Picture this: It’s 6:00 p.m. and you’re rushing to finish getting ready before your 6:30 p.m. reservations. You tug on a new blouse that looked great when you tried it on in the store, but now it’s just falling short of your expectations. You know you don’t have time to change, but that’s when you rummage through your jewelry box and pull out a timeless silver chain that sits comfortably just below your collarbone. It’s perfect, and suddenly you remember why you fell in love with this blouse. Satisfied, you walk out the door, ready to enjoy your evening.
Not only can the right necklace pull together an entire outfit, but it can accentuate your best features, frame your face, and boost your confidence exponentially. But often it can be hard to find the perfect necklace length for your face shape, body type, and outfit, especially when buying online.
That’s why we’re here to provide a necklace length guide to show you average necklace lengths, types, and ways to measure your body to get the perfect fit. And remember, these are recommendations, after all. If you find a stunning necklace that speaks to you, wear it with confidence, even if it doesn’t fit into an average guide the internet told you to follow.
Average Necklace Lengths for Women
Use this necklace length chart to visualize the sizing in which most necklaces are sold. This chart gives you an idea of where each necklace will likely fall on the body, but keep in mind necklace length varies for different women.
Collar Length: 14”
This fit wraps tightly around the neck, higher up the neck than the choker fit. Longer necks, short hairstyles, and off-the-shoulder necklines accentuate this length. If you don’t love tight-fitting necklaces, however, this length may not be the right fit for you.
Choker Length: 16”
The choker length sits at the base of the neck, slightly looser than the collar fit. For petite women, this length hangs loosely just above the collarbone. For women with larger necks, the choker may fit more snugly like a collar fit.
Princess Length: 17”–18”
The princess length is the most commonly purchased necklace length that flatters most body types and outfit styles. It sits elegantly just below the base of the neck and rests on the collarbone.
Matinee Length: 20”–24”
The matinee length, slightly longer than the princess length, sits along the neckline between the bottom of the collarbone and the top of the bust. This style flatters both business and casual wear and pairs nicely with high-neck or collared shirts. For more full-bodied women and women with larger necks, opt for this length if looking for a fit similar to the princess length.
Opera Length: 28”–36”
An elegant choice for high necklines or evening wear, an opera-length necklace will sit at or just below the bust. The opera length can also be wrapped into two layers resting as a choker and princess fit, depending on neck size and height.
Rope Length: 36”–42”
Anything longer than an opera fit is a rope-length necklace. These are generally intended to be doubled around the neck to create a classic layered look. Some may be able to be folded in half to create a stylish lariat knot.
How to Determine the Right Necklace Length Based on Your Body Type
While these are general guidelines for average necklace lengths, remember every necklace won’t look the same on everyone. Taking into consideration features like your neck, face shape, body type, and height, will help make sure you’re selecting the right necklace length.
You can use a measuring tape or a piece of ribbon measured with a ruler to determine your neck size. As a general rule of thumb, take your neck size and add two inches for a choker fit; add four inches for a princess fit. Chokers and collars look best on women with longer necks, as they have a tendency for making shorter necks look wider than they actually are.
The shape of your face may determine which necklace length looks the best on you. Heart-shaped faces look best with rounded princess fits, while oval faces look better with matinee-length necklaces pointed with a pendant.
Necklaces are a great fashion piece for their ability to accentuate areas we want to show off and draw attention away from areas we want the eye to avoid. That being said, most peoples’ eyes are drawn to the point where a necklace ends. If your necklace ends at a point you don’t want to draw attention to, consider opting for a different necklace length. Full-figured women may find they prefer shorter necklaces that don’t fall on the bust, as they tend to not hang properly.
Long necklaces tend to accentuate taller frames. While we don’t discourage shorter women from wearing long necklaces (fashion rules were made to be broken, after all), they do have a tendency to overwhelm shorter frames.
Wear Your Necklaces with Confidence
Necklaces are great stand-alone fashion statements or the perfect partner to a collection of stacked chains. No matter what style of necklace you prefer, your necklace should make you hold your head a little higher, feeling both comfortable and confident. Machete’s collection of ethically sourced gold and silver necklaces come in a variety of lengths so you can find the best one suited for you.