Guide to Necklace & Chain Sizes

Accessorizing with the perfect piece of jewelry can put the finishing touches on any look. A stunning necklace can tie your ensemble together, but it can be difficult to find the right necklace length to match your outfit and suit your style.

It’s important to know what chain length will highlight your features and how the perfect chain length can change based on the neckline of your outfit.

Explore the standard necklace lengths in our necklace length chart and learn how to measure yourself for a necklace or chain.

Neck Chain Length Chart

Women’s Standard Necklace Sizes

Men’s Standard Necklace Sizes

16"- Choker Length

17-18"- At collarbone

20"- Just below the collarbone

22"- At or above the neckline

24"- Below the neckline

18"- Base of the neck 

20"- To collarbone

22"- Just below the collarbone

24"- Just above the sternum

30"- At the sternum

How to Measure for a Necklace or Chain

Before purchasing a Modaya necklace or chain, it is critical to find the right length for your body shape and proportions. To measure your neck for a chain, take a fabric tape measure and wrap it around the base of your neck, just above the collarbone. This will give you a basic measurement for a collar-length chain. It’s a good idea to choose a chain 2” longer than your base measurement to ensure optimal comfort.

Men can use their shirt collar size as their basic measurement. Or you can use a string or ribbon to wrap around your neck and measure the length against a straight ruler.

Your ideal necklace or chain lengths can change based on your style preferences, body shape, face shape, height, and if you wear a pendant with your necklace.

Face Shape

The right chain lengths on neck jewelry can help balance your proportions and highlight your best facial features. If you have a round face, choose a medium-length chain to draw the eye down and visually create more slender cheeks.

For people with angular face shapes, like diamond, square, or triangle, short chains like choker-length necklaces soften your features. If you are lucky enough to have an oval face, any length chain suits your facial proportions.

Height and Body Shape

Long chains like opera or matinee strands can make shorter people appear even smaller and make their upper body appear disproportionate to their lower body. If you are below-average height, choose medium-length 18”-20” chains.

If you have a broad chest or a large bust, 14K gold pendant chains or long chains often fall short and don’t sit correctly on your upper body. A short or medium-length necklace sits perfectly on your upper chest.

Style Preferences

The right necklace length can often depend on your outfit and neckline. Longer necklaces are hidden under turtlenecks and crew neck shirts, while short necklaces can make your neck appear thicker when worn with a V-neck or a top with a plunging neckline.

Wearing a longer chain with a pendant over a high neckline can create a sense of drama. A short or mid-length chain paired with a crew, round, or V-neck top highlights the chain’s design.

Choosing Chain Lengths for Men

While choosing a chain length, men should keep in mind that the standard length is typically around 20”. Every man has a different body and style, so it’s important to consider your outfit to know what necklace is right for you.

  • 18” Necklace Length: An 18” necklace length is meant for a smaller neck and is usually the smallest chain length offered for men. This length sits tightly against the neck and is completely visible even against a shirt collar.
  • 20” Necklace Length: A 20” chain is the most common chain size for men. It falls right below the collarbone and is generally flattering on most bodies and with most outfits. Plain chains, like a curb or Cuban chain, work best at this length.
  • 22” Necklace Length: For necklaces with a medallion, cross, or dog tag, a slightly longer chain like a 22” is an excellent option. It can be worn inside or outside the shirt. However, if you’re planning to wear the chain with a pendant or you have a broad frame, you’ll want to size it up to ensure the chain is visible.
  • 24” Necklace Length: A 24” chain is an excellent option to showcase a medallion, cross, or dog tag on the outside of your shirt. For a high-quality and long-lasting piece, consider 14k gold pendant chains in the 24” size.
  • 30” Necklace Length: A 30” chain length is the largest standard length for men. It falls below the sternum and usually has a pendant attached, like a dog tag. This length is attention-grabbing and usually features a thicker chain.

Choosing Chain Lengths for Women

When shopping for a necklace, focus on what neckline you plan to pair the necklace with and how the different sizes will look on your frame. If you want a specific size, you can also try creating custom-sized necklaces by adding extra links or a clasp extender.

  • 16” Necklace Length: A 16” necklace length is a standard choker size for most women. A choker works well with off-the-shoulder and boat necklines but can be styled with other necklaces for a layered look.
  • 17-18” Necklace Length: The most common necklace length for women is about 18” and is sometimes called a Princess length. Princess-length necklaces, such as necklaces with 14k gold pendants look great with a V-neck because they mimic the shape of the neckline. Invest in 14k gold chain necklaces in standard sizes so that you have a high-quality piece to complement any outfit.
  • 20” Necklace Length: A 20” necklace rests between the collarbone and the bust and works with various necklines, sitting easily over high necklines and sweaters. For tall women or women with a larger frame, a 20” can be worn instead of an 18” to achieve the standard length look.
  • 22” Necklace Length: A 22” necklace pairs well with high necklines, such as turtlenecks. They are popular in winter because they fit over sweaters and winter apparel. They can be worn with shorter necklaces in a layered look to add dimension.
  • 24” Necklace Length: Necklaces that are 24” or longer are typically intended to be wrapped around the neck twice to create an adjustable double-stranded necklace. They can also be a comfortable upgrade for taller women or women who have a longer frame and need to size up.

Explore the Modaya Necklace Range

Expand your jewelry collection with high-quality pieces that will stand the test of time so that you have pieces to complement every outfit. Finding quality necklaces and chains that will subtly accessorize any outfit is easy at Modaya. Shop Modaya’s necklace and chain collections to find the perfect necklaces and chains for any occasion.