Adjustable Chains: The Perfect Necklace Sizes for Every Occasion
The right necklace length can vary. It depends on the neckline of the blouse or dress you're wearing, the style of your clothing, and the look you're going for. Adjustable chains are a fantastic way to always have the perfect necklace sizes on hand with just one chain. Learn about it here!
Keyword(s): necklace sizes
In the professional world, details matter. That includes the little things like clean jewelry and appropriate necklace sizes.
But in our imperfect world, getting that perfect necklace size isn't as easy as we want it to be. Sometimes you have the right kind of chain, but the pendant is too large. Or you have the opposite problem, and the chain is too long.
You can start a collection of different sized necklace chains. But even then you might not look good in the average necklace length.
Instead of going through all this hassle, you could buy an adjustable chain. They are easy to use, and you can swap them out for any pendant. Plus the surplus chain is both subtle and elegant.
So if you want a way to look your best, check out our guide for using the adjustable chain to find the best necklace sizes.
How to Find the Right Necklace Size
When you're looking for necklaces, you want to choose something that will last. Look for subtle, well-made pieces that work with everything. To find these pieces, you'll need to know about finding the right necklace sizes.
Necklace Length Guide
There are five necklace sizes that you can find anywhere.
Standard Length (About 18")
Standard length necklaces measure about 18" long. They're great for day-to-day wear, and transition from day to night.
The standard length sits right above your neckline. Add a pendant for a nice V-shape. They look great with crew necks, sweetheart, or v-necklines.
Chokers (About 16")
Chokers are tricky. Most of us remember the plastic chokers of the 1990s. Because of this, chokers today seem like a casual trend.
But that couldn't be further from the truth. Chokers are worn with formal cocktail dresses and different shirt styles. They're made of different materials, from gold to velvet.
They look best with off-the-shoulder and boat necklines. This way you're not drawing all the attention to your shoulders. Instead, you're balancing it out while emphasizing your neck.
Matinee Length (20"-24")
As the name suggests, matinee necklace sizes are right in-between formal and informal. They sit between the collarbone and the bust. If you have a larger or taller neck, this will work better for you than the standard length.
Like the standard length, you can wear this necklace size with almost anything. They work well over collard shirts and higher necklines like turtlenecks.
Be aware of pairing large pendants with this chain. The longer pendants might end up right in your cleavage or disappear below your neckline.
Opera Length (30"-32")
This is the most dramatic necklace length. Like the opera, it's elegant but attention-grabbing. These necklaces fall on the bust or several centimeters below.
If you have a high neckline, or you want to create the illusion of length, then find an opera length chain. They look wonderful with turtlenecks and boat necks.
If you wear it to work, be careful to pair it with something more simple, like a solid color dress or shirt.
Ropes (32" and Longer)
Rope necklaces are sometimes difficult, but they can look great. They're longer than opera sizes, so if you leave it hanging around your neck it looks awkward. Think of the pearl ropes from the 1920s. They were dramatic and glamorous, but only if they're layered well.
Most people wrap their ropes around their necks more than once to create a double strand. But beware that if you have a larger neck, it won't always lay at the right length.
How to Find the Right Necklace Size by Your Height and Face Shape
Now that we've gone over the necklace lengths, let's talk about choosing the right one for you. There are a few ways to do this, and one of them is to go by your height and face shape.
If you're short or you have a shorter torso, stick with necklaces that aren't as long. Try on chokers or standard necklace sizes. Longer necklaces will cut off your length and make you look like a kid trying on mom's jewelry.
Longer torsos or taller women can get away with longer lengths. They can wear opera length or ropes with ease.
When you're looking at necklaces for face shapes, oval faces can get away with whatever they want.
If you have a heart or diamond-shaped face, look for shorter necklaces.
Women with round or square-shaped faces can wear longer necklace sizes. It will make their faces seem longer.
How to Pair Necklace Sizes with Clothing
Of course, the real kicker for choosing the best necklace sizes have to do with what you're wearing. You might have an amazing collection of opera necklaces. But that doesn't mean you can wear it with everything.
Check out our quick and dirty guide for choosing necklace sizes for clothing.
V-necks draw attention down towards your chest, away from your face. Your necklace should follow this silhouette.
A word of caution for the well-endowed ladies: sometimes your cleavage is enough. But if you want to wear a necklace, consider something simple.
Strapless necklines look wonderful with chokers and shorter pendants. They'll show off your neck and create a balanced look.
If you don't want to draw too much attention to your neck, then wear a standard length necklace. It will take the gaze away from your neck and direct it towards your shoulders.
Sweetheart necklines bring the attention to your shoulders and neck. It can even show off your cleavage, depending on the cut and fit.
