Choosing the Right Necklace
It is important to find out which length and type of necklace will compliment your body.
When selecting the correct length for your necklace; you should consider your features like your neck type, your height, your body type and your face shape.
Also some necklaces simply go better with certain necklines while others can throw off your appearance.
It's better to measure your neck before purchasing any necklace. To measure your neck, take a soft measuring tape and wrap it closely around your neck. Whatever your neck measurement is, add two inches and that’s your minimum necklace length, especially for choker necklaces. You can add four inches to find out your comfortable length for a short pendant.
Short-length necklaces especially chokers work best for people with long and thin necks. If you have a thicker neck, then avoid chokers as they will make your neck appear shorter.
Women below 5’4” look best in 16" to 20" necklace lengths. A long necklace tends to overwhelm a smaller frame. Women who fall between the height of 5’4” to 5’6” can wear a necklace of any length. Taller women who are 5’6” or above can wear longer chain style necklaces as they accentuate a tall frame.
People's eyes will stop at the point where your necklace ends, so your necklace should end the part of your body where you would like to draw attention or vice versa. If you like to accentuate your upper body, you should choose shorter chains such as a collar, bib or statement necklaces.
Women with smaller busts should wear a long thin chain or long layered chains. If your busts are fuller, then you should choose shorter necklaces that sit slightly higher on the body, such as an 18- to 22-inch necklace, avoid those that are longer than 24” as they won't sit comfortably.
If your body is smaller on the top (Teardrop Body Shape), look for bold, chunky necklaces that sit above the bust that help broaden your shoulders. Necklaces that are 18”-24” work well as they sit just above your bust and draw attention to your upper body.
Those that have a Standard body shape can typically wear any type of necklace, although longer necklaces can help elongate your body more.
For Rectangle Body Shape, medium length, fine or chunky necklaces, would draw attention upward. You can choose fine necklaces such as several long strands of beads as well.
For an Hourglass shape, try a necklace length that sits on your décolleté to help accentuate your curves. Choose necklaces that are very short or very long that reach your tummy area. Avoid the wide, chunky ones lying over your chest area.
If you have a Triangle body shape that means you have broader shoulders, longer length necklaces will help to bring the eye down to your waist, highlighting the narrow part of your body. Avoid big chunky necklaces that are close to your neck and shoulders.
If you have an Oval body shape, short lengths are recommended. Avoid placing chunky jewelry around your bust area.
A necklace can help you accentuate your strongest facial features. When you choose your jewelry, repeating elements of the facial shape in style details create harmony.
Women with Round faces should avoid short necklaces or chokers as they will accentuate the roundness of their faces.
Oval-shaped faces can take advantage of any necklace.
Rectangle or Oblong shape faces should wear shorter necklaces to keep from adding extra length. (Such as choker and princess necklaces, measuring between 16” – 18”)
Square face types should also choose shorter necklaces which softens the sharper angles of their face.
Heart-shaped, triangular or diamond-shaped faces look great with chokers or any short-length necklace as they create an illusion of fullness and balance out a narrow chin.
Teardrop-shaped faces have a small/narrow forehead that widens at the cheek and chin areas. Therefore, long necklaces such as opera and matinee lengths are better options.
It's better to choose a necklace that will match the shape of the neckline.
For example, you should pair a V-neck top with a V-shape necklace. Make sure the shape of the necklace you wear mimics the neckline of your top.
Necklace style is important when pairing with the necklines but in general, short necklaces go with deep necklines such as off shoulder, staples, one shoulder, sweetheart, plunging, V and scoop, while long necklaces can be paired with jewel, boat, high, deep V, sabrina and asymmetric necklines. Below you can find a table that shows how to pair each type of necklace with different necklines.
Different names for Different Lengths
Usually, particular types of necklaces already come in particular lengths.
Choker - 12 to 14 inches , sits high and close to the neck
Collar - 12 to 16 inches , rests directly above the collarbone
Princess - 16 to 18 inches , lays between the lower neck and bust line, on or just below the collarbone
Matinee - 20 to 24 inches , sits between the collarbone and the bust
Opera - 28 to 36 inches , wrapped to rest on the bust or an inch or two below
Rope - 36 inches and above, sits below the center of the bust through the belly button
A close-fitting necklace is worn around the neck, typically 12-14 inches in length, and made of a variety of materials, including velvet, plastic, beads, leather, and metal. Can incorporate other necklace styles by adding a pendant, graduating beads, or festoon-like drops.
