How to select necklaces based on style and personal body type
— Visit a jewelry store near you where you can try on a variety of necklace styles to determine what looks right. Establishing a relationship with that jeweler means that they’ll also know the right necklace styles to suggest at each visit.
Use this guide to necklace styles so you know what to look for and what your jeweler may suggest. For more information on specific necklace chain styles, see our chain style guide here.
Explore Necklaces in the Jewelry Gallery
Below are some tips to help you select necklaces based on style:
Necklace Lengths & Styles
Necklaces near your collar:
Collar – 12”-14” – Sits above the neckbone, directly against the throat.
Choker – 14”-16” – Rests at the base of the neck on the neckbone.
Princess – 17”-19” – Hits below the neckbone.
Necklaces near your bust:
Matinee – 20”-25” – Falls from below the collarbone to the bust.
Necklaces below your bust to your navel:
Opera – 26”-36” – Hangs below the bust and is long enough to wear as single strand or wrap as double strand, or knot at the neck.
Rope – 37” and longer – Longest necklace length, when unwrapped or tied these will fall below the navel.
When necklace shopping for necklaces with beads, gemstones or pearls, consider if you want a uniform style where all stones are about the same size or graduated where the size changes uniformly (usually increasing) from the ends to the center.
Select the Right Necklace Style for Your Body
While there is no wrong way to wear jewelry, when choosing necklace styles there are certain body features can affect what looks best on you. We’ve highlighted some body features to consider when selecting your necklace:
Heart – 12”-16” necklace lengths, especially chokers and collars
Round – 26”-36” lengths, especially those that form a lengthening V- shape. Avoid necklaces that sit close to the collar (choker, collar, bib)
Long/Rectangular – 12”-16” length, shorter necklaces will create the illusion of a shorter jaw
Oval – all necklace lengths work with this face shape
If you have a wide neck or broad shoulders, avoid chokers that can make the neck look wider and seem out of proportion
To accentuate the bust, 20”-22” necklaces work best
For full-figured bodies, necklaces that sit higher on the body 22” and under will sit the best on your body.
Short (below 5’4”) – 16-20” necklaces will look best on you. V-shapes will also elongate your neckline and add the appearance of height
Tall (5’7” and above) – wear any necklace length, but longer styles will fit best with your frame
Thank you to Jewelers of America for the contributions to this post.