How To Measure Necklace Length With A Tape Measure

How to Measure Necklace Length with a Tape Measure

Necklaces are lovely accessories that can improve your entire appearance and sense of style. To ensure that your necklace sits properly and matches your attire, it’s important to pick a suitable length. Using a tape measure can be a quick and precise way to measure the length of a necklace, whether you’re looking for a new one or figuring out how well it fits an existing one.


Whether you love wearing necklaces or are just a jewelry aficionado, knowing how to measure the length of a necklace is an essential skill. In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to use a tape measure to get the ideal necklace length for you.

Why necklace length matters

A necklace’s length can have a big effect on how it looks as a whole. A necklace that is either too short or too long for your neckline may interfere with the harmony and appearance of your outfit. You can make sure the necklace complements your appearance without being burdensome or uncomfortable by carefully measuring the length of the necklace.

What You’ll Need

To measure necklace length accurately, you’ll need the following items:

  • A flexible tape measure
  • A mirror
  • A flat surface

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Measure Necklace Length

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Measure Necklace Length
Image Source: Unsplash, Step-by-Step Guide: How to Measure Necklace Length

Choosing the Right Tape Measure

To obtain precise measurements, a flexible and soft tape measure must be used. A hard ruler should not be used since it will not follow the contour of your neck.

Preparing the Necklace

Make sure the necklace is untangled before laying it flat on a smooth surface. This will make measuring simpler and stop any knots from compromising your measurement’s precision.

Finding the centre point

Identify the necklace’s core. This is the area where the pendant hangs on necklaces. To locate the halfway point if there is no pendant, fold the necklace in half.

Measuring the Length

Holding one end of the tape measure at the necklace’s central point, carefully extend the tape along its whole length. Make sure the tape traces the necklace’s curve. Read the measurement at the point on the tape where the other end of the necklace rests.

Tips for Accurate Measurements

  • Use a mirror to see where the necklace sits on your neck and make adjustments if needed.
  • Consider the style of the necklace; some designs might require slightly different measurements for the perfect fit.

Understanding Necklace Lengths

Different necklace lengths offer varying styles and looks. Here are some common necklace lengths:

Choker Length

This length typically ranges from 14 to 16 inches and sits snugly around the base of the neck. It’s great for showcasing a pendant or accentuating the collarbone.

Princess Length

The princess length, around 18 inches, is one of the most common and versatile lengths. It falls just below the collarbone and suits a wide variety of necklines.

Matinee Length

Matinee necklaces, around 20 to 24 inches long, are perfect for adding a touch of elegance to your outfit. They typically rest on the bust line.

Opera Length

Opera-length necklaces, about 28 to 36 inches long, are often worn as statement pieces. They can be worn as single strands or doubled up for a layered look.

Rope Length

Rope-length necklaces exceed 36 inches and offer numerous styling possibilities. They can be worn as a single long strand, doubled, or even knotted.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

  • Measuring at an angle instead of following the curve of the necklace
  • Not accounting for the pendant or focal point when measuring.

Ensuring comfort and style

While precise measurements are important, don’t forget to take your own comfort and stylistic preferences into account. Some people prefer choker lengths for a modern edge, while others prefer longer necklaces for a more bohemian appearance.


Using a tape measure to measure the length of a necklace is a quick and easy way to make sure your jewelry matches your style and is comfortable for you. You’ll be able to confidently select necklaces that improve your general appearance by following these instructions and comprehending various necklace lengths.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I use a regular ruler instead of a tape measure?

Sure, you can measure without a tape measure by using a standard ruler. Similar to a tape measure, a ruler can be used to measure lengths, widths, and heights. Yet there are a few things to think about:

Length Restrictions: Because a standard ruler is often shorter than a tape measure, you might need to use it more than once and total the measurements for longer distances.

Flexibility: A tape measure can be used to measure curved or irregular surfaces more easily than a rigid ruler since it is frequently more flexible.

Portability: Because of its small size and retractable construction, a tape measure is more portable than a ruler, which may not be as handy to carry.

Ease of Use: Simple indicators for both inches and centimeters, as well as extra features like locking mechanisms for precise measurements, are all part of a tape measure’s ease of use.