Choose a necklace that works with the neckline with soft shapes. You can choose a simple pendant that will create a v-silhouette on your neckline.
But be careful that the length isn't too long. You don't want your necklace disappearing into your clothing. A choker or standard cut will work well to keep the attention on your neckline.
Turtlenecks are a classic winter look, and they're great with opera-length necklaces. That's because turtlenecks work as a blank canvas for necklaces. You can put pretty much any kind of pendant with them.
Try out your opera length necklace with a big eye-catching pendant. You can also wear your statement necklaces. Keep them between standard and matinee length. If you're feeling adventurous, try out some necklace layering.
The only kind of necklace size that won't work with turtlenecks are chokers. It will draw too much attention to your neck and make it look bigger than it is.
Most professional women have a few button-down shirts in their closet. They're harder to style because the collar is a built-in decoration for your neckline.
If you want to button your collar to the top, you can add a statement necklace that ends below your shoulders. It'll add a feminine touch to a masculine collar.
You can also wear a small pendant necklace. Choose a necklace that sits a little above the last open button so it doesn't get lost.
Scoop neck shirts create a lot of open space on your chest. Your necklace should fill that space. Statement pendants or matinee necklaces can help with this. Big beads or round pendants work well with scoop necks. It can be a simple string of pearls or
You can also wear a choker with a scoop neck. It will create a line of interest on your neckline that draws the eyes away from the chest.
Crew necks are common on t-shirts and dresses. That's why it's important to know what kind of necklace size works well with it.
Shorter necklaces like standard lengths and chokers will further emphasize your neck. You can wear a short or simple pendant that looks great on anything.
Those big statement bib necklaces will also work with crew necks. Again, keep them on the short side. They might add a layer of interest to your outfit, but if the chain is too long it will look awkward.
How to Use an Adjustable Chain in Your Wardrobe
As you can tell, finding the right necklace size is a fine art. Instead of worrying about getting all the right chains, get an adjustable chain.
With adjustable chains, you can make sure your chain length is perfect every time. You do this by pulling the chain through the adjusting ball until you get the desired length.
These chains come in different sizes. Most people buy the popular 14"-24" length. It's best for adjusting your necklace from a daring choker to the formal matinee length.
If you're a fan of dramatic silhouettes, you can get your adjustable chain as long as 30" for opera length looks.
Customize the chain with your favorite pendants by undoing the lobster clasp. It's that easy to create the perfect necklace look every time.
How to Adjust Your Chain
Adjusting your chain is a simple process.
- In one hand, hold the chain near the end.
- Hold the adjusting ball in your other hand.
- Pull the chain through the adjusting ball with the hand that's nearest the charm.
- Pull the chain as short as you want it. Always pull straight through, never at an angle. It will help your chain last longer.
- If you want to make it longer, pull the chain in the other direction through the adjusting ball.
Just like that, you have the perfect necklace size for a fraction of the cost of multiple lengths.
How to Choose the Right Necklace Chain
For the professional woman, you should have a variety of necklace chains. Here are some tips to get you started.
- Make sure your chain is genuine .925 sterling silver
- Look for "Made in Italy." There are so many imitations out there that look great but don't last. They turn your neck green or cause an allergic reaction.
- Get an assortment of metals. Gold, sterling silver, and rose gold are the best ones to get you started.
- Look for lobster clasps. They last longer than spring rings which are often poor quality.
How to Take Care of Your Jewelry
You bought your adjustable chain and you have a collection of beautiful pendants. You've worked hard to create your jewelry wardrobe, so now it's time to make it last. The best way to do this is to take care of your things the right way.
Store Your Jewelry in a Separate Space
Do you remember when you were a little girl, and you had all your jewelry in one box? Then when you tried to find your favorite necklace, it got tangled up?
Avoid this problem by keeping your jewelry in a proper storage container. This goes double when you're traveling.
Handle with Care
Put on your jewelry last so nothing gets snagged on accident.
Make sure that you avoid contaminating it with makeup and hairspray. Take off everything when you're going to a hairdresser or getting your hair colored.
Keep It Clean
Use a gentle jewelry cleaner once every few months to remove any oils or contamination. This is super important for wedding rings and your favorite necklaces.
Take It to a Professional
Jewelers recommend taking your favorite pieces to a professional cleaner once a year. They'll give everything a deep clean without harming any of the pieces.
Want to Know More About Choosing Jewelry?
Are you a young professional looking to up her wardrobe game? Want to know more about necklace sizes and other helpful tips?
Then take a look at our blog. We have an entire section devoted to jewelry education. After all, you're moving up in life. Your jewelry should reflect that.