Lies flat to the body rather than hanging freely, 12 to 16 inches in chain length rests directly above the collarbone. Fits around your neck just like a crew neck t-shirt. Made of pearls, beads, gems, gold and silver, can be multiple strands or just a big chunky metal piece.
16-18 inches in length that lays between the lower neck and bust line, on or just below the collarbone, often decorated with the pendants or focal pieces (such as glistening rhinestones), available in both heavy and light designs.
Lengths varying from 28 to 36 inches are worn as single or multiple strands to rest on the bust or an inch or two below. Perfect for dresses or blouses with deep necks, made of pearls and beads and suitable for evening and cocktail attire.
Mid-length, between 20 and 24 inches, sits between the collarbone and the bust line. About twice the length of a choker and is often embellished with stones or beads. Good for layering, used as a focal point.
36 to 40 inches long with several knots, made of metal, thread or rope. Lays below the center of the bust through the belly button. Lariats, all-metal long chains, long strands of pearls and other beaded necklaces are all rope necklace length.
|Table header 0||Necklace Size (inch)||Neck Type||Height||Body Type||Face Shape||Neckline|
|Chain||16-22||Any||Any||Any||Any||V, Scoop, Strapless, Halter Strap|
|Choker||12-14||Long||Any||Teardrop, Hourglass, Rectangle, Standard||Oval, Rectangle, Heart, Triangle||Off Shoulder, One Shoulder, Strapless, Scoop, Sweetheart|
|Collar||12-16||Long||<5'6"||Teardrop, Rectangle, Hourglass, Standard||Oval, Rectangle, Heart, Square, Triangle||Boat, Jewel, Strapless, Off the shoulder|
|Lariat||32-34||Any||>5'6"||Hourglass, Triangle, Standard||Oval, Round, Teardrop||Deep U or V, Scoop, Plunging|
|Festoon||14-16||Long||Any||Teardrop, Rectangle, Hourglass, Standard||Oval, Rectangle, Heart, Square, Triangle||Off Shoulder, Deep V, Strapless|
|Long Pendant||22-26||Any||>5'6"||Rectangle, Hourglass, Triangle, Standard||Oval, Round, Teardrop||V, Boat, Strapless, Asymmetric|
|Locket||30-36||Any||Any||Rectangle, Hourglass, Standard, Triangle||Oval, Round, Teardrop||Square, Scoop, Boat, Jewel|
|Statement||16-18||Long||Any||Teardrop, Rectangle, Hourglass, Standard||Oval, Rectangle, Square, Heart, Triangle||Sweetheart, Scoop, Plunging|
|Short Pendant||16-18||Any||<5'6"||Oval, Rectangle, Standard||Oval, Heart, Triangle||Halter Strap, V, Boat, Spaghetti strap|
|Graduated||16-18||Any||Any||Teardrop, Hourglass, Oval, Standard||Oval, Heart, Triangle||Jewel, Boat, V, Cowl, Sweetheart|
|Solitaire||16-18||Any||Any||Rectangle, Hourglass, Oval, Standard||Oval, Rectangle, Heart, Triangle||V, Sweetheart, Off Shoulder, Queen Ann, Strapless, Scoop|
|Esclavage||14-16||Long||Any||Teardrop, Rectangle, Hourglass, Standard||Oval, Rectangle, Heart, Square, Triangle||Off Shoulder, Strapless, Scoop, Sweetheart, Queen Ann|
|Riviere||14-16||Long||Any||Teardrop, Hourglass, Oval, Standard||Oval, Rectangle, Heart, Square||Strapless, V, Sweetheart, Off Shoulder|
|Princess||16-18||Any||Any||Teardrop, Hourglass, Oval, Standard||Oval, Rectangle, Heart, Square, Triangle||Boat, Strapless, V, Plunging|
|Opera||28-36||Any||>5'6"||Hourglass, Triangle, Standard||Oval, Round, Teardrop||Turtle, Scoop, High, Asymetric|
|Multi Strand||14-20||Any||Any||Rectangle, Hourglass, Standard||Oval, Round, Heart, Triangle, Teardrop||Strapless, Scoop, Off Shoulder, Boat, Turtle|
|Thread||14-18||Any||Any||Teardrop, Rectangle, Hourglass, Standard||Oval, Heart, Square, Rectangle, Triangle||Jewel, Boat|
|Bib||12-18||Long||Any||Teardrop, Rectangle, Hourglass, Standard||Oval, Rectangle, Heart, Square, Triangle||Off Shoulder, Sweetheart, Deep V, Boat, Asymetric|
|Matinee||20-24||Any||>5'6"||Rectangle, Hourglass, Standard||Oval, Round, Square, Teardrop||Shirt Collar, Turtle, Jewel, Plunging|
|Rosary / Y Shape||20-34||Any||Any||Rectangle, Hourglass, Triangle, Standard||Oval, Round, Teardrop||V, Plunging|
|Plastron||18-22||Long||Any||Teardrop, Rectangle, Hourglass, Standard||Oval, Rectangle, Square, Heart, Triangle||Boat, Jewel, Strapless, Asymmetric|
|Twisted||14-18||Long||<5'6"||Teardrop, Rectangle, Teardrop, Standard||Oval, Heart,||Jewel, Halter, Sweetheart|
|Rope||36-40||Any||>5'6"||Hourglass, Triangle, Standard||Oval, Round, Teardrop||Boat, Jewel, Sabrina, High|
|Charm||20-24||Any||Any||Rectangle, Hourglass, Standard||Oval, Round, Square, Teardrop||Scoop, V, Strapless|
|Beaded||14-18||Any||Any||Teardrop, Rectangle, Hourglass, Standard||Oval, Heart||Jewel, Halter, Sweetheart|
