Your Go-To Guide For Learning And Styling Every Necklace Length

Jewelry and, more importantly, how you style it can make or break an outfit. A lot of people are under the impression that an outfit solely has to do with the clothes on your body, but this may not be the case. If you accessorize right, you can elevate even a simple outfit such as jeans and a t-shirt. One staple in our accessory collections is the necklace. Necklaces come in all shapes, sizes, and lengths. You can find necklaces that hug your neck and ones that reach your belly button as well as every length in between. But it's knowing which one to wear when and with what that makes a difference.


It's also helpful to be in the know of different necklace lengths because we often tend to stick to one length and not experiment with others. You might be surprised how flattering and integral certain necklace lengths are, especially ones you haven't tried wearing as often.

Collar necklaces

The shortest necklaces that sit tight around your neck are called collars, which are typically around 14 inches in length. Collar-length necklaces sit right at your throat, so when you wear them, they'll be on full display. Typically, they pair best with clothing that reveals your neck, such as V-necks, scoop necks, or off-shoulder blouses and dresses. Do make sure, however, that when you pick a collar-length necklace, it sits comfortably around your neck and isn't too tight.


Furthermore, the shape and size of your neck matter for collar necklaces, too. If you have a slim and tall neck, a collar-length necklace can work great for you. On the other hand, if your neck is shorter and wider, a collar-length necklace might not be the best option, as it can make your neck look stubbier. These are only guidelines, however, so if you like the look and feel of a collar necklace, even if you have a shorter neck, go right ahead! 


The next necklace length, which is often mixed up with collar necklaces, is the choker. Chokers are slightly longer than collar necklaces, are usually around 16 inches long, and are meant to sit on the base of the neck right above the clavicle. Because chokers are also a shorter length of necklace, they also pair best with clothing that reveals the neck. However, you can also style a choker with a button-up shirt for a sophisticated, yet fun, look.


Chokers, especially popular in the '90s, are timeless pieces of jewelry and come in many different styles and aesthetics. For example, you could opt for a basic black ribbon choker for an edgy look. Metal chokers in gold or silver are also quite popular and stylish. Pearl chokers are available for an elegant, yet chic, look. But, if you are drawn to a more simple aesthetic, there are minimalist, chic choker necklace designs you may love.

Short necklaces

Next, at 17 to 19 inches in length, the princess necklace length is a great option. This type of necklace, which is also referred to as a short necklace, is meant to sit atop your collarbone. It's a popular choice because it's the perfect length for almost any fashion choice and goes with everything. However, the princess necklace especially complements crew necks and high necks. It also works great with deeper plunging necklines and adds a nice touch to your decolletage region. 


Apart from the neckline of your clothing, it's important to consider the effect your height can have on how well a certain necklace length suits you. For example, if you're of a petite frame and shorter than 5' 4", a princess necklace length will work great for you. Since the princess-length necklace is so popular and a classic length, feel free to experiment with different necklines as well. It's known to be flattering on most clothing silhouettes.

Medium-length necklaces

The matinee, measuring roughly 20 to 24 inches, is the next available length. Matinee-length necklaces are medium-length necklaces that sit just below your collarbone, above the bust. This length of necklace is a great option if you're a fan of layering different-length necklaces together. They sit perfectly below the collarbone, allowing you to pair them with shorter necklaces and longer ones to create the perfect layered necklace look. 


This necklace length is versatile and can be styled with formal wear or semi-formal wear. Collared shirts work great with matinee-length necklaces. You can also pair these necklaces with high-neck or turtleneck tops. As for your height, those who are on the taller side will benefit best from the matinee-length necklace. However, this doesn't mean that you, by any means, need to stay away from this length of necklace if you're shorter! Feel free to experiment and break the rules.

Long necklaces

At 26 to 36 inches, we have the opera length. This is a slightly longer necklace that will sit below the bust. These necklaces are long enough to wear on their own or knotted to create a slightly shorter necklace. You can also wrap the necklace twice around your neck to create a double-stranded, shorter piece of jewelry. This length of the necklace is known to flatter evening wear and dresses. For added dimension, layer these longer necklaces with shorter ones.


Opera-length necklaces are elegant and can even serve as a statement piece to tie your whole look together. You can also, however, pair this length of necklace with more casual wear for a stylish and trendy look. The trick here is to make sure you style it right and pick the perfect piece for your outfit. This is, of course, a personal choice and should bring out your own personal style.

Very long necklaces

Last but not least, the most extended length of necklace is the rope length. These very long necklaces are usually about 37 to 40 inches in length and sit just above the waistline. Styling them can sometimes be tricky, but there are a few guidelines you can use to experiment with rope-length necklaces. For example, they pair great with high-cut necklines and are also the perfect necklace for layering, as they allow for enough length so multiple other necklaces can sit atop it. 


Beth Bugdaycay, founder of Foundrae, a jewelry brand trusted by celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Dua Lipa, spoke to Vogue, offering up some great advice for layering necklaces. "Layering is quite personal. Always start with the first piece you want to wear and build from there. To keep things simple, think in terms of three: three different lengths, three different links, three different weights," she said. "What's really interesting is how much variation there can be between them."

Picking the ideal necklace length

With a good understanding of the variety of necklace lengths available, it's important to make sure you pick the right length necklace for you. Of course, the best way to do this is to try different necklaces of varying lengths so you can decide which ones are your top contenders. 


Alternatively, world-renowned jeweler Tiffany & Co. recommends another great option. You can "measure and cut a piece of string to the same length as the necklace you're eyeing. Place it around your neck to see where it falls—the key to layering is striking the right balance." You should also consider each pendant's shape and size, and repeat this process for other necklace lengths to determine how necklaces of varying lengths would look when worn together. This is excellent advice for both picking a necklace length you like and for layering necklaces.

In selecting a necklace length, you really can't go wrong. Necklaces of all lengths are fashionable as long as they flatter your frame and you style them with the right neckline.