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From on-trend chains and dazzling diamond pendants to edgy chokers or classic pearls, finding a stylish design is easy, but working out your perfect necklace length can take a bit of know-how. We’ve pulled together our top tips into this necklace length guide to help make it as easy as possible!

12 March 2021 Editor - H. SAMUEL

Necklace length, the basics

When it comes to necklace length, the most important thing to remember is that there is no right or wrong – as long as a necklace is comfortable and you like where it falls, that’s all the matters. Ultimately, the ‘perfect length’ is a very personal choice, and it all comes down to where you want the necklace to sit and how you plan to style it. It’s also worth considering that different designs will sit differently when worn; for example, a classic ladies’ chain or men’s chain will fall in a soft curve, whereas a pendant will sit in a V-shape.

Necklaces are available in such a wide range of lengths, styles, and metal types. When shopping for a new necklace, the first thing to do is consider how you plan to wear it. For example, if you’re on the hunt for something to wear in a stylish stack, you may want it to sit in a different position to a statement pendant that you plan to wear alone. However, necklaces are incredibly versatile pieces of jewellery, so you can usually style any design in a variety of ways.

How to measure necklace length

We are often asked how to measure necklace length and, luckily, it’s a pretty straightforward process. Here are some of the methods to choose from:

  1. Measuring an existing necklace: If you already have a necklace in a length that you love, or one that you’d like to layer with other designs and want to work out what size up or down to purchase, lay it on a flat surface and use a tape measure or ruler to measure from end to end, including the clasp. If it’s a necklace with several fastening options, measure from the clasp to the hook you wear it on most often. Alternatively, if the necklace is too long for the ruler, simply fasten it to the hook you like to wear it on, pull it taught and measure from end to end – you’ll need to double this number, and that will give you the length.

  2. Measuring with string, ribbon, or a tape measure: If you don’t have a necklace to use as a reference, you can use a flexible tape measure or a piece of string or ribbon. Simply loop it around your neck and hold it in the position where you’d like the necklace to sit, then mark where the ends meet and, if using string, measure to determine what length necklace you’ll need.

  3. Measuring for a choker: When measuring your neck for a choker, it’s best to use a flexible tape measure, string, or ribbon and sit it comfortably around the base of your neck. Once you have your neck measurement add 2 inches, and that will be the size of choker you’ll need.

What is the standard necklace length?

Necklace and chain measurements are most often seen in inches, and you’ll find adult designs in most sizes from 16” to 30”. However, the standard necklace lengths tend to be:

16 inches: We are often asked ‘how long are choker necklaces?’ and, as a general rule, they tend to be between 14” and 17”, with the most popular choker necklace length being 16”. A fashion-forward choice, a choker complements most necklines and looks eye-catching when worn alone or when layered with longer styles.

18 inches: The most popular necklace length for ladies is the princess length, which tends to be 18” and sits elegantly on your collarbone. If you’re looking for the ideal length for daily wear, this will likely be your go-to choice. The princess length flatters all body and face shapes and suits both chain and pendant necklaces.

20 to 24 inches: This is an incredibly trendy and versatile length for both men and women. The average necklace length for men is around 20”, as it falls below the collarbone and would sit between the top two buttons of a shirt or stylishly over a t-shirt. 22” and 24” necklaces are ideal for longer chains and necklaces and are the most common length for men’s designs that are intended to be worn over clothes, such as dog tags, crosses or other statement pendants.

For ladies, this is called a matinee length necklace and would stylishly fall between the collarbone and the bust. Perfect for layering or for wearing alone as a statement chain or pendant, this length is such an all-rounder and would be a great addition to anyone’s jewellery collection.

25 – 30 inches: You’ll find stylish chain and pendant designs for men and women in long necklace lengths like this, which look great with high necklines and can be dressed up or down, depending on the occasion. For ladies, this style is traditionally known as an opera length necklace and, depending on how long it is, you could knot it for a vintage look, or wrap it around to double it up as a choker.

Necklace length chart

We are all unique, and factors such as body shape and height can affect where a necklace sits from person to person. However, this handy necklace length chart will help you visualise roughly how each length will fall:

How to layer necklaces

From stacking gold chains to pairing vintage pendants with dainty chokers, layering is an art that celebs and fashionistas have adopted and mastered. And, after having been a hot trend for the last few seasons, this popular accessorising style is here to stay.

Besides being a great way to create a unique look and show your individuality, the best part about layering is that there is no right or wrong way to do it. It’s all about experimenting with different lengths, styles, metals, colours, and textures to find a combination that works for you. However, if you’d like a helping hand, here are our top tips and tricks for nailing an effortlessly stylish layered look.

  1. Consider your neckline and outfit: When it comes to casual looks, styling them up with a statement necklace stack never fails to impress. However, if your outfit is a bit more extravagant, try pairing it with daintier designs or a couple of sleek chains to keep it simple and stylish. When choosing which length of necklaces to wear, it’s also worth considering your neckline and what you feel comfortable drawing attention to.

  2. Think about the levels: When wearing more than one necklace, varying the lengths gives a stylish, chic, and put together look. To achieve this, try mixing a choker with a short fine chain and a long chunky chain, or pendant, for that classic layered look. Or, if you’re keen to achieve the edgy and eye-catching ‘neckmess’ style that’s all the rage on Instagram, layer multiple necklaces of the same length.

  3. Mix different link styles and textures: From Figaro to curb and twisted to rope, chains come in a wide range of link styles and textures, as well as lengths. We love mixing sleek with statement in a necklace stack, and it’s a great way to achieve that effortlessly cool vibe.

  4. Experiment with colour and metals: Stacks in the same colour palette are classic and sophisticated but, if you’re feeling daring, try mixing different tones and metal colours for a fashion-forward look. For the perfect finishing touch, you can also experiment with adding a pop of colour with beads, gemstones, or an eye-catching pendant.

Find your perfect necklace with H.Samuel

From timeless pearls to stylish chains and sparkling pendants, at H.Samuel we’re proud to offer an impressive range of ladies’ necklaces and men’s necklaces, including collections from renowned brands such as Fossil, Angel Whisperer, Guess, and Enchanted Disney Fine Jewellery.

Whether it’s a special treat for yourself or a gift for a loved one, we know how important it is to find the perfect piece. So, if you need any more help or advice, or would like a hand narrowing down your options, book a free in-store or virtual appointment with one of our friendly team, who’ll be happy to help.