Chain Necklace Lengths for Men: A Visual Guide

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The chain necklace is a simple and versatile accessory all guys can pull off. It’s often the first piece of jewelry men opt to wear (other than a watch or wedding ring).

Understated chains go well with formal looks, while you have the option to have fun with statement pieces and pendants in less dressy situations.

When it comes to sizing though, things can get confusing. What are the different chain necklace lengths for men? Which lengths are best, and how do you determine this?

There are several options available. With this guide, you can figure out what length is right for you. Besides, the right necklace is an indelible part of a well-thought-out outfit!

GLD Jewelry
Shout out to our friends at GLD who provided us with chains at different lengths to photograph for this article. If you're looking for a gold necklace, any size mm or length, in gold vermeil or solid gold, GLD has it!
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The Different Chain Necklace Lengths for Men

Chain necklace lengths for men usually start at 18 inches and then go up by two inches in length until it reaches 36 inches. 

Fortunately, this large variety in standard lengths means that you mostly don’t have to worry about customization. There’s a chain out there for everyone

What’s a good chain length for a guy?

The average length for a man’s chain is 20 inches, which will typically fall around the collar bone area. This is usually considered the best place for a chain to lay. 

Whether you’re wearing a crewneck or a v-neck shirt, it won’t compete with or get lost in your collar. If you’re wearing a button-up with a collared shirt, it will likely fall between the first and second button. 

When choosing a length for yourself, it’s also important to keep in mind your height, body shape, and neck size. Which leads to our next question…

How do you choose a chain length according to body type and height?

Body shape and height can influence what chain length will look good on you.

See our image below, which illustrates the different lengths of chain necklaces on a guy:

different length necklaces on a man
For reference, the model in this photo (me) is 5’9″, wears an M in tops and a 40 in suit jackets. Tap to view full-sized image in a new tab.

The standard 20-inch necklace is the safest bet for most men. But, if you’re in the 5’4” range and you feel like it weighs you down visually, you can opt for an 18-incher. This chain sits anywhere from right below your Adam’s apple to the base of your neck.

If you’re broadly built, especially in the neck area, you may need to go for a 22-inch chain to get it to sit on your collar bone. 

Necklaces at 24 inches or above wear long on most men. The longer your torso is, the less room the chain takes up on your body, which makes it less of a statement piece

What’s a good chain length for wearing a pendant?

Keep in mind that you can wear a pendant with chains of any length. What may matter more is chain thickness (read on for our thoughts on that).

On average, chains between 20 and 24 inches in length are a good size for a pendant, and ensures the pendant stays in place.

GLD Jewelry
Shout out to our friends at GLD who provided us with a selection of chains to photograph for this article. If you're looking for a gold necklace, any size mm or length, in gold vermeil or solid gold, GLD has it!
Browse GLD

Is a 22-inch chain too long?

In general, no, a 22-inch chain is just a little longer than the average 20-incher. Chains at this length offer a more relaxed feel while providing enough breathing room. 

But, the more accurate answer is gonna depend on your body type, height, and torso length, and where you want the chain to hit when you’re wearing it.

Usually falling a few inches below the collarbone, you can wear a 22-incher outside of your shirt or even tucked in if you want it to serve as a subtle accent to your outfit.

Does the thickness of a chain affect its length?

With men’s chain necklaces, the general rule of thumb is that the thinner the chain, the shorter it should be, and the thicker it is, the longer it should be.

With that being said, you can absolutely wear, say, an 8mm-thick 18” chain if you wanted to. You could also rock a 2mm-thick 26” chain.

closeup of man wearing multiple chains under buttonup shirt
What different length chains look like underneath a button-up shirt. The 28″ chain is so long, you typically wouldn’t see it if worn underneath a button-up, except for maybe a small peek at the base of the neck.

But in terms of what’s easiest to find, typically, thicker chains are on the slightly longer side (at least 24”) and thinner chains can be found at shorter lengths (18”-20”).  

If you’re considering proportion and what looks most balanced on you specifically, you’ll want to select a chain thickness that makes sense for your body type.

Slimmer guys can wear chains that are between 1mm and 4mm, while broader chaps would look better wearing chains that are thicker.

Can men wear different chain lengths at the same time?

Yes, men can wear more than one chain for a trendy layered look, and there are numerous combinations to choose from.

For example, you can wear a thin, shorter chain with a pendant and a medium-length chain without a pendant, and then finally add a longer and thicker chain with a pendant. 

Feel free to play around with different variations until you achieve your desired layered look. Just make sure that it suits your body type and unique style.  

Some of Our Favorite Men’s Chains

What’s your preferred chain length?

Again, standard chain lengths come in a wide-ranging variety. Hopefully, our tips will help you get chain necklaces that are the perfect length for your particular shape, height, and the look you’re going for. 

Feel free to DM us on Instagram if you want to discuss or have any other questions about men’s chain necklaces!

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