Women's Necklace Lengths - How To Find The Perfect Fit?
With the holidays upon us, I refreshed this blog post so everyone would have the information they need... whether buying a necklace as a gift or for yourself!
Women's necklaces are worn at different lengths based not only on the style of the necklace - but on the statement you want to make. The same style necklace worn short at your round collar looks vastly different than worn longer down the front of your dress.
This image shows where necklaces fall around the average woman's neck. Women with larger necks should typically go up one size of necklace for a similar fit.
If possible, before buying a necklace, measure around your neck with a piece of string laying at the length you would like your necklace. You don't need to do any extra math(!) - necklace lengths already include the additional length added by the clasp. If you are buying a gift and don't know the recipient's neck size, the safest bet is to go with an 18" necklace. It is the most common length and has the most versatility to go with different styles. Of course, an adjustable necklace is always a plus!
What are the sizing guidelines for necklace lengths?
|14-15"||For adults, this is a choker length (or the length when buying "collar" necklaces) - positioned up on the neck. This size is common for children and young women who are not yet adult-size. For petite women, this length may fall lower, like a 16" necklace. The best option for an adult is to measure yourself before buying a necklace of this length.|
For most adults, this length falls at the base of the neck, just above the collarbone. A small pendant would nestle in the hollow of your neck. For larger women, this length may be too tight. Generally, this length is not worn with pendants - unless they are very small pendants or focal pieces in the middle of the necklace, which is common with this length (e.g., a small Swarovski crystal teardrop as the focal point). This length is also common for decorative necklaces that don't have a middle focal point, such as a necklace that has same sized natural stones.
This is the most common women's length of necklace. For the average woman, this falls just below the collarbone. For larger women, this length may be higher, fitting more like a 16" necklace.
If the necklace has a pendant, It is preferable to measure yourself to see where exactly this length falls on you to know if it will keep the pendant on top of your shirt.
In general, it's a good option is to have a necklace that is adjustable around this 18" length so it will fit your personal body size and shape, such as this adjustable natural stone Rhodochrosite Sterling Silver Necklace.
This length is a good option for pendants or decorative necklaces without a pendant. This length will keep the pendant on top of round-collared tops and show well with v-neck, boatneck or pretty much any style of top. A good example is this Blue Flame copper necklace.
|22"||This is a longer necklace that will typically fall over your sternum. This length can be worn over or under a shirt, depending on the style goal of the necklace. For most women, this length is above the bosom, but your personal body shape may have it fall at the top of your bosom. This necklace length is also used when wanting to wear an everyday necklace under your shirt.|
This length falls at the at the bottom of the sternum, somewhere on/in your bosom, depending on your personal size and body shape. It's best to verify where this length will fall on you personally if you plan to wear it over your tops.
A large bosom may not work well with this length of necklace - unless perhaps you are wearing a top with a deep neckline where you want the necklace to fall at your cleavage.
|25"+||As you can imagine, extra-long necklaces tend to fit differently depending on the design of the necklace and your body shape. These lengths fall over your bosom and lay differently depending if you are wearing it over a top or down a deep open neckline. The design obviously makes a difference for these longer lengths - for example, there are extra-long rope style necklaces that are worn with a knot tied where you want it; there are extra-long lariat necklaces that have a single strand hanging down. Some extra-long necklaces are designed for you to loop around your head so you have a double necklace. Choosing any necklaces in the extra-long lengths depends on your style goal, your body shape, what you will wear it with and the specific design of the necklace.|
Every woman has her own personal style.
What is the best necklace length to match your style?
What kind of necklines will you wear it with?
Collared, round, v-neck, boatneck? Longer necklaces tend to look better with non-collared tops. Standard round neck tops don't always work well with 16" necklaces that have pendants, as the pendants tend to slip over and under the shirt collar - so it's best to measure yourself. Boatneck tops look great with shorter necklaces that stay above the neckline of the top. Round or boatneck dresses with look great with longer necklaces down the front of the dress (just make sure the length hangs correctly for the size of your bosom).
Will you wear the necklace over or under your top?
The answer to this impacts not only the length, but the style of necklace. It's easy to wear a chain or thinner pendant (e.g., a small cross) under a top, while a thick pendant (e.g., a large crystal) would look like a bulge outline under your top. Wanting to wear a pendant necklace over your top also means knowing if length will keep the pendant on top, or if it will hit just at the neckline - causing the pendant to randomly go over and under your top.
Do you need a necklace that can be adjusted to wear at different lengths?
Perhaps you plan to wear the necklace that needs to be 18" for your favorite v-neck top, but 20" for your favorite dress. You'll want to keep an eye out for adjustable necklaces.
Is the necklace for a casual or more formal style?
A casual style can wear almost any length of necklace - from choker to extra-long. Necklaces worn with formal styles tend to be chosen based on the design of your outfit.
Frequently Asked Questions
What length is a choker necklace?
For adults, chokers (or "collar" necklaces) are 14 - 15 inches long. They are positioned up on the neck. Of course, these are snug necklace styles, so it's best to measure your neck before buying a choker.
What is the average women's handmade necklace length?
The most common women's necklace chain length is 18 inches. This size fits the average sized woman. Refer to the chart above for more details about they types of necklines that go best with different length necklace chains.
What length handmade necklace should I get if it has a natural stone pendant?
For a small to mid-sized pendant, you would want an 18 - 19 inch necklace. If the pendant is larger, you may want a 19 - 20" length necklace. Very small pendants can be worn at the collarbone, which would mean a shorter 16 - 18 inch necklace. The best best is to measure your neck first!