|Station||18-20||Any||Any||Rectangle, Hourglass, Standard||Oval, Round, Square, Teardrop||Boat, Jewel, Sabrina, High|
|Bohemian||14-18||Long||Any||Teardrop, Rectangle, Standard||Oval, Rectangle, Heart, Square, Triangle||Queen Ann, Halter Strap, Asymmetric|
|Lavalier||14-20||Any||Any||Rectangle, Hourglass, Oval, Standard||Oval, Round, Teardrop||V, Asymmetric|
|Torque||12-16||Long||Any||Teardrop, Hourglass, Rectangle, Standard||Oval, Triangle, Square||V, Plunging, Strapless, Sweetheart|
|Sautoir||30-36||Long||>5'6"||Hourglass, Triangle, Standard||Oval, Round, Teardrop||Off Shoulder, Scoop, V, Strapless|
|Negligee||18-20||Any||Any||Teardrop, Rectangle, Hourglass, Standard||Oval, Heart, Triangle||Sweetheart, Off Shoulder, Deep V|
Types of Necklaces
Composed of three chains or strings of beads or jewels in which the chains or strings hang approximately equidistant from each other
Comprised of one or two rows of precious small gemstone links which are typically tapered in size, mostly diamonds set in 12–16-inch length white or yellow gold chain. The design is intended to emphasize the stones, the links of the necklace are close together and not visible
Bold, intentionally large pieces with bulky pendants and ornate details. Can be paired up with simple garments to serve as the focal point. Usually made of silver, gold, rubies, stones and beads
Has a single focal piece in the front attached by a small loop to a necklace that is typically 16-18 inches in length
A single-strand necklace made of beads, pearls and metal that have a variation in size. The beads gradually get smaller as they go back and larger as they hang around your neck
Necklace with a single diamond or gemstone set into a charm
Made of gold or silver loops linked together to create a chain. Creates a simple yet sophisticated look. Made of silver, gold, platinum or rose gold
A long variation on the rope, without a clasp, is often worn and draped multiple times around the neck; the ends can be crossed over, looped, or knotted in various ways. Safe and an elegant choice for many outfits
Multi-stringed beads or chains with the same closing
Casual style comes in a variety of lengths, ranging from 14 inches to 20 inches, made of colourful threads tied in knots and mostly paired with oxidized silver pendants, large beads, wood or metal
A necklace style that mimics a baby's bib, with a thick, broad section covering the chest and a thin cord going around the back of the neck. Comes in a variety of different layered chains or a single large element to cover up the breastbone
Commonly made of beads with multiple strands that are often twisted around held
together with a clasp. Comes in a variety of lengths and might have a charm dangling in the front
Rosary / Y Shaped
Y shaped necklace similar to a Lariat necklace and has a chain ends with a charm
Heavy and worn close to the neck, covers the whole chest part of a body, can be both rigid and flexible, and add intrigue and extravagance to any outfit you wear. Made up of silver, glass, wood, or beads, ideal for solid-coloured tops
Necklaces with multiple decorative pendants, beads, stones or trinkets depending on your mood and preferences
Made of plastic, acrylic, metal, wood, gems, or crystals. Comes in various sizes, with the smallest ones called seed beads
Metal chain necklaces embellished with gemstones, shaped metal pieces and other adornments placed at specific points (stations) on the chain
Many types of colourful tassel or rope necklaces combined with beads and chains create a bohemian look, much in trend amongst the boho-chic fashionistas
It’s a vintage style made of a wreath or garland of woven flowers, leaves, ribbons and branches, delicate chains are often paired with gemstones, pearls, and precious metals
Has a single focal piece in the front attached by a small loop to a necklace that is typically 22-24 inches in length. It’s versatile and can be personalized
A pendant that opens to reveal a space used for storing a photo or memento, comes in many shapes such as ovals, hearts and circles often paired with an opera length chain. They are very sentimental and personal, usually made of precious metals such as gold or silver
Feature a pendant or charm with a religious symbol like a cross, rosary, Star of David, crucifix and more. These necklaces can vary greatly in length, clasp style, and materials
Consist of a slender chain with a small pendant that has decorative stones or elements hanging from it. 14–18-inch (16-inch in general) length sits right below the collarbone. Its chandelier type drop looks beautiful when paired up with a deep-cut silhouette
