A Word About Length

A few of the necklaces available at MADE.  We have many styles and all kinds of lengths.  Don't forget my mom can also make custom chains for you OR repair your broken necklaces.

A few of the necklaces available at MADE.  We have many styles and all kinds of lengths.  Don't forget my mom can also make custom chains for you OR repair your broken necklaces.

Hello friends, it’s me, Ruby. When you come in to the store, you  might think I'm just being adorable, but don't be mistaken - these disproportionately large ears are listening to everything you say.  You ask my mom lots of questions about the best ways to wear jewelry, but the secret is that I’ve taught my mom everything she knows about fashion. Since she owns the store,I let her do the talking.  I deserve a cookie for that, I’m sure of it! Anywhoo.  I hear you asking questions like “How do I wear silver and gold together?” and “How do I wear tons of rings?” and, the subject of this month’s post, “What length necklace is right for me?”

While custom lengths are available, here are the lengths you’ll most often see in jewelry stores and other places that sell accessories:

  • 14"  Fits most like a choker
  • 16" Falls perfectly around the base of the neck like a collar. On a petite woman it will hit your collarbone while for plus size women it might feel more like a choker.
  • 18” A common choice for women that will fall just below the throat at the collarbone. This length is popular for adding pendants which will hang over a crew neck.
  • 20" Will fall a few inches below the collarbone and allow a little more breathing room. Perfect for a low, plunging neckline or if you want to wear it over a turtleneck.
  • 22" Falls at or above a low neckline.
  • 24" Falls below any neckline.
  • 36" Common with pearl strands and will hang below the bosom. They can be worn as a single strand or you can double a 36” for an 18 inch necklace.

Click to enlarge

These sizes and descriptions are of course, relative.  For instance, that 14” chain might be a choker on you, but it would sweep the floor on me.  My neck is just wee, you see. 

With that knowledge locked down, let’s move on to these considerations:

  1. Your Neck: That is, afterall, where you’re necklace will live so the two should complement each other.  Is your neck wide? Long? Wrinkled? Generally speaking, most necklaces work on long necks, longer lengths work better on short/wide necks, and bold pendants can draw the eye away from skin blemishes and wrinkles.
  2. Your height: Didn’t think of this one, did you?  If you’re shorter than 5’4”, consider a necklace length that sits at, or just below, your collarbone.  If you’re in the above-average height category, a short chain may get lost on you. 
  3. Your face shape: Oval, round, square or heartshaped, that is the question. Pending all of the other considerations, short necklaces/chokers look great with square and heart-shaped faces.
  4. Your neckline: The items in your closet probably make the biggest impact on your decision.  For instance, you wouldn’t want to wear a choker with a turtleneck.  That would just be weird.

Yeah.  I can hear you now reader.  You’re saying “But Ruby, what if I’m tall (I can wear anything!) with a short neck (I can only wear long things!) and a square face (I can only wear short things!)

To that, I say “Eff the rules, reader!”  Wear what you want.  Really.  Jewelry is supposed to be fun. You should love wearing it, you should feel good about it and as a bonus, it might even compliment your body and accessorize your outfit.  If you want to look like a fashionista, the information above will help you get there.  If you just want to wear the teeny tiny opal pendant that your dad got you in the days before you discovered cheese curls and binge watching Orange is the New Black, then you do you, girl.

When it comes to jewelry, what rules do you like to break?