Accuracy: Although both tools are capable of providing precise measures, a tape measure may have a tiny advantage due to its adaptability and extra functionality.

In summary, a tape measure can be used in place of a standard ruler, but it is frequently more practical and versatile, especially when dealing with greater distances or curved surfaces.

How do I measure a necklace with multiple strands?

How do I measure a necklace with multiple strands?
Image Source: Unsplash, How do I measure a necklace with multiple strands?

Measuring a necklace with multiple strands can be a bit tricky due to its complex structure. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you measure a multi-strand necklace:

Materials Needed:

  • Multi-strand necklace
  • Ruler or tape measure
  • Soft measuring tape (optional)


  1. Lay Out the Necklace: Lay the necklace flat on a surface, ensuring that all the strands are spread out evenly and are not tangled.
  2. Identify the Starting Point: Choose a point on the necklace where you want to start measuring. This could be the clasp or any point where the strands converge.
  3. Measure Each Strand: Using a ruler or tape measure, measure each individual strand separately. Start from the chosen point and measure along the length of each strand until you reach the end.
  4. Add the Measurements: Once you’ve measured each individual strand, add up the measurements to get the total length of the necklace. If the necklace has different strand lengths, make sure to note down each measurement for reference.
  5. Consider the Clasp: If the necklace has a clasp, you might want to include or exclude it from the total length measurement, depending on how you intend to wear the necklace.
  6. Use a Soft Measuring Tape (Optional): If the necklace is curved or has irregular shapes, you can use a soft measuring tape to follow the curves more accurately. Gently wrap the measuring tape along the strands, ensuring it stays close to the necklace’s surface. Add up the measurements for each strand to determine the total length.
  7. Note Down the Measurement: Once you have the total length of the multi-strand necklace, make sure to note down the measurement in inches or centimeters, depending on your preference.

Keep in mind that multi-strand necklaces can be delicate, so handle them with care while measuring. Additionally, measuring a curved or irregular necklace accurately might be challenging, so using a soft measuring tape could be beneficial in such cases.

What’s the ideal length for layering necklaces?

The ideal length for layering necklaces can vary based on personal preference, the number of layers you’re planning to wear, and the style you’re aiming for. Here are some general guidelines to consider:

  1. Diverse Lengths: When layering necklaces, it’s best to choose necklaces with varying lengths. This creates a visually appealing cascading effect, with each necklace occupying its own space. Common lengths for layering necklaces are typically 16 inches (choker), 18 inches (standard), 20 inches, and 24 inches.
  2. Neckline and Outfit: Consider the neckline of your outfit. Different necklace lengths complement different necklines. For example, shorter necklaces work well with scoop necks or off-the-shoulder tops, while longer necklaces can accentuate V-necks or deep necklines.
  3. Balancing: Aim to balance the lengths and styles of the necklaces. If you’re layering multiple necklaces, avoid having them all at similar lengths. Mix shorter and longer necklaces for a harmonious look.
  4. Personal Style: Your personal style plays a significant role. Some people prefer a more subtle layering with a few delicate necklaces, while others might go for a bolder look with chunkier pieces.
  5. Occasion: Consider the occasion for which you’re layering necklaces. Delicate and understated layering might be suitable for everyday wear, while a special event could call for more elaborate layering.
  6. Body Proportions: Take your body proportions into account. Taller individuals might opt for longer necklaces, while shorter necklaces can work well for petite individuals.
  7. Trial and error: Experiment with different combinations to find what suits you best. Try layering necklaces of different lengths and styles in front of a mirror to see how they interact with your outfit and overall look.
  8. Consider Pendant Placement: If your necklaces have pendants, consider where they fall in relation to each other. Avoid having pendants that are too close, as they might tangle or compete for attention.

In the end, there is no strict rule for the ideal length for layering necklaces. It’s all about finding what looks and feels right for you. The best approach is to experiment with various necklace lengths, styles, and combinations until you achieve a layered look that reflects your personal style and enhances your outfit.

Are there specific necklaces for different necklines?

Yes, certain necklace styles tend to complement different necklines more effectively. Here’s a guide to help you match specific necklace styles with various necklines:

V-Neck Neckline:

Complementary Necklaces: Pendant necklaces with a delicate chain that follows the V-shape of the neckline Y-necklaces also work well.

