Our Guide to Necklace Lengths | Linjer Jewelry
When we think of styling necklaces, so often we think about the color, type material, and style, like is it a chain or pendant? But, paying attention to the length of your necklace is just as key when it comes to putting together a look.
The right necklace length can set you up for style greatness.
Naming Necklace Lengths
Necklace lengths range all the way from neck-tight collars—think of the iconic tattoo choker from the 90s—to ultra-long rope necklaces—think 1920s flapper, or the boho-chic beads that resurfaced in the 2000s.
Use this necklace length chart to help you confidently shop the perfect necklace!
Usually made with soft or flexible material, a collar necklace sits tightly around the neck as if it’s painted on. This creates a visually striking appearance that we could define as bold or edgy.
If you prefer something with more breathing room, consider a choker. The choker sits somewhere around the base of your neck—like our Tennis Necklace. It’s roomier but still accentuates the neck.
Princess Necklace 15-18”
This short necklace is very common for both chains and pendant necklaces; considered an average necklace length, it is situated just at or below the collarbone. Pendants are usually small at this length so as not to overwhelm the collarbone.
Matineé Necklace 20-24”
The matineé is also considered to be a standard necklace length. You’ll find many different necklace styles at this length. It should sit somewhere between your collarbone and your bust. Pendants at this length might be larger, as the chest provides a more spacious canvas.
Opera Necklace 28-36”
The romantic opera length—named for the formal opera-going and ballroom jewelry of yesteryear— is quite long, draping over the bust. That said, even casual necklaces—like our Locket Necklate - Marte—can be worn at this length.
Rope Necklace 36” - 60”
This ultra-long necklace was made popular by the flappers of the 1920s. It’s typically seen paired with glamorous formal wear or whimsical boho-style outfits. Even when doubled or knotted (as it is often styled), it can still hang as far as your waist or hips.
The measurements given are the circumference. Learning how to measure necklace length is easy; you can unclasp the necklace and measure from the clasp to the point where you want to hook the clasp. Keep in mind that many necklaces—like our Pearl Necklace - Sara—are adjustable.
If the necklace doesn’t have a clasp, try to fold it in half (as much as possible); then measure top to bottom and double that number.
If numbers aren’t your thing, keep in mind this reference.
- Collar = mid-neck
- Choker = base of neck
- Princess = collar bone
- Matineé = chest
- Opera = bust
- Rope = waist to hips
There are three things to keep in mind when selecting the length of your necklaces: complementing your proportions, complementing your neckline, and appropriacy for the venue.
When it comes to the neckline, there’s really only one strict rule: the end of the necklace should drop either above or below the neckline (about an inch minimum either way). Even if the fabric isn’t loose enough to actually cover up your necklace, it’s simply not visually pleasing, as your gorgeous jewelry won’t be properly framed.
- Draw attention towards the neck; not always flattering to round face shapes
- Well suited to smaller, more delicate pendants
- Work with v-necks, scoop necks, square and sweetheart necklines
- Appropriate for casual and formal venues, some collar and chokers may not be well suited to professional venues, as these tend to be a bit more bold
Our Bar Necklace - Hanne is a great example of a princess necklace with a delicate pendant that can be styled to your taste with three adjustable lengths.
- Almost universally flattering; can draw attention to the bust or cleavage
- Well suited to medium and large statement pendants—like the Peaceful Heart, an 18 inch necklace that can also be worn fully matineé at 20 inches.
- Go well with v-necks, scoop necks, boat necks, and high collars
- Appropriate for casual, professional, and formal venues.
Tip: Adjustable necklace chain lengths can be transformed into a short or medium necklace, which is perfect for layering!
- Draw attention towards the torso; can swallow petite body frames
- Tend to pair with either high collars or plunging necklines, but there is more flexibility
- Appropriate for casual and formal venues, may not be suitable for the workplace
Remember, these necklace sizes are references. A 16 inch necklace, for instance, may be more of a choker on one person and more of a princess-length necklace on another.Ultimately your unique proportions will determine where a necklace sits and looks best on you. Get inspired by the many lengths and designs on our Necklaces Collection page!