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Necklace Lengths Guide

by Adriana Perez-Nakamura
Last updated on December 28, 2022
diamond tennis necklace lengths

Has a new necklace caught your eye? If so, then you may not stop to consider necklace lengths. However, the perfect necklace length is important to think about if you’re going to add to a new necklace to your jewelry collection.

The right necklace should not only match your style, it should also go with different outfits. Otherwise, you run the risk of your necklace disappearing underneath your clothes–then no one will see it!

Read on to learn more about necklace lengths, as well as why they’re important to consider.

What Is a Good Length for a Necklace?

Clean Origin Eternity Pendant.

There are jewelry industry standard necklace lengths for both men and women.

Let’s take a look at what each of those standards is, here:

Standard Necklace Lengths for Women

In women’s necklace lengths, princess necklaces (also called “standard” necklace lengths) are an overall good length. The princess necklace length position suits several types of outfits, necklines, and occasions. Since this length is so adaptable, it’s the most common available in women’s necklace lengths.

Standard Necklace Lengths for Men

20″ is the standard for men’s necklace lengths. A 20″ necklace should fall somewhere along the wearer’s collarbone. And while 20″ is generally the best option, you should take into account the height of the person you’re purchasing a necklace for.

If they’re 5’4″ and under, then a shorter necklace might look better in proportion to their height. If they’re on the taller side, then a necklace that is an inch of two longer may look better.

The Different Necklace Lengths for Women

Clean Origin Tennis Necklaces. Necklace lengths.
Clean Origin Tennis Necklaces

Unless you purchase a customized, designer necklace, there are 5-6 standard length necklaces used for mass-produced jewelry.

The following lengths are the general guidelines, and we’ve even included details about where each necklace length should more or less fall.

Choker Length

A choker length is between 14″ and 16″ long. As its name implies, it hugs tightly around the neck.

If you wear just a choker it will look good with almost any neckline, including: v necks, scoop necks, and boat necklines also.

Although chokers are short necklaces they can be quite versatile. Since they sit at the base of the neck you can get creative and layer them with multiple necklaces.

Mix a choker with one or two other necklaces of varying lengths. Choose necklaces of different colored metals, designs, and precious gems (like pearl necklaces) for eyecatching texture.

Princess Length (Standard)

Clean Origin pink cushion solitaire pendant. Necklace lengths.

The princess length necklace (aka standard) is between 17″ and 19″ long. It sits just at the collarbone and is one of the most flattering necklace lengths.

Why is the princess length one of the most flattering? Because it works well with the neckline of most outfits. It even suits most face shapes, and both a short neck and long necks.

Matinee Length

The matinee length is between 20″ and 24″ long. It sits between the collarbone and bust.

Matinee necklaces work nicely with casual wear as well as business wear. They work well with collared shirts and high necklines, too.

Opera Length

The opera length is between 28″ and 37″ long. It sits anywhere from the top of the bust to a few inches below.

This long necklace looks best with both high necklines (like turtlenecks) and evening wear. It also looks good with boat necklines. If you are on the shorter side, you may want to go with an opera length closer to 28″.

Anything longer can make you look shorter.

If you want to shorten your opera length necklace you can wrap it around your neck one time. The result can be be either a shorter, double-stranded necklace or a choker paired with a longer necklace.

Rope Length

The rope length is any necklace that measures 37″ and longer. It sits anywhere from the middle of the bust to the stomach.

Since the rope length necklace is so long, it is meant to wrap around the neck more than once. Rope necklaces generally look best with evening wear; however, simpler rope necklace designs can complement jeans and a nice t-shirt for a chic daytime look, too.

The Different Necklace Lengths for Men

Necklace lengths for men generally start at 18″ and go up to anywhere from 30″- 36″. The following is a simple length chart that includes where each necklace length will fall on the body of an average-sized man.

Men’s Necklace LengthWhere the Necklace Falls
18″Tightest fit, falls around the base of the neck.
20″Falls just below the collar bone.
22″Falls a few inches below the collar bone.
24″Falls in the middle of the sternum.
30″Fall at the base of the sternum.

How to Measure for Different Necklace Lengths

Clean Origin Perfect Heart Pendant

It’s simple to measure for the right right necklace length; all you need is a soft measuring tape and a piece of string. If you want to find the perfect length necklace for an outfit, put on the outfit for reference before you measure.

To start, drape the string around your neck and hold the two ends in place with your fingers. Then, adjust the ends of the string until it meets where you’d like your necklace to sit on your body. Once you find the length you like, then measure that length of string with your measuring tape.

When you have correct measurements, you can choose the necklace length that best falls into line with your needs.

If you plan to wear a pendant with your necklace, you should also consider where the pendant will fall. And if you’re buying shorter necklaces like chokers, be sure to take your correct neck measurement.

Can You Lengthen a Necklace?

Yes, you can lengthen a necklace. If you’ve found the perfect necklace for your outfit but decide it is a little too short, you can use a necklace extender.

Necklace extenders are short pieces of adjustable chains; they come in different lengths and have a clasp on one end and a round metal loop on the other. Some extenders also have 2 or 3 additional round metal loops throughout the chain. These extra loops help to vary necklace extension lengths a little more or a little less.

How to Use a Necklace Extender

To use a necklace extender, you attach the clasp end of the extender to the round metal loop of your necklace. Then, you attach the other end of your necklace (the clasp end) to the round metal loop of your necklace extender.

An extender is a great way to add 1″-3″ to your necklace chain length for comfort if it’s a little too tight. It’s also helpful if you want to play with your necklace length a bit. This is even a great way to repurpose your existing necklaces in new ways with different outfits.

Choosing the Right Necklace Length for You

Clean Origin Graduate Tennis Necklace

These standard lengths are just guidelines, not rules set in stone. They are especially useful if you’re buying a necklace online. But, beyond that, there’s nothing wrong with going against conventions and choosing the best necklace length based solely on your personal style.

At Clean Origin, we offer beautiful lab grown diamond pendants of all shapes and styles (with adjustable chains). We also offer luxurious tennis necklaces.

No matter the occasion, we have something you are guaranteed to love in the most flattering length. Shop our collection of diamond necklaces, today!