Why: These necklaces enhance the natural lines of the V-neck and draw attention to the neckline’s point.

Scoop Neckline:

Complementary necklaces: shorter necklaces like chokers or collar necklaces that sit just above the neckline. Longer pendant necklaces can also work.

Why: These necklaces fill the open space of the scoop neckline and add a stylish touch.

Crew Neckline:

Complementary Necklaces: Short necklaces, like chokers or princess-length necklaces (18 inches), that sit just above or close to the neckline

Why: These necklaces provide a clean and polished look without overwhelming the neckline.

Boat Neckline:

Complementary Necklaces: longer necklaces, like opera-length necklaces (28–36 inches) that fall below the neckline, or layered necklaces with varying lengths.

Why: These necklaces complement the width of the boat neckline and add elegance without competing for attention.

Square Neckline:

Complementary Necklaces: shorter necklaces that follow the square shape, like collar necklaces or short pendants.

Why: These necklaces complement the angular lines of the square neckline.

Off-the-Shoulder Neckline:

Complementary Necklaces: longer necklaces, like princess or matinee length (20–24 inches), or layered necklaces that cascade along the exposed skin.

Why: These necklaces emphasize the bare décolletage and complement the off-the-shoulder style.

Halter Neckline:

Complementary Necklaces: Focus on earrings or hair accessories, as halter necklines leave the neck area mostly bare. If you prefer a necklace, opt for delicate pieces that sit closer to the neck.

Why: Necklaces might compete with the halter straps, so it’s better to keep the focus on other accessories.

Remember that these are guidelines, not strict rules. Personal style and creativity are essential. Feel free to mix and match to create unique looks that express your individuality. Additionally, consider the material, colour, and overall aesthetic of the necklace to ensure it complements your outfit and enhances your appearance.

Where can I find a variety of necklace styles?

You can find a variety of necklace styles at a range of retail locations, both online and offline. Here are some options for where to find a diverse selection of necklace styles:

Jewellery Stores:

Local jewellery stores: Visit brick-and-mortar jewellery stores in your area. They often carry a selection of necklace styles, from classic to trendy.

Department Stores:

Major department stores: Stores like Macy’s, Nordstrom, and Bloomingdale’s offer a wide range of jewellery, including necklaces in various styles.

Online Retailers:

Online marketplaces: Websites like Amazon, eBay, and Etsy have a vast selection of necklace styles from various sellers and designers.

Fashion retailers: Online clothing stores like ASOS, Zara, and Forever 21 often have a jewellery section with a variety of necklace styles to choose from.

Jewellery-focused websites: Websites like Blue Nile, James Allen, and Kay Jewellers specialize in jewelry and offer a wide range of necklace designs.

Specialty Jewelry Boutiques:

Independent jewelry boutiques: Look for local or online boutiques that specialise in unique and handcrafted jewelry pieces.

Designer Brands:

Designer jewellery brands: brands like Tiffany & Co., David Yurman, and Bulgari offer distinctive and high-quality necklace styles.

Craft Fairs and Artisan Markets:

Local craft fairs and artisan markets: These events often feature jewellery designers who create one-of-a-kind and handcrafted necklace designs.

Custom Jewellery Designers:

Custom jewellery designers: If you’re looking for a truly unique piece, consider working with a custom jewellery designer who can create a necklace tailored to your preferences.

Online jewellery platforms:

Online jewelry platforms: Websites like Blue Nile, James Allen, and Brilliant Earth provide a variety of necklace styles, including options to customize metal types, gemstones, and designs.

Vintage and Antique Shops:

Vintage and antique shops: Explore vintage stores or online marketplaces specializing in vintage jewelry for unique and timeless necklace options.

Social media and influencers

Follow jewelry designers and influencers on platforms like Instagram and Pinterest to discover new and trending necklace styles.

Before making a purchase, be sure to read reviews, check return policies, and verify the authenticity of the seller or retailer. It’s also a good idea to consider your budget, the materials you prefer, and the occasion for which you’re buying the necklace. Whether you’re seeking classic elegance, trendy statement pieces, or unique handcrafted designs, there’s a wealth of options available to suit your style and preferences.

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