Going to great lengths…

Have you read my previous post on choosing the right jewelry for your face shape? If not, I encourage you to read that and then continue with this post. I say that because I want to ask you, what length of necklace are you most comfortable wearing? After reading my previous post, is the reason you prefer that length based on your face (and possibly neck) shape and size? I have a long neck, so I prefer shorter necklaces, especially chunky ones or several smaller ones together to create a chunky look because it makes my neck look shorter. However, many of my clients prefer their necklaces to be a little longer. Let’s explore necklace lengths a little more now.

Collar and Choker

The names collar and choker are often used to describe the same thing…a short, snug-fitting necklace. Collar length necklaces usually run between 10 and 12 inches in length, while the choker length necklaces are between 14 and 16 inches in length. A choker length necklace can give you a similar effect to the collar if your neck is a little larger and 10 to 12 inches isn’t quite comfortable for you.  Both necklace lengths are great for dressing up or for casual wear and look wonderful with anything where your neck is completely exposed.


Princess length necklaces are generally 17 to 19 inches long. It works well with almost any neckline, but make sure the necklace and your neckline aren’t vying for the same position. The necklace should either rest a little above your neckline, or a little below it. This is generally regarding as a fairly common length, but I am finding that most of my clients prefer the next length category, so I try to have a mix of princess length and matinee length necklaces in stock.


Matinee length necklaces are 20 to 24 inches long and are traditionally thought of as being best for dressing up. They work well with high or low necklines and can really be used for formal wear, business wear, or casual wear depending on the style.


Opera length necklaces are 28 to 34 inches in length. You often have the option with these of wearing them long, or wrapping them around your neck twice to give the illusion of a multi-strand necklace. I have also seen this length used in combination with a collar or choker length necklace. These are also diverse enough to be worn with either a high or low neckline.


The rope/lariat length necklaces are usually any length of necklace over about 45 inches. These can be daring and modern, or they can add a traditional sophistication to an outfit (a long strand of pearls is good for this). They can be wrapped around the neck a few times, or worn long, or layered with a few shorter necklaces.

I find it interesting to look at the different necklace lengths and then to look at today’s styles. The matinee and opera length are generally regarded as traditional lengths while the rope and collar are thought of as more modern. Even with this in mind, today’s lady can be in style with any of these lengths, so all she has to do is find what she is comfortable with. What length do you prefer? Do you have a reason, or is it just what you are comfortable with? Don’t limit yourself! Remember, jewelry is all about having a little fun and adding some color to your day! Thanks for reading!

(Image courtesy of http://www.delamina.com)


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