How to Choose the Right Necklace Length

Necklace style guide and measuring chart: how to choose the right necklace lengths and size.

Are you trying to figure out how to choose the best necklace length or chain length? Which lengths and style of necklaces with pendant or chain necklaces will suit you and your neckline best? Or are you just generally confused about necklace lengths and types and not sure where to start? 

We know it can be tricky to work out. And we also know that getting it right can make a big difference when you want to make a style impact and look well put together.

Because we want to help you decide what will work best when shopping online for pendants and necklaces, we've come up with this handy length guide, which includes a handy women's necklace length chart with inches and cm, plus tips on how to measure for a necklace or pendant.

Even better, scroll down to find a very useful table to help you figure out which necklace and pendant lengths will suit different necklines and outfits.

Now let's get started ...

Necklace length chart

Other top jewellery tips:

Get more jewellery sizing and style tips:

Our necklace length chart below covers most standard lengths you'll come across online for women's necklaces, pendants and chains. It will give you an idea of where each length is likely to sit on a woman's frame.

But remember that all of us come in different shapes and sizes: if you're not sure then we recommend that you take the time to measure in front of a mirror to see what will suit you (read on for tips).

As an aside, you should always consider what works best for you personally when it comes to jewellery: your own sense of style, build, colouring, etc.. And we're big fans of people breaking jewellery 'rules' as they see fit!

Popular necklace lengths

Necklace size chart in cm and inches: most popular necklace lengths

Standard (or princess) length necklaces (usually 45cm or 18") are the most commonly worn length and will suit most situations. If you're looking for a necklace or pendant to wear day to day, then this is likely to be your go-to length.

This length will generally sit above the neckline for lower cut clothing or over the top of crew necked and other high necked outfits. If you're wearing a pendant at this length it will sit in a pleasing V shape which will frame your face.

If you are tall or have a larger frame, then try a matinee length necklace (usually 55cm or 22”) to get a similar effect.

How to measure for a necklace, chain or pendant

The simplest way is to measure an existing necklace (including a chain necklace or necklace with pendant) which suits you or the outfit you're planning to wear. A tape measure will work a treat.

If you don't have an existing necklace to measure from, you can use some string, ribbon or a soft measuring tape to figure out what will work for you.

Stand in front of a mirror while doing this and it will be much easier to work it out. You might need a safety pin or another person to hold the ends together to help you to get a better idea of how different lengths will sit on you.

Why not have some fun and try on an array of outfits while you're doing this? You can check different necklace lengths to see what will work well with each outfit and work out what you're lacking in your jewellery collection. You should check out our 15 Top Jewellery Style Tips and How to Mix and Match your Jewellery for more ideas to extend and improve your wardrobe and jewellery collection.

Finally, remember to keep in mind that a pendant will generally hang in a V shape rather than with a softer curve. You should also factor in the length of the pendant to see where the bottom of it will sit on you.

Which necklace length will match your neckline?

Knowing which necklace and chain sizes will suit both you and the outfits you plan to wear is a great way to up your jewellery game. Check out our handy necklace style table below to get an idea of which lengths will work best in which scenarios. But don't forget that there's nothing like getting in front of a mirror to check out what works in the real world.

(On mobile? This table will work best in landscape view)

Necklace or chain length: Average placement: Looks great with:
Choker Close against base of neck This length looks great with a wide array of clothing, but should work especially well with off the shoulder, crew and boat necklines. If you have a larger frame or you don't like tighter necklaces, this length may not be for you.
Standard
(or Princess)
On the collarbone This is the most commonly purchased length. It will look flattering on most women and work well with most outfits which suit wearing a necklace. If the necklace has a pendant which forms a V-type shape then it's likely to look great with a v-neck, surplice or sweetheart neckline.
Matinee Between the collarbone and the bust Also looks good with a wide array of outfits, including for business or casual wear. You'll find this length will work especially well over collared shirts and also higher necklines. If you are tall or have a larger neck try this length as your go-to size rather than the standard (princess) length.
Opera On the bust or several centimetres below This length works really well for most high necklines - including turtle necks and boat necks. It's also an elegant choice for evening wear. Depending on the length and your build you may also be able to wear an opera length wrapped around your neck more than once to form a double stranded collar or choker.
Rope Varies depending on how it's worn A rope is any necklace which is longer than opera size. Rope necklaces are generally intended to be wrapped around your neck more than once to form a double stranded necklace. You may also be able to fold them in half, with one end looped through the fold to form a lariat.
Layering necklaces Varies depending on selection Layering necklaces are necklaces usually of varying lengths that are worn together as a group. They can be worn with a wide array of necklines: it's up to you to decide what works and how to mix and match layered necklaces.
No necklace N/A Generally speaking if you are wearing a very low plunge neckline or a high halter neck, you may find that you're best off wearing larger statement earrings and cocktail rings rather than a necklace.

Got it all figured out?

In our online jewellery shop we have: silver necklaces, gold necklaces, necklaces with pendants, chain necklaces, beaded necklaces, layering necklaces, locket necklace designs, and birthstone necklaces.

Our necklace lengths

Simone Walsh Jewellery uses adjustable chains for most necklaces and pendants in our online jewellery shop. This is makes our necklaces extra versatile in terms of how you choose to wear them. The standard adjustable chains allow you to adjust from standard or Princess length (45cm / 18") to Matinee length (55cm / 22").

Check out the product details to see the length for a particular necklace design in our online store as some necklaces are different.

We also have extender chains available in gold and silver which will allow you to increase the length of most clasped chains by an extra 15cm (6"), taking them up to Opera length (70cm / 28"). This will add even more versatility to your jewellery collection - hooray.

You should also check out our very special handmade silver chain necklace, which comes in two different lengths, either of which can be clasped at any point, making it a very versatile necklace to have in your collection.


Other necklace lengths links:

Simone Walsh is an Australian jewellery designer and maker who has been creating unique jewellery in silver, gold and gemstones for over 25 years. She lives and works on the beautiful Fleurieu Peninsula outside Adelaide in South Australia, where she's lucky enough to wander on the beach and frolic in the garden in her free time. Simone is the Founder & Creative Director of Simone Walsh Jewellery.