The Secret of Necklace Lengths


If you were to look in your jewelry box right now how many necklaces do you own? The answer for most women is several. Are they all the same length? Probably not, unless you’re convinced that it is the only length that compliments you. The truth of the matter is, there are a variety of necklace lengths designed for different purposes. These are the standard necklace lengths, where they’re supposed to sit and the types of attire they compliment best.

12’-14’ Collar - The Collar is designed to wrap closely around the neck. It is supposed to sit tightly against the neck, above the collar bone. This type of necklace is especially flattering on tall, slim necks. This necklace length is worn best with open-neck clothing. This includes clothing such as scoop necks, V-necks off-the-shoulder tops and boatnecks.

14’-16’ Choker - The Choker design is designed to sit around the base of the neck. Depending on the style it can wrap loosely around or be tightly situated against the base of the throat. Either way, this necklace length lies in the hollow of the throat. The Choker length will fall just a bit above most collar lines, because of this it is very suitable to wear with almost anything. Most young women prefer this shorter length. It is also very appropriate for a first necklace.

17’-19’ Princess - The Princess length is traditionally right at 18 inches and is slightly longer than the choker. This necklace length is designed to sit right on the collarbone. Because of this strategic length it will fall just below most collar lines. Princess necklaces are very suitable for a button-up blouse, V-neck and scoop necklines. However, it is common to see this length worn with almost any outfits, similar to the choker. It does very well with an added enhancer, such as a pendant.

20’-24’ Matinee - The Matinee design commonly ranges anywhere from 20 inches to 23 inches. This necklace length will fall lower than the princess necklace and is supposed to sit just below the collarbone, but anywhere between the collarbone and the bust will do. This necklace is great for both business and casual wear, transitioning between the two easily. The matinee necklace length is great for a high collar, such as a turtleneck, but is commonly worn to draw eyes. Since this length is longer, it can be paired with one of a shorter length for a layered look. Also, it is recommended to wear this type of necklace with muted colors and clothing with less decoration.

24’-36’ Opera - The Opera design has a wider range of lengths. It will lay anywhere from at or just below the center of the bust to hanging just below the bust an inch or two. This necklace length is also very suitable for layering. The opera length can sometimes be paired with a shorter length or can be doubled for a doubled strand collar. This necklace does well with evening wear and high necklines. In addition, since this length is significantly longer than most, it is more often being worn with a wider range of necklines.

45’+ Rope - The Rope design is the longest of the necklace lengths. It is can also be known as the Lariat. It is designed to sit anywhere between the bust and navel. This necklace length is seen as a more elegant length and is appropriate for evening wear or elegant business. Ropes are commonly wrapped, doubled or tripled for layers. The rope length necklace also has the option of being knotted.

Nordstrom, at www.nordstrom.com, has a helpful suggestion when it comes to measuring your neck and estimating the drape. It is common to allow a half inch of drape per inch of necklace length. So, if your neck measures 13 inches, a 16 inch necklace will drape about 1.5 inches below the base of your throat. Of course, all necks are different. Short necks will wear necklaces different from tall necks. Wider necks will measure differently than slimmer necks. You will need to take these factors into account when measuring for a necklace. Luckily, chain can be cut to almost any length, giving you the opportunity to be sure that your necklace does exactly what you want it to.


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