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Choosing a Necklace That Fits Your Neckline

How to Find a Necklace That Suits Your Neckline and Outfit

Charlotte Church
July 2, 2019

Adding a necklace can a simple and effective strategy for giving any outfit a sense of elegance and style. Plus, necklaces can fit any taste or unique personality thanks to their versatility. Whether you want a single gold pendant to complement your black dress or a necklace with a thick band to help you stand out from the crowd, you have an array of options at your fingertips. However, choosing the right necklace can be challenging. To help make this easier, Lisa Kotchey, the leading custom jewelry designer in Pittsburgh, has assembled a guide in finding necklaces that best suit your neckline and outfit. 

In this article, we will discuss:

  • Different necklace lengths
  • Lengths best suited for various clothing necklines
  • Other factors to consider when deciding on a necklace for your neckline

5 Most Common Necklace Lengths

Various Necklace lengths on a black mannequin
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As you can see, necklaces come in a variety of lengths. You can experiment with them by matching various necklace lengths to different outfits. While these options may seem overwhelming at first, we will break them down and explain each of them to you so that you can understand their basic terminology whenever you or your jeweler refers to them. These terms will also come in handy the next time you are designing a custom made necklace. 

  • Necklaces that are 14 inches in length are referred to as collars. They are similar to chokers, which are between 14 and 16 inches. Both wrap tightly around the neck. 
  • Princess necklines come in at 18 inches. They tend to come down to the collarbone area, and usually have a pendant on them. 
  • Matinee necklaces are 20 to 24 inches long and rest along the bust line. Since they give you a lot of neck space, they are easy to pair with other necklaces of varying lengths. That being said, avoid pairing them with chokers as they leave not much neck space untouched. 
  • Opera necklaces are 20 to 32 inches long. They can even be wrapped around the neck twice.
  • Rope necklaces are considered anything longer than 32 inches.

Different Types of Clothing Necklines and the Proper Lengths for Them 

lisa kotchey jewelry, a pendant and earrings

Necklace length can make a huge difference when it comes to accessorizing. While chokers often shorten necklines, open necklaces will lengthen them. Familiarizing yourself with the various necklines found on different shirts and dresses will help you in deciding what necklace length goes best with which top. 


The name is pretty self-explanatory. V-necks are shaped like a V pointing down toward your chest area. The depth and the width of the V will occasionally vary. Try going for necklaces that complement the V shape rather than contrast against it, such as chokers or large statement necklaces. Lariat necklaces, for instance, go well with v-necks. 

Scoop Neck

A deep, widely curved neckline is referred to as a scoop neck. Because there is so much space to work with, scoop necks go well with a variety of necklaces. Thick chains, multiple strands, and other statement necklaces are often paired with this type of neckline. 


Chokers are perfect for strapless shirts and dresses. Since they are not “competing” with straps or sleeves, they will easily stand out by themselves. 

Halter and One-Shoulders

Because their necklines are so intricate, pairing necklaces with them might not be a good idea. You don’t want to crowd or overwhelm your look. Instead, try a pair of earrings or a collection of bangles for some bling.

Boat Neck 

Tops with a boat neck run across the collarbone area in a straight line. With this neckline, it is best to stay safe and simple in terms of the necklace style and length you choose to pair it with. Thin, short necklaces go best with this type of top. 


Necklaces with long chains, such as the Matinee or Opera, go best with turtle necks. They will help elongate your torso. You also don’t have to worry about the jewelry crowding the region around your neck.


Crew necks go well with a variety of different necklace lengths such as chokers and necklaces that fall around the collar line of the crew shirt. Opera necklaces also go great with this type of shirt. 

Remember to Consider These Other Factors When Picking Out a Necklace

a woman wearing a necklace

You wouldn’t wear a ball gown to work. Nor would you wear a swimsuit to a corporate function. The same logic follows with necklaces. More intricate and elegant styles can be saved for the evening while lighter, simpler pieces can be worn during the way. The function or event you are attending will also factor into your final decision, as will the rest of your outfit’s color and style. Your neck’s length and width will also influence which necklaces look great on you, and which should be left on the store shelves. 

The length of a necklace can make or break an outfit. A black choker that goes great with a little black dress probably won’t match so well with a white blouse or turtleneck sweater. With these tips, you can cut the time and stress you would have spent picking out a necklace. For more information on jewelry design tips, contact Lisa Kotchey, the leading custom jewelry designer in Pittsburgh.