How To Choose The Right Chain Length - Elisha Marie Jewelry

How To Choose The Right Chain Length

Choose an 18 inch (45 cm) chain if you want a versatile piece.
This length is the most common necklace length available.
A necklace that is 18 inches (45 cm) long will fall at approximately the collar bone area and marry well with almost anything in your closet.
You could wear it with a t-shirt or simple top just as successfully as you could with a dress or other formal attire.
Measure your neck. Before purchasing a necklace, it’s wise to first measure the circumference of your neck. This is especially true if you are considering buying a very short chain, like a collar or choker, since those styles are supposed to fit relatively tightly. Wrap a soft measuring tape around your neck, holding it close to your skin. Make a mental note of your measurement and take it into account when selecting a length.
  • For chokers, add two inches to whatever your neck measurement is for a comfortable fit.
  • Adding four inches to your neck measurement will give you a good length for an average necklace, like a pendant.
Evaluate the length and width of your neck. Short chains, like collars and chokers, look most flattering on those who have long, slender necks. They look less flattering on short or wide necks. If you have a short neck, you can make your neck look longer by choosing a chain that measures between 20 and 24 inches (50 and 60 cm) in length. If your neck is an average length and width, then you can probably wear any length of necklace successfully.
  • For those with wide necks who are considering a choker length, you may need to go up an inch or two to ensure it fits comfortably.  That means adding three to four inches to your neck measurement instead of only two.
  • If you have a wide neck, you can typically wear any length that you like, but consider the width of the chain. Opt for a thin chain over a thick one.


Choose a long chain to accentuate your collarbone. If you have a wide or short neck, try to avoid short chains and go for something 18 inches (45 cm) or longer. This will take the emphasis off your neck area and place it more on your collarbone and bust area. You can increase this effect by adding an eye-catching pendant or charm to the chain. This will naturally draw eyes to the jewelry and away from your neck.

  • If you have wrinkles or feel less than comfortable with the appearance of your neck, opt for a longer chain, as well.


Wear a shorter chain to emphasize your neck. To emphasize a long, graceful neck, go for a shorter chain that measures between 14 and 18 inches (35 and 45 cm). Collar and choker necklaces are great options because they are very short and draw the attention straight to your neck.

  • Choose a short chain that has eye-catching details to emphasize the area even more.


Consider your height. If you’re on the short side (below 5’4” or 162 cm), go with a 16 to 20 inch (40 to 60 cm) necklace. Anything longer than that tends to overwhelm small frames. Those of average height (between 5’4” and 5’7”) can get away with wearing almost any length of necklace. Most necklace lengths flatter taller frames (5’7” or 170 cm and higher) as well, but long chains can look especially flattering since they accentuate height.

  • While someone with a tall frame can definitely pull off a short chain, keep in mind that this style may not stand out as much as you’d like.
  • If you’re short, try to avoid chunky necklace designs, which can overwhelm your frame as much as a long chain length.


Choose a length that will emphasize your best features. A necklace emphasizes the area where it falls on your body. If you don’t want to draw attention to a certain area, avoid necklaces that end there. For example, if you have a small bust, long and layered chains will flatter your body type. Try something between 28 and 38 inches (71 and 96 cm) in length. Those with fuller figures may want to avoid very long chains, since they won’t hang properly. Go for a chain that is between 18 and 22 inches (45 and 55 cm) in length, as these will sit higher up on the neckline.



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