Accessorizing an outfit with new jewelry can be fabulous fun; however, trying to figure out the right necklace length to buy can be tricky. You may have purchased a necklace only to put it on and find it to be too long or too short. We are here to help! Necklaces come in a handful of standard lengths and once you understand these lengths, shopping for that perfect piece will be much easier.
Some necklaces are sold in odd lengths, however for the most part you will find that the majority of necklaces are sold in even inch lengths. When ordering a necklace, check the description, you will find many necklaces are sold with a 2-4 inch extender. This gives you extra length if you decide the necklace is too short. Below is a summary of necklace lengths.
Please see our necklace length guide on right. You may wish to print it for future reference.
Chokers or Collar Necklaces: At 12-16 inches these necklaces wrap very closely around the neck. This size usually sits above the collar bone.
Princess: At 17-18 inches the Princess is the most common necklace length in jewelry. These necklaces usually graze the collarbone and are often pendant necklaces. 19-20 inch necklaces will usually sit just below the collarbone but still above the neckline.
Matinee: At 20-24 inches the Matinee necklace will lay at or just below the center of the bust.
Opera: At 28-34 inches the Opera necklace will hang on or below the bust. The necklaces can often be wrapped into double strand styles or knotted.
Ropes & Lariats: At 35 inches and over, Ropes and Lariats are very long and can be doubled or tripled to give a layered effect, otherwise, they hang below the navel.
Pairing the right necklace with your tops neckline can polish your look if done correctly. However, if you pair the wrong necklace and neckline you are courting disaster. Below we have outlined how standard necklace lengths work with common clothing necklines.
Turtlenecks: When wearing a turtleneck it is best to pair it with a long Opera length necklace. The length of the necklace will pull the eye downward and create a chic contrast, elongating your look. Pairing a Choker or Princess length necklace will have the opposite effect and create a bulky appearance.
Scoop Necks: Round scoop neck tees or tops create a bare space between the chest and neckline. This space is perfect to use as the backdrop for your necklace. Princess and Matinee length necklaces are the perfect style to wear with this neckline. If you opt to not wear a chain necklace go for a statement necklace that will add volume to the space but is also the appropriate length.
Crew Necks: Crew neck tops can be accessorized with a long necklace of 24 inches and up. However, they also look great with a statement necklace that falls on or just above the collar bone. Matinee styles are not suggested to wear with crew necks as they fall to close to the neckline.
V Necks: Chunky styles or chokers should be avoided, the V neck is best accessorized with a Princess or Matinee necklace, or pendant styles work as well.
Boat Necks: Boat neck tops create a wide silhouette, to contrast this width, it is best to wear an Opera length necklace. The length of the necklace will bring a nice balance to the look.
Button up Shirts: Choosing a necklace to pair with a collared shirt can send the average woman into a tizzy but do not worry, there a few options. You can wear a necklace on the inside of the collar with it slightly unbuttoned or unbuttoned a bit further, and add multiple necklaces to create a layered look. The best styles to create this look will be Princess and Matinee length necklaces. Another option is to completely button up the top and wear a statement necklace over the top. It is best to avoid long necklaces with button ups as the length of the necklace will clash with the vertical buttons.
Strapless: When wearing a strapless neckline almost anything goes. You can choose from a variety of options including chokers, collar necklaces, multi-strand pieces, long necklaces, and statement pieces. If you are not wearing a busy pattern this is the perfect neckline to showcase a bigger and more elaborate necklace.
Choosing the right necklace length can help accentuate and enhance your best facial features because necklaces frame your face. Below are some helpful guidelines on necklace lengths that work best for each facial shape.
Oval: The oval face can be flattered with almost every type of necklace.
Heart Shaped and Angular: Necklaces in lengths of 12-16 inches work best on these two face shapes. The choker style necklaces tend to diminish and soften the sharp angles on the heart shaped or angular face.
Round: Round shape faces should avoid choker style necklaces as these tend to accentuate the roundness of the face. It is suggested that this face shape wear necklaces in lengths of 24-26 inches which will elongate the jaw line.
Rectangle and Oblong: 12-16 inch necklaces work best with these shape faces as the shorter necklaces will shorten the length of the jaw line.
At the end of the day no matter what length of necklace you choose, the perfect necklace is simply the one you love most and makes you feel beautiful. Even if it breaks the rules, always remember to keep your sparkle and shine on!
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