Chain Lengths - How to Choose the Perfect Length

At Heart on Your Wrist, we offer a wide selection of silver and gold-filled chains, from the classic Dainty Cable Chain to the bold and modern Rubber Cord with Tiny Sterling Beads. There is truly something for every individual taste and our chains will complete the look of your personalized name pendants or message jewelry.

Choosing Your Chain - How Long?

But chain selection doesn't stop there. You still have to decide what length of chain you'd like and the length can depend on things like the style of neckline you're wearing to the size of your neck. Ultimately, though, it's really a matter of personal taste.

You can opt for no chain and put your personalized charms on your own existing chain, but if you're buying a chain on the internet, it can be difficult to determine what length would look best on you. We here at Heart On Your Wrist get questions all the time about which chain length is best! So when deciding, you should consider a few things.

Measure Your Neck Size

Before you shop for a chain, it's a good idea to measure your neck and where you want your necklace to lay. Sounds kind of funny, but it's very important in getting the right size chain. The best way to do this is to use a cloth measuring tape used for sewing or a rope or string. Put it on like it's a necklace and place it just where you'd want it. Then measure the string. This will tell you about what length chain you like! Easy, right? For example, if you have a thin neck and are tall, and you like to wear your necklaces long, I would go with a 20" or 24" chain. If you have a thicker neck but like to wear necklaces closer to your face, I would go with an 18" chain (or 16" if you have a regular sized neck).

Heart on Your Wrist Chain Lengths

At Heart on Your Wrist we offer five lengths: 16", 18", 20", 24" and 30". Take a look at our neckform below – she represents a regular sized neck – hopefully this photo will help a bit with your decision as well.

It's All in a Name

Traditionally, certain chain lengths have been associated with certain names and styles:

Choker (our 16")
Chokers lie close to the neck and have a classic look. Generally 16" long, they are perhaps the most versatile length of all because they can go with all necklines, from a button-down collar to a plunging V-neck, and with all styles, from formal to career to casual.

Princess (our 18")
A Princess length chain usually hangs right below the collarbone. This length is best suited for crew and high necklines, but can also be worn with plunging necklines. These are the best length for supporting a pendant or group of charms.

Matinee (our 20")
A Matinee length chain is a bit longer than a Princess length, running at 20" long. This length is ideal for casual or even business attire, and will usually hit right at or below the V in a V-neck. This is also a good length for charms and pendants and is easy to wear over a crew neck.

Opera (our 24")
The name of this length stems from the 1920s and 1930s, when it was fashionable for women attending the opera to wear long necklaces that fall at or below the bustline. Opera length runs at 24" long. Again, this is a length that has to be considered in relation to what you're wearing, especially if it's a chain with a pendant or charms. This length can fit over your head so can be a good choice if you like to take your jewelry on and off often.