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Necklace Length Guide: How to Measure & Choose The Right Necklace Chain Length

Necklace Length Guide: How to Measure & Choose The Right Necklace Chain Length


When buying a necklace online, a decision you might find yourself agonize over is choosing the right necklace length, be it for a woman or a man. This guide will help you select the right necklace length that will best showcase your necklace, accentuate your facial and body features and suit your wardrobe.

This comprehensive necklace length guide will tell you:

    • How to find your necklace length
    • How to choose the right necklace length for another woman or man



First, you need to understand the exact look you are going for with your necklace using the chart of standard necklace lengths.

Standard necklace lengths for women

There are roughly 6 standard looks are that are based on variants of necklace lengths, the most common are choker and princess lengths. The other types are less common, but are good to know when considering necklace lengths.

The different women’s necklace looks are explained in this standard necklace lengths chart for an average woman:

Length Style Position on body Worn best with
13 – 15” Collar Tightly around the neck Any clothes with open neck such as V-neck, scoop or boat necks and off-the-shoulder.
15 – 17” Choker Sit at the base of the neck Almost everything
17 – 19” Princess On the collarbone (the most common necklace length for the average women) Almost everything
20 – 24” Matinee Between the collarbone and the bust Great for both business and casual wear
28 – 37” Opera From top of the bust to a couple of inches below High necklines and evening wear
37 – 60” Rope From the center of the bust to the stomach Elegant business and evening wear


Standard Necklace Lengths for Men


The different men’s necklace looks are explained in this standard necklace lengths chart for an average male:

Necklace Length Position on body Worn best with
17-19″ Sits at the base of the neck A crew neck t-shirt. Popular for beaded necklace which sits right above the tee collar.
19-21″ On the collarbone (the most common necklace length for the average men) Almost everything if worn over. Low v-neck or unbuttoned dress shirt if you want it to sit on the skin.
21-23″ A few inches below the collarbone Almost everything worn over or under.
23-25″ On the chest This style is best for either religious or meaningful pendant to be worn under the shirt close to the heart, or to make a fashion statement worn over the shirt such as a dog tag necklace.



1.Choose a similar necklace/cord to the one you are buying
When choosing the length for yourself, you can measure a similar necklace chain that falls the way you want. Take note that the chain thickness needs to be similar to the one you are purchasing. If you don’t have a necklace with similar look or fall, you could use a string or cord of the same thickness.

2.Wrap the chain around your neck
Ask someone to help you wrap the string around your neck, with one end pressed against the nape of your neck. Adjust the other end so that the string falls the way you want your necklace to, and mark where it meets the first end on the back of your neck.

3.Measure the chain by laying it flat
Lay the string/chain flat on a surface and measure the length up to the mark. This measurement should be your necklace chain length.


The best way is of course being able to measure one of their existing necklaces which falls how they like it. As this is not always possible, your best shot is usually an educated guess at both the style they want and their neck size.

If so, consider a couple of things:

Most common average necklace length

If you are unsure, I recommend you stick with the “princess length” for women and the “on the collarbone” for men as these are the most common. Furthermore, if your guess falls a little short or long, you will not end up with something completely unwearable.


Typically, in my experience, the princess necklace length is 16” for petite ladies, 18” for the average women, 20” for those curvier and 22 – 24” if she is tall with wider body frame.

For men, 18-20” is good for skinnier man with smaller frame, 20-22” for the average men, 22-24” for the larger built, and 24” and above for the really tall, well-built men.



Consider an extender


Since all of the above are still educated guesses at best, when selecting a gift, you should go for some room for adjustment with an extender.

For example, all of Centime’s necklaces can be extended with a 3” extender, with multiple loops that allow wearer to choose the most suitable length.

Note that when you add the extender length to the estimated necklace length, make sure it can be adjusted longer and shorter.

For instance, if her estimated necklace length is 18 inches, choose a 17” with 2” extender or a 16” bracelet with 3” extender. Don’t order 18” plus extender.


Consider your facial shape and body build!


For Example wearing drop bar necklace with a long chain to elongate a short face …

You should select necklace length that compliments your facial shape (see table belows). Generally, rounder face should choose a necklace length that elongates, while longer face will want to balance out their shape with a shorter necklace. When in doubt, just remember that you can almost never go wrong with the classic princess length.

Facial shape Suits Avoids
Round Princess, matinee, opera, rope Collar, choker
Long Collar, choker, princess Matinee, opera, rope
Heart Collar, choker, princess Matinee, opera, rope
Oval Almost all Almost none

Those who are more petite might want to avoid longer-style necklaces as they might swallow a small frame.


Pair the right necklace length with your wardrobe


You should consider your wardrobe when buying a necklace. For example, if you have a lot of turtlenecks, you should not buy a choker as it will be rarely worn.

The table below shows you which necklace length to get to suit your wardrobe.

Outfit Best suits Best avoids
Turtlenecks Opera   Collar, choke, princess
Scoop Necks Princess, matinee    Opera, rope
Round Necks Opera, rope
or a collar statement necklace
Princess or matinee as they might fall too close to the neckline
V Necks Princess, matinee    Collar, choker
Boat necks Collar, opera    Almost none
Button up Shirts Princess and Matinee Opera, rope as they clash with vertical buttons column
Strapless Almost any style  Almost none

Don’t forget to SHOP OUR RANGE OF NECKLACES…Ask me for help if unsure of length and or style

X’otiQly yours,


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