Above you can see the six generally accepted necklace lengths and their globally accepted measurements. Out of these six the two most commonly worn are the Choker and the Princess lengths. Just bear in mind that when purchasing a necklace you need to consider the length of the necklace and how it will look with your outfit, as well as how it will look on your body type. Here are a few basic tips to help you make that decision!
Collar (30-33 cm or 12-13 inches)
A Collar necklace is the shortest necklace and encircles the actual throat rather than falling on the collarbone or chest. Sometimes a Collar necklace may be of several strands and looks best with off-the shoulder outfits, v-necks or boat neck tops. A Collar necklace of several strands is often used to disguise a slightly older looking throat or emphasize a long slim throat.
Choker (36-41 cm or 14-16 inches)
A Choker is perhaps the most classic and yet versatile of all lengths. It lies on or just above the collarbones and emphasizes the neckline. Chokers are a beautiful choice for many styles of outfit and are suitable for most throat shapes and sizes.
Princess (43-49 cm or 17-19 inches)
The Princess length necklace is the most common necklace length and hangs just on or over the collarbones. It is best suited for crew and high necklines, but it also complements low plunging necklines.
Matinee (51-61 cm or 20-24 inches)
The Matinee necklace stops around the top of the cleavage and is a great choice for casual or business attire it looks great with high necklines and also flatters a bigger bust line. Choose the Matinee style for high or very low necklines as it adds elegance to work clothes or casual wear. Make sure there's no decoration on your blouse or dress that clashes with it though.
Opera (71-87 cm or 28-34 inches )
The Opera necklace has impressive length and can often allow for a variety of options. It can be worn as a single strand (lovely with high or crew necklines); if it has a clasp you may be able to double it and wear it as a two-strand Choker length. It can be knotted at any point you wish to emphasize i.e. just above the cleavage, often however it can be very dramatic when left as a single long strand.
This length can be worn for evening wear or casual wear depending on the stones used. Add elegance to your formal gown or blouse with an Opera-length necklace. This length draws the eye down to your chest and away from your neck, which can be a good thing if you would prefer people to look at your bust rather than your chin or neck.
Ropes & Lariats (114 cm and over or 45 inches and over)
A Rope or Lariat can be worn in several ways also, and can be elegant and sexy. It can be worn in all the ways an Opera necklace can be worn, but may even be able to be tripled! It can be worn to give the appearance of wearing several necklaces at the same time i.e. a Choker, and two Princesses, 2 Matinee's, 3 Chokers, etc.
A Rope is a closed end necklace whereas a Lariat is open-ended making it even more versatile depending on how you decide to close the two ends. Pull out all the stops for those special occasions with a Rope necklace. Be aware however that it will draw attention to your curves, causing the eye to sweep down your torso. You can double or triple the strands for shorter lengths.
So - here are some tips to help you choose the right length for your body type and outfit.
- If you have a large chest you may want to consider necklaces that are around the Matinee length. If you choose anything longer it will emphasis the size of your chest, making it look bigger - which, unless you actually wish to do so, may make you feel self conscious and uncomfortable.
- If you have a small chest, long thin necklaces are always a good look for you.
- If you are of average or shorter than average height (i.e. below 163 cm or 5' 4'"), Collar, Choker or Princess length necklaces look best. An even better look is if you wear a pendant, giving the necklace a V-shape or you go for the Matinee necklace length, as they will both make you appear taller than you are!
- If you fall into the lucky category of people whose height is between 163 - 170 cm and 5'4? - 5'7", you can pretty much wear whatever length necklace you like, just bear in mind the outfit you will be pairing it with and your body shape. Longer necklaces look great on taller people.
- If you are curvy with a full figure, or a little on the big side, you may feel bigger if you wear necklaces that fall on or around your bust line and cleavage, you may want to go a little shorter that that i.e. Princess or Matinee. You may also wish to avoid anything too tight to the neck and throat, i.e. Choker or Collar length, if your neck is on the big or fleshy side, as they will only make it look thicker.
- Your face shape can also affect the length of necklace that will work with your features i.e. An oval face suits any necklace length, a round face looks better with an Opera necklace, a heart shaped face looks better with a Choker as it softens a sharper chin and a rectangular or oblong face also needs a shorter necklace i.e. Choker or Collar as this will make your face look less long.
- Add elegance and sophistication to a strapless or off-the-shoulder neckline with a necklace that remains close to the neck i.e. Collar or Choker.
- An open neck blouse with a collar looks good with a thicker, chunkier piece of costume jewelry. A necklace that lies around the collarbone can accent a dressy casual outfit or personalize a business suit. Make sure your necklace is either shorter than the collar on your blouse and sits shorter than the opening, on your skin i.e. Choker or Princess length or the necklace should be longer than the collar opening and sits on the shirt below the opening i.e. Opera.