How to Choose the Perfect Necklace Length: A Comprehensive Guide

Selecting the right necklace length for your outfit and body type can be a tricky endeavor. There are many factors to consider, such as your neck size, body type, face shape, and the style of your outfit. This comprehensive guide will help you navigate through these considerations to make an informed decision.


Understanding Necklace Lengths

Necklaces come in varying lengths, with each serving a specific purpose and suiting different body types and outfits. Here are the standard necklace lengths:

  1. Collar (12-13 inches): Fits tightly around the neck and works well with open-neck clothing like scoop necks, V-necks, off-the-shoulder, and boatnecks.
  2. Choker (14-16 inches): Sits tightly against the base of the throat and pairs well with almost anything.
  3. Princess (18 inches): Falls on the collarbone and is versatile enough to complement most outfits.
  4. Matinee (20-24 inches): Sits between the collarbone and the bust, perfect for both business and casual wear.
  5. Opera (28-36 inches): Lies on the bust or an inch or two below, it goes well with high necklines and evening wear.
  6. Rope (36-42 inches): Can be wrapped to sit on or just below the center of the bust. Ideal for elegant business and evening wear.

Determining Your Neck Size

Before purchasing a necklace, measure around your neck down to the desired focal point. You can do this by using a string or another necklace. Add two inches to your neck measurement for a comfortable fit, especially for choker styles.

Considering Your Body Type

The necklace length you choose can draw attention to certain areas of your body. If you want to draw attention away from your bust, avoid necklaces that end at that area. Conversely, if you want to accentuate your waist, opt for a long necklace that ends at your natural waistline.

Factoring in Your Face Shape

A necklace can help frame your face and accentuate your best facial features. For instance, if you have a round face, opt for longer necklaces to create a slimming "V" effect. Conversely, if you have a heart-shaped or long, rectangular face, chokers can help balance out your features.

Matching the Necklace with Your Outfit

Your outfit plays a significant role in choosing the right necklace length. For instance, long necklaces look great with high or plunging necklines, while chokers or princess length necklaces complement crew neck or off-shoulder tops.

Taking Height and Body Frame into Account

Your height and body frame also influence the necklace length that would suit you the most. Short women may find long necklaces overwhelming, and thus, necklaces that sit on or just below the collarbone might work best. Conversely, if you're taller, you might find that shorter chains get lost on you, so longer necklaces may be a better fit.

Choosing Necklace Length for Different Necklines

Different necklines call for different necklace lengths. For instance, strapless styles pair beautifully with standard necklace lengths like the choker or princess. On the other hand, high necklines or turtlenecks work well with opera or rope-length necklaces.

Considering the Necklace Type

The type of necklace you choose also matters. Collar and choker necklaces are usually more chunky and make a bold statement, while princess and matinee lengths can be more delicate or dainty, depending on the design.

Necklace Length for Special Occasions

Choosing the right necklace length for a special occasion, like a wedding or formal event, can be a bit more complex. You'll want to consider not only your outfit but also the formality of the occasion. Generally, the more formal the event, the longer your necklace should be.

Making the Right Choice

Ultimately, the right necklace length comes down to personal preference. What matters most is that you feel comfortable and confident in your choice. If you're unsure, it's always safe to opt for a medium length necklace, like the princess or matinee length, as they are versatile and suit most body types and outfits.

Necklace Length Chart for Easy Reference

To help you decide on the best necklace length, here's a handy chart for reference. Remember, these are just guidelines, and the most important thing is that you feel comfortable and confident in your jewelry.

Necklace Length Placement Best Suited With
Collar (12-13 inches) Tightly around the neck Open-neck clothing
Choker (14-16 inches) Against the base of the throat Almost everything
Princess (18 inches) On the collarbone Most outfits
Matinee (20-24 inches) Between the collarbone and the bust Business and casual wear
Opera (28-36 inches) On the bust or an inch or two below High necklines and evening wear
Rope (36-42 inches) Wrapped to sit on or just below the center of the bust Elegant business and evening wear


Choosing the right necklace length doesn't have to be complicated. By considering your neck size, body type, face shape, outfit, and personal style, you can easily select a necklace length that will complement your look and make you feel fabulous. Remember, the most important thing is that you feel comfortable and confident in your choice.

With the right necklace length, you can elevate your look and add a touch of elegance to any outfit. Whether you prefer chokers, princess, matinee, opera, or rope lengths, there's a perfect necklace out there for everyone. Happy shopping!