you want to pair it with.
Women Necklace Lengths Chart
Listed below are the six types of necklace lengths for women. The table shows where the length falls on the body and which clothing works well with each.
|14 inches (Collar)||Around the neck; similar to a choker|
|16 inches (Choker)||Around the base of the neck; typically worn for all types of clothing|
|18 inches (Princess)||At the clavicle or collarbone; the average necklace length for women that is commonly used for most styles|
|20 inches to 24 inches (Matinee)||Between below the collarbone and the bust; commonly used for casual and business attires|
|28 inches to 36 inches (Opera)||Below the bust; common for pearl necklaces and works well with high necklines and evening attires|
|36 inches to 42 inches (Rope)||Below the bosom; usually folded in half as a double necklace for elegant attires|
Child’s Necklace Length Guide
Best Chain Length for a Child
The average child necklace length varies per age, whether it is for a 0 to 1-year-old baby, a 1 to 3-year-old toddler, or a 3 to 10-year-old child.
Babies can typically wear a necklace up to 12 inches long, whereas toddlers fit better with a 10 to 12-inch necklace. A 12 to 16-inch necklace is most suitable for children between 3 to 10 years old.
As for tweens and teenagers, they can wear necklaces that are more than 16 inches. If a baby or toddler is wearing a necklace, it is a must to only have them wear it under adult supervision. Remember, small items like necklaces are dangerous if swallowed.
Moreover, for safety reasons, it should not be too tight or loose. These necklace length recommendations are both suitable for boys and girls.
Keep in mind that children grow fast, so expect that you will be changing the necklace lengths from time to time.
Child Necklace Size Chart
The size chart is the average length and typical position. However, the specific position varies depending on the child’s age and body size.
|8 inches to 12 inches||A few inches below the collarbone; best for babies under adult supervision at all times|
|10 inches to 12 inches||Fall in the chest area; best for toddlers from 1 to 3 years old and must be worn under adult supervision|
|12 inches to 16 inches||A few inches below the collarbone and around the chest area; used for children between 3 to 10 years old|
|16 inches and above||Fall in the chest area; used for children above 10 years old|
Necklace Thickness Chart
After deciding on the desired necklace length, the next thing to consider is the necklace thickness, which refers to its width measured in millimeters (mm).
How thick a necklace is makes a big difference in your appearance. The thinner the necklace, the simpler the look, whereas the thicker the necklace, the bolder the look.
Most people wear necklaces that are 1 mm to 3 mm thick. The thickest chains are usually from 6 mm up to 21 mm, which is usually comparable to the width of a coin.
For easier reference, here is a simple necklace thickness chart measured in millimeters.
|The thinnest necklace selection that offers a lowkey look|
|More noticeable but not too flashy; best worn outside the shirt with pendants|
|About half the width of a coin that is eye-catching|
|Almost the same width as a coin that provides a more exaggerated look|
To help you get a better comparison of the differences between all necklace lengths, refer to the chain reference guide below.
Factors to Consider to Know the Best Type of Necklace
Know Your Face Shape
A necklace can help enhance the shape of your face as long as you use the right length. For instance, round or oval faces should use longer necklaces such as a 20 to 24-inch necklace to help elongate them. Oval-shaped faces are suitable for most types of necklaces.
For heart-shaped faces, use a 16 to 18-inch necklace to soften the face’s curves. If you want to make your face rounder or neck longer, wear the shortest necklace length such as a choker.
Match With Your Height
The right necklace length can either make you look taller or shorter. If your height is shorter than the average, choose a necklace length between 16 and 20 inches since longer necklaces will only make you look even shorter.
Moreover, long necklaces make it too bulky and look heavy for shorter heights.
For those with an average height that is 5’4” and above, all necklace lengths are usually suitable. However, the most commonly used length for these heights is between 22 to 28 inches.
If you are a very tall person, you can use any length but it is recommended to start with 25 inches.
Accentuate Your Figure
Bodies come in all shapes and sizes, so expect not all necklaces are made for all body builds. For instance, if you have broader shoulders, then smaller necklaces won’t be a good fit.
If you have an hourglass body shape, use a necklace that falls on your chest or cleavage to help emphasize the body’s angles.
For pear-shaped bodies, it is ideal to wear an 18 to 24-inch necklace to make the shoulders look wider. Choker necklaces flatter your figure if you have a long neck.
On the other hand, if you have a shorter neck size, it is best not to use a choker since it makes you look small.
Consider Your Clothing Style
The last thing to consider is the clothes you plan to wear. Not all necklaces match every clothing style and its neckline.
For instance, crew neck t-shirts are best worn with an 18″ inch necklace or any necklace length that falls above the neckline.
If you are wearing a shirt with a low v-neck or halter neck neckline, a 20-inch necklace works well. Dresses or shirts with a boat neck or turtleneck neckline are best paired with longer necklaces with a length of 22 inches.
If you want something shorter than 22 inches, wear a 20-inch necklace for plunging or low v-neck necklines.
Shorter necklaces such as chokers and collars look better on boat necks, strapless, scoop necks, and cowl necklines. For versatility, choose an 18-inch necklace, an all-around necklace you can wear on any clothing style.
Frequently Asked Questions
What size necklace for a 10 year old boy or girl?
The best necklace length for 10-year-old boys ranges between 12 inches and 16 inches. The length depends on the boy’s body shape and neck size while considering comfort.
It should provide enough room to breathe comfortably without being too irritating to the neck.
Can a necklace be adjusted to the desired length?
Yes, it is possible to adjust the necklace length if you are using an adjustable necklace. Some necklaces come with an extra cord where you can adjust the clasp accordingly, allowing you to make it a little bit shorter or longer.
There are also some adjustable necklaces with a slider adjuster that you can move to adjust to the desired length.
Can I wear multiple necklace lengths together?
Yes, you can wear different necklace lengths at the same time for a stylish layered look. If you want a simple layer, wear one shorter necklace and one longer necklace.
For an edgier look, wear multiple necklace lengths while making sure you don’t repeat the same length.
Which necklace length is best for pendants?
Generally, all necklace lengths can be paired with a pendant but it also depends on its size and design. For instance, big and heavy pendants may not be suitable for choker necklaces.
Moreover, you also have to take into consideration the thickness of the necklace as it may be too thick to insert a pendant.
16 in vs 18 in necklace?
For men, an 18-inch necklace sits at the base of the neck and is best used for smaller neck sizes.
For women, a 16-inch necklace is a choker at the base of the neck, whereas an 18-inch necklace is the most common length known as the princess type. Moreover, a 16-inch necklace for children is best worn by children above 10 years old.
14 vs 16 inch necklace?
A 14-inch and 16-inch necklace are not common for men due to the average size of the neck. These lengths are mostly seen in women as collar and choker necklaces, which are 14 and 16 inches in length, respectively.
Children between 3 to 10 years old can typically wear these lengths.
There are no right or wrong necklace lengths as it all depends on the style you are going for and the several factors mentioned above.
The ideal length is not the same for every person since the body’s shape, neck size, and face shape are all considered.
When choosing a necklace length, stand in front of a mirror and see if it fits comfortably around your neck and if it goes well with your face shape and body.
Moreover, think about your closet. Do you have clothes suitable for your desired necklace? Necklace lengths vary depending on the type of clothing neckline, whether you are wearing a v-neck, strapless, sweetheart, or turtleneck.
At the end of the day, it should be able to flatter your appearance and showcase your style and personality.
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If you have any of your own tips and tricks about necklace lengths, share them below with the fellow readers too!