How to Choose the Right Necklace Length


Open your jewellery box. How many necklaces are in there that you hardly ever wear? We’re guessing there are quite a few! You’re not alone – many women purchase beautiful necklaces, only to find that they hardly ever wear them as they don’t go with any of their outfits, or simply because they are the wrong length.

Women’s necklaces come in a range of different lengths, from collar and choker necklaces which are worn around the neck itself, right the way through to rope necklaces, which are wrapped to sit on the bust. But which length is right for you?

In this post we’ll discuss how to choose the right necklace length for your height and body type. We’ll also cover which necklaces go best with certain outfits.

Necklace length chart

Firstly, let’s talk about the names for the various lengths of necklace. Standard necklace lengths are measured in inches, but custom designed pieces can be cut to any length. Here’s a table detailing the name of each necklace length, where it falls on the body and the best outfits to pair it with.

LengthStylePlacementGoes best with
14 inchesCollarFitted tightly around the throatOpen neck clothing, especially strapless clothing and scoop necks
16 inchesChokerTightly around the base of the neckMost outfits
18 inchesPrincessLies on the collarboneMost outfits
20 to 24 inchesMatineeFalls between the bust and collarboneMost outfits
28 to 36 inchesOperaLies directly on the bust or around an inch belowOutfits with high necklines, especially evening wear
36 to 42 inchesRopeFalls below the centre of the bustUsually worn with elegant evening or business wear

Which necklace length is best for my height and body type?

Choosing the right necklace isn’t just about pairing it with the right outfit. Want to finally start choosing necklaces that won’t get stuck in a drawer due to lack of wear? Whilst one of the key reasons for this is that your necklaces don’t work with your overall wardrobe, the other is that they’re not particularly flattering. This is why you should look to your face, neck, and body type to determine the necklace length that’s right for you. 

The best place to start is to find the necklace you wear most often. You likely wear it more than the others because it’s the most flattering length for you, or the one that looks best with most of your outfits. The quickest way to figure out the perfect necklace length for you is to simply lay this necklace out to its full length and measure it!

If you don’t have a necklace that you love, read on to find out how to determine your necklace length. You’ll need to consider everything from the shape of your face to your height and the size of your bust.

Start with your neck

All necklaces, no matter the length, will inevitably draw attention to your neck, so it’s important to pay attention to this area when choosing the right necklace length for you.

Necks, like the rest of our bodies, come in various shapes and sizes, and not every necklace length will suit every neck type.

Whilst those with long necks can wear just about any type of necklace, people with shorter necks should avoid choker and collar necklaces, as they can make your neck look stubby. On the other hand, a matinee necklace, between 20 and 24 inches, elongates the appearance of shorter necks.

What is the right necklace length for my height?

Whilst taller women can get away with just about any length of necklace, those of a shorter stature could look swamped by longer necklace lengths or chunkier designs.

Our advice: If you’re shorter than 5’4”, choose a princess length necklace or shorter. Anything that goes past your collarbone is likely to overwhelm your frame.

Take your bust into account

Any necklace length that falls on the bust is going to draw attention to it. If you are well-endowed in that department, you may feel that there is enough going on in that area already, so a necklace length of 20 inches or less could be right for you. 

If you’re looking to draw attention to your cleavage, a matinee length is perfect. Meanwhile, shorter necklace lengths will draw the eye up and away from the bust.

The best necklace for my face shape

Finally, take your face shape into consideration when choosing the perfect necklace length. 

Is your face oval, round, square or heart-shaped? 

Oval faces can get away with any length of necklace, depending upon their owner’s height and neck shape.

Those with rounder faces might want to go for a longer necklace, which creates a slimming V-shape. Chokers and collar necklaces should be avoided here, as they can make the face look even rounder.

Meanwhile, those with heart-shaped or long, angular faces can benefit from the smoothing effect of a shorter necklace.

If you like it, wear it!

Whilst these tips are handy to help you decide which necklace length is right for you, the only one who can really decide what you like is you! Take a look in the mirror, and if you’re happy with your necklace then wear it!

Looking for the perfect necklace for a special occasion?

Need a new necklace for an upcoming wedding, party or prom? Or maybe you’d just like to change up your everyday jewellery? Head over to OD’s Jewellers where you’ll find beautiful designer necklaces in a range of lengths, along with all the most fashionable jewellery for 2022.

Written by Megan Taylor
Megan is a beauty expert who is passionate about all things makeup and glam! Her love for makeup has brought her to become a beauty pro at Glamour Garden Cosmetics.