What length chain is right for you?  How to measure necklace length

What length necklace is right for you? How to measure necklace length

by Tawny Reynolds on Oct 26, 2016

How to measure necklace length to find the right length chain - by Sundrop Jewelry Are you looking at a necklace, but aren’t sure what size to order? Here’s how to measure necklace length so you're certain to get exactly what you want...

If you have already have a necklace that is the length you’d like, the answer is easy. Take that necklace, lay it straight and measure it with a ruler. 

Otherwise, drape a piece of string around your neck and pull it down to a point, the way it will hang with a pendant or centerpiece hanging from it. Hold the string where you want the necklace to land on your chest. Remember, the droplet or centerpiece will hang below this point, so make sure you’re measuring the length you want the chain to be, not the bottom of the entire necklace. Most of Sundrop Jewelry’s pendants and necklaces hang between 1” to 2.5” below the bottom of the chain. 

Cut the string (or just hold it with your fingers, keeping the spot precisely), lay the string straight and measure it with a ruler. Round that number to the nearest necklace length offered for the design you’re looking at. (If you really want a specific length that isn’t one of the choices, just shoot me an email - I’ll be happy to oblige!)

There are a number of factors that go into deciding what length necklace to choose. What kind of neckline are you going to wear it with? Turtleneck? Scoop? Wide? Plunging V? With turtlenecks and other collared shirts, if you plan to wear the necklace on the outside of the collar you’ll need a longer chain in order for the necklace to hang in the same spot. Are you purchasing a piece for a specific outfit? You probably want to avoid a length that will leave the necklace just overlapping the neckline, as the necklace will be constantly rubbing against the edge and won’t hang straight. Instead, opt for a slightly longer or shorter chain.

So many things to consider! What’s your favorite necklace length? Do you change it up, depending on the necklace design, or do you always get the same size? Or, do you use a necklace extender so you can adjust your jewelry to be perfect for any piece of clothing? Let me know - I’d love to hear what you want.
Here are the standard chain lengths I offer, from top to bottom - 14" Demi Drop Choker with a 2.5" extender (shown clasped at close to 14"), 18" Demi Drop Pendant, 20" Maressa Pendant, and 24" Kite Necklace.  All shown worn by a 5' 4" woman.
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  • Camille
    May 21, 2023 at 20:36

    Dee, plenty of plus size women can wear 16” and 18” necklaces.


  • Dee
    Jan 27, 2022 at 02:14

    It also depends on the size of your actual pendant, a smaller or tiny drop pendant usually looks better at either collarbone length or choker style.
    A larger pendant may look better at 24 or 30 inch length depending if you are a plus size woman or thinner.
    A 16 or 18" chain will never fit around a plus size woman’s neck or larger necks. You must measure your chain around your neck as outlined with a piece of string, using a tape measure. This insures accurate drop lengths.


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