Finding the Perfect Necklace Length
When it comes to purchasing a necklace, particularly online, it’s hard to envision its proportions and to know if it will fit just right.
Thankfully, with plenty of experience up our sleeves and some simple tried and tested advice, we have a couple of tips that will help you the next time you’re eyeing off that special piece.
Standard chain lengths:
As with other types of jewellery that are designed to fit our bodies, we can look out for some simple measurements to keep in mind when considering necklaces.
Chain lengths are typically measured in millimetres (mm) which can be found from taking a necklace chain, laying it flat and measuring its full length with a ruler.
There are a few chain lengths that are particularly common and worth keeping an eye out for, these are 450mm and 500mm.
We consider these ‘standard sizes’ for good reason: many artists create their necklaces in these lengths because they sit somewhere between the collar bone (choker) and the bust (matinee). Their position makes them the perfect length for both professional and casual wear and are flattering with many cuts and necklines.
The chain length spectrum:
While the standard sizes tick a lot of boxes, they aren’t our only options! Necklaces can come in a huge array of lengths. Longer chains may be preferable for larger pendants, and shorter chains for smaller pendants. Sometimes the robustness or thickness of the chain can inform the length and vice versa.
So that you can consider all your options, here is the full range of necklace lengths:
355mm – 420mm
A ‘choker’ length that sits firmly around the neck or tightly around the base of the throat. Being the shortest length on this list it is the tightest and so would only be recommended for someone who prefers their necklaces short, close to their body or for an individual with a narrower neck. A short chain can be a great option for women with small children that don’t want their necklace to be grabbed or pulled on by little hands! Or for someone who doesn’t want their jewellery in the way while they work.
450mm – 500mm
As mentioned above, these lengths sit either on or just below the collarbone with an effortless elegance. Flattering on many heights and neck shapes, a necklace in this length range if often a great choice for gifting and comfortable for everyday wear.
550mm – 600mm
‘Matinee’ lengths typically sit between the collarbone and the bust. A longer alternative to the standard sizes above, however still a very practical and classic option for those looking for something a little more ‘statement’.
700mm – 900mm
Sitting on or a little below the bust, this ‘opera’ length is a long and striking option for higher necklines and evening wear. Designed to stand out, lengthy necklaces can tie together an outfit or elevate a more simple attire.
You may have seen an extra loop on a necklace chain, often quite small and situated near the back, these are designed to create variable lengths. Not all chains will have them but they can be useful if you like to wear your necklaces in different lengths.
Neck & Face Shapes:
Individual neck shapes can play into selecting a necklace. We often find that contrasting the length of the chain with the neck has the most flattering results. For instance, a choker will work well on a long neck, and a longer chain will look beautiful on shorter necks. This isn’t to say one can’t wear the other, it’s that these polarities often emphasise and compliment our features.
Even face shapes can contribute to the look of your necklace. The common descriptors are round, oval, square and heart-shaped. Round face shapes should try longer necklaces, particularly with pendants or charms to emphasize their length. Oval shapes can typically wear any length, while short and ‘choker’ style necklaces flatter both square and heart-shapes.
Most importantly when looking at necklaces, consider what you enjoy wearing and what feels comfortable. Ideally you want your piece to add to what you already enjoy wearing and enhance your outfit.
If you see something you like online we can always see if an artist can make a chain to your preferred length so you can ensure it will be perfect for you! If you have any questions regarding chain lengths or finding the right necklace you can contact us.