Below is a simple guide to necklace lengths, helpful for purchases, construction & styling.
Given every woman is different in size, you must first measure the size of your neck to get the best necklace fit.
Necklace chains for women typically range from 10 to 48 inches and are named according to where they fall on a woman’s body.
CHOKER 10-14″ or -35 cm
Chokers wrap closely around the neck. They can be constructed as either a single or multi-strand, with the option of including a pendant. Common construction materials include leather, velvet, chain, or woven threads. Unless they made from a material is extremely elastic, chokers will usually include a clasp in their construction design.
Chokers pair well with strapless or off-the-shoulder dresses to accentuate the collarbone.
COLLAR 16″ or 41 cm
Collar necklaces are called so because they fit where the natural shirt collar finishes, just above the collarbone. Common construction materials include chain, pearls, or beads.
Bib necklaces are most associated with collar length.
Collar necklaces pair well with simple crewneck style dresses or shirt to give a secondary collar effect.
PRINCESS 18-20″ or 45-50 cm
The princess necklace sits across the collarbone. Common construction materials include chain, pearls, or beads. If they include a pendant, the pendant will typically lie above the breastbone. If you want a necklace that sits just below the collarbone, but above the neckline, consider a 20-inch necklace.
Princess necklaces pair well with boatneck collars.
MATINEE 20-24″ or 41 cm
The matinee necklace will typically lay at the bust. Common construction materials include chains, pearls, or beads, and styles can range from simple to complex beaded necklaces and longer pendants.
OPERA 30-35″ or 75-90 cm
The opera necklace plunges below the bust, but above the navel. Common construction materials include chain, pearls, or beads.
Opera necklaces pair well with formal dresses, hence the name!
ROPE OR LARIAT 36″ and up, or 41 cm
The Rope or Lariat is any necklace longer than the Opera length. It is dramatic and tends to drop to the waist. Common construction materials include chain, pearls, or beads.
This type of necklace does not have a clasp, sometimes incorporates a loop at one or both ends to allow it to be worn in the style of a lasso, or it may be worn doubled over with the ends passed through the loop formed in the middle. Necklaces over 40 inches can be wrapped 3 times around the neck.
You can alternatively style this length by adding a single or multiple knots to necklace at the mid-length, or by looping it twice around your neck to have the appearance of a double collar.