We often go through lengths (see what we did there!) trying to find the perfect necklace, only to be left confused and annoyed by the various terms retailers use. Here is our definite guide to the different lengths of necklaces, and the best necklines to pair them with for a show-stopping look.
Length: 12-14 inches. Also known as crewneck necklaces, collar necklaces sit halfway up your neck. When buying, you will want to ensure the necklace is roughly 2 inches wider than your neck circumference, so that it sits comfortably and doesn’t choke you!
If you have a shorter neck, opt for plunge, open or low necklines so that the line of your clavicle appears longer. A lower neckline also helps to draw attention to your collar necklace, allowing it to be the star of the show.
Length: 14-16 inches. Choker necklaces sit just at the base of your neck, hitting just above the collarbone. They don’t sit as high up as collar necklaces and is a good alternative to a collar necklace if you have a shorter neck. PS: chokers are super trending now!
Opt for a buttoned blouse with simple, high neckline in a contrasting colour to your choker for a Victorian-meets-Modern kind of vibe. If you feel that this looks too covered up, then style your choker with any top that has an open neckline, such as V-necks, scoop necks or a partially buttoned-up shirt.
Length: 16-18 inches. Princess necklaces typically feature a pendant or charm on a chain that rests on the collarbone, ending a couple of inches below. This universally flattering style works no matter the length of your neck, and is one of the most popular styles of necklace.
V-necked tops or open blouses work best for this style of necklace as the lines complement each other, drawing attention to your chest. Alternatively, style them by wearing over a turtleneck, especially if your necklace features precious stones.
Length: 20-24 inches. Matinee necklaces usually hit just at the bust, or slightly below depending on the length of your torso. This is a great necklace for casual or more formal looks, as you can opt to layer shorter necklaces with it.
Any outfit that has a higher neckline. Due to the somewhat awkward length of matinee necklaces, it can look strange against open blouse, plunge (unless it’s a deep plunge) necklines or strapless tops. You will definitely want to pair this with simpler outfits, given the already attention-grabbing nature of the matinee necklace!
Length: 24-34 inches. Falling just below the bust and above the waist, the opera necklace is a great versatile piece to have in your wardrobe as it can do double duty and work as a choker too if you loop it twice. You can even knot it in the middle to create a unique look, and is great for emphasizing taller frames and drawing the eye to your bust line.
Given its dramatic nature, make the opera necklace work for day wear by pairing it with simpler tops, like a clean button up shirt or plain top. You will want a cleaner silhouette with this style of necklace to avoid looking too adorned. It is traditionally worn with evening wear, but experiment by knotting and looping to make it work for the office.
Length: 36 inches and longer. Also called a ‘lariat’ necklace, the rope necklace can fall just at or below the waist, again depending on the length of your torso. Wearing this style can be tricky given its length, so choose a design that is simpler if you want to wear it during the day (think an elegant strand of pearls or precious stones).
A deep plunge neckline will really show off your necklace and give your overall look a super sexy finish – just make sure the end of the necklace ends where your plunge does. Tip: you can also loop a rope necklace up to 3 times (depending on its length and the width of your neck) for a chunky collar necklace to give your look an edge.
Women of average height can usually pull off most styles.
If you are more petite, collars, chokers and princess necklaces work best.
If you are taller, most necklaces will look amazing on you, but you will pull off the opera and rope styles best given the length of your toso.
Always try on chunkier styles if possible, as it can overwhelm you if you are more petite or slender. Opt for a shorter length when it comes to bolder designs to ensure your look is proportionate.
Shopping online but unsure how the necklace will look on you? Check out the item description and cut a length of ribbon or string to the measurements given and see how it looks on your frame.