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Your Guide to Choosing the Right Necklace Length

Your Guide to Choosing the Right Necklace Length

Your Guide to Choosing the Right Necklace Length

The choice of necklace or pendant length is a crucial factor in determining how well it complements your outfit and enhances your overall appearance. The right length can accentuate your neckline, highlight your facial features, and even create an illusion of a longer or shorter torso. In this necklace guide, we will explore various lengths and provide insights on how to choose the perfect one for different occasions and necklines.

A Necklace Size Chart Showing Six Common Sizes

Understanding Standard Necklace Chain Lengths

Most necklaces come in standard sizes of 14”, 16”, 18”, 20”, 22”, and 24”. While these lengths are standardized, it's important to note that each length may rest differently on various body types.

Choker (14-16 inches / 35-41 cm):

Lab-Grown Diamond Tennis Necklace, 16 inches

This style is known for sitting high on the neck, emphasizing the neck and collarbone. Chokers are versatile and can complement both casual and formal outfits.

Princess (17-19 inches / 43-48 cm):

Lab-Grown Diamond Martini Pendant in White Gold, 18 inches

The princess necklace is one of the most common. It falls just below the collarbone and is considered a classic and flattering style that works well with a variety of necklines.

Matinee (20-24 inches / 51-61 cm):

Diamonds by the Yard Necklace in White Gold, shown in 24 inches

Matinee styles are longer, reaching the top of the bust. This style is often chosen to add an elegant touch to both casual and formal attire, offering more versatility in terms of styling.

Need something even longer? On rare occasions, you may want an Opera length (28-34 inches, 71-86 cm) or Rope length (45 inches, 114 cm) to extend past your bust and beyond, but neither are commonly used in fine jewelry.

What Is The Average Man’s Chain Necklace Length?

Men’s Lab-Grown Diamond Tennis Necklace

The average chain length for men can vary based on personal style preferences and trends. However, a common and versatile length for men's chains is typically between 20 to 24 inches (51 to 61 cm). This length allows the piece to rest comfortably around the base of the neck or slightly below the collarbone.

Of course, individual preferences and body types may lead some men to choose shorter or longer chains. Shorter chains, such as 18 inches, may sit higher on the neck, while longer chains, up to 24 inches or more, can provide a more extended and relaxed look.

Tip #1: Flatter Your Body Type, Neck Size, and Face Shape

One of the primary factors to consider when choosing necklace lengths and style is your body type. Different lengths create different visual effects. For example, if you have a shorter neck, longer chains can elongate your neckline and make it appear more slender. On the other hand, individuals with longer necks may opt for shorter strands to maintain a balanced look.

The circumference of your neck can influence your ideal length. Measure your neck before purchasing a piece of jewelry, especially if you're buying online. Ensure that the necklace sits comfortably without feeling too tight or too loose.

To measure your neck for the perfect length, use a flexible tape measure. Wrap it comfortably around the base of your neck, allowing space for movement. Ensure it sits snugly without being too tight. Note the measurement, and add an extra inch or two based on your preferred fit.

If you don’t have a flexible measuring tape, you can also cut string, and then measure the string length with a ruler.

Just as certain hairstyles are more flattering for specific face shapes, the length of your piece can complement your facial features. For example, individuals with a round face shape may opt for longer chains to create the illusion of a more elongated face, while those with a long face often prefer a short strand length for the opposite effect.

Tip #2: Consider Your Special Occasion, Style, and Outfit

Consider the occasion and your personal style. For formal events, you might opt for a shorter, more delicate strand that adds a touch of sophistication. On the other hand, for casual or bohemian looks, longer pieces with statement pendants can be a great choice.

Diamond Bar Necklace shown in Yellow Gold

The neckline of your outfit plays a crucial role in determining the appropriate length. Different necklines pair well with specific necklace lengths. For example, a choker or a short necklace complements a crew neck or boat neck top, while a longer necklace works well with a V-neck or scoop neck.

Tip #3: Layering Techniques

Experimenting with layering can add a dynamic and stylish dimension to your overall look. Mixing and matching pieces of different lengths can create a trendy and personalized style. When layering, ensure that each necklace has enough space to be visible and doesn't tangle with the others.

Herringbone Necklace, Paperclip Chain Necklace, and Martini Pendant Necklace (top to bottom)

Tip #4 Personal Comfort:

Comfort is key. If you're not comfortable with a particular length, it's likely to distract you throughout the day. Consider your daily activities, as well. If you have a hands-on job or frequently engage in physical activities, a shorter necklace may be more practical and less likely to get in the way.

Martini Pendant Necklace in White Gold and Lab-Grown Diamond Accented Bezel Necklace in White Gold (top to bottom)

Tip #5: Make Sure Your Jewelry Plays Nicely with Others

Maintaining proportion is essential when choosing a necklace. If you're wearing bold statement earrings, it's advisable to opt for a more subtle chain to avoid overwhelming your look. Conversely, if you're going for a minimalist earring style, you have more flexibility to choose a bolder or longer piece.

Graduated Tennis Necklace in White Gold paired with Bezel Drop Earrings

Best Choices for Everyday: Stud Pendants

Many of MiaDonna’s women's necklaces make exceptional additions to your everyday wardrobe, especially simple studs like the Martini Pendant, Basket Pendant, and Bezel Pendant Necklace in your choice of Lab-Grown Diamond size. The French Halo Pendant shines brightly if you want a bigger look without having to buy a larger diamond.

Emerald Cut Basket Pendant Shown in 1.0ct, 2.0ct, and 3.0ct

Best Choices for Special Occasions: Tennis Necklaces

Tennis necklaces are a timeless and elegant accessory that has gained popularity for its simple yet sophisticated design.

7.32ctw Lab-Grown Diamond Tennis Necklace

These styles are characterized by their understated glamour, making them suitable for various occasions, from formal events to everyday wear. The stones are usually set in prongs or bezel settings, allowing for maximum light exposure to enhance their brilliance. Tennis necklaces come in various lengths, with the most common being 14 to 18 inches, providing versatility in styling and layering.

Their timeless design makes them a modern staple in jewelry collections. Whether worn alone for a touch of sophistication or layered with other pieces for a contemporary look, tennis necklaces continue to be a symbol of enduring beauty and refined elegance.

The Long and Short of Necklaces

Choosing the right necklace length involves thoughtful consideration of various factors, including body type, neckline, occasion, personal style, face shape, comfort, neck size, and proportion. By understanding how these elements interact, you can make informed decisions that enhance your overall appearance and express your unique sense of style. Whether you prefer a classic choker, a trendy layered look, or a sophisticated long necklace, the key is to find the perfect balance that suits you and the occasion.


Katy Moore , Senior Manager, Brand Marketing

Katy Moore is the Senior Manager, Brand Marketing of MiaDonna. She first crossed paths with Anna-Mieke in 2008 and has admired MiaDonna’s sparkling jewelry and rewarding mission ever since. Before joining MiaDonna, Katy spent 15 years in broadcast media, event promotion, and advertising agencies, honing skills in social media, strategic partnerships, community building and media planning. When she’s not sharing MiaDonna with fans, she’s choosing her new favorite song. 

Katy is an expert in popular culture, fashion, style, and conscientious spending.