Its unique kind of solid necklace opens in the back and comes to a point at the front. In some cases, they have a front opening but no clasp. Made of metal and is worn close to the skin and usually has a spherical shape
A sautoir is a French term for a long necklace that suspends a tassel or other ornament. Woven or twisted ropes of pearls suspending a tassel were very popular but progressed toward geometric diamond and gem-set variations
A long necklace that usually has two parallel links terminates in irregular length with tassels or drops. Popular during the Edwardian era
Types of Chains
There are so many different types of necklace chains: some chains that can handle a heavy pendant, some of them look good alone, and others for very delicate pendants.
Material is very important when you are choosing your chain, some materials can be allergic to your skin or some are not very durable. Titanium chains are durable, strong, scratch-resistant and not very pricey . Platinum links have the same features but they are very expensive. Gold and silver ones are very common, silver chains require more upkeep as they tarnish, but the gold ones are more delicate, likely to scratch or break, and more expensive. If you have a metal allergy, make sure your jewelry is zinc-free.
Created from interlocking oval links of the same size. They are sturdy, easy to repair and work well with delicate pendants. Wires can be textured or flattened.
Made of round or twisted oval links that lay flat when worn. Links sizes can be the same or gradually increase. They are chunky and sturdy enough to handle heavy pendants and can be worn on their own.
Identical to the cable chain, but features round links instead of the oval links found in cable chains.
Made of bent links joined with oval links that incorporate a rope-like texture. They are supple and flexible and drape well. They should be worn alone not with pendants.
Resembles the nautical chains also known as anchor chains. Comprised of oval links, each of which has a horizontal bar across the center. They can be flat or puffed. Makes a statement when worn alone or supports a pendant.
A modified version of the curb chain, formed with 2-3 small round links followed by a liner oval link. It is strong but difficult to repair. Works well either alone or with a pendant.
Named for its twisted links that look like a rope. They are the sturdiest types but difficult to repair. Great to wear on its own or with pendants as well. More suitable for daily use since rope chains tend to show scratches the least.
Named for its appearance like the tips of wheat stalks. Made of twisted oval links plaited together in one direction looks like a series of metallic fibres running into each other at their points, creating a beautiful textural appearance. They are very durable and sturdy and can be worn with pendants or as is.
A lightweight, tubular chain with a beaded texture created by convex links. They have a puffed look which resembles a garland of popcorn.
Made from ball-shaped steel links connected with small breaks between them. Beads come in different diameters (2-6 mm). They are weak and difficult to repair. Generally used for dog tags and key chains.
Notably shiny chains formed by flat metal plates crimped together over a mesh interior. Has a semi-rigid structure, which gives it a flat and smooth, unique look. Perfect to wear as is or to wear with a slide pendant.
Composed of square links arranged side-by-side to create a smooth, 4-sided shape. They are one of the sturdiest types and work well with heavy pendants. Found in a variety of widths, with the wider ones being popular among men.
It is a flat and fluid chain, formed from pressing V-shaped links, which are arranged in alternating directions. Has a smooth, round look, it is flexible and lays well on the skin.
Comprised of tightly linked wavy plates, resulting in a smooth, round look with a subtle zigzag pattern, resembles a snake body. It is flexible, sturdy, and easy to maintain. It lays well on the skin, works with heavy pendants, and doesn’t tangle easily because of its semi-rigid structure, it is a good choice for an everyday accessory.
A durable and strong chain that is made of a series of interlinked segments. When stretched out, it is a beautiful and twisting open chain, that moves with almost a liquid touch. It is a classic, sleek chain that pairs well with a beautiful pendant.
Comprised of metal panels, each crossing over the next, forming a textural and glittery twisted look. Can be worn with pendants or as is.