We may be a bit biased here at Cladright, but we think a guy’s look is never complete without the right piece of jewelry.
Something simple like a classic necklace can level up your look, but it has to be the right length for your outfit, and your personal style. So let’s answer the #1 question you probably have: Exactly what size necklace for a man is best?
With the growing popularity of men’s jewelry and the rise of jewelry brands looking to fill that need, it’s easier than ever to find a necklace that’s perfect for your particular look and style.
Such variety also means that men’s necklaces are available in a wide range of lengths. We’ll go over the different necklace lengths, ways you might want to wear them, and what is the traditional fit based on your neck size.
Three General Necklace Lengths
Chain necklaces are typically available in three main groups, based on length: short, average, and long.
Pretty straightforward, right? But how short is short, and how long is long… and what’s average? Let’s discuss.
The short necklace is between 16-18″ and falls right on the collar bone. Necklaces of this length can be quite versatile as they’re easy to wear with just about anything. They’ll definitely be on display when wearing V-neck shirts or open-collar button-up shirts.
If you have a bigger build, this length may be too small or tight. It’s perfect for those with slimmer frames and / or smaller necks.
The average length is between 20-24″ long. This range is very common and the best fit for most men. They fall at the top of the breastbone below the base of the neck.
Necklaces of this size can be hidden under a shirt and can also peek through an open collar, easily worn however you prefer.
This length is great for men who want a bit more room and find the shorter length to be a bit too tight. If you want to add a more substantial pendant or tag to the necklace, doing so with necklaces 22” or longer can feel more comfortable.
Long-length necklaces measure at 26″ and longer. These necklaces usually fall in the middle or just above the sternum – depending on the person’s height. Necklaces that are 24″+ in length are typically worn over the shirt.
The downside of this is there’s a greater chance you break the chain or get it caught on something, so just be careful when wearing necklaces of this length.
They’re a great option when you want to wear a pendant. It will easily be visible when worn over a shirt and help to ground the chain. Again, just be careful since this chain length is more susceptible to getting caught on things and breaking.
What’s my necklace size?
There are a few ways to figure out which necklace length is best for you.
First, you can take an existing necklace you already own and measure that. Just lay it flat on a table, fully stretched out and as straight as possible, and measure with a ruler.
Next time you’re shopping for a new necklace, you can simply buy the same size, or go up / down an inch or two depending on the style and length you’re going for.
Another alternative: measure your neck with a soft tape measurer (I use the one from MyoTape).
If you’re unsure which necklace length to buy, measure your neck and then add two to four inches to that number. That would be a good standard necklace size estimate to go with.
Here are a few examples to help figure out the right measurements.
- Neck sizes between 13-14.5″ (33-36.8cm) can wear necklaces as short as 18″
- If your neck is 15-16.5″ (38-41.9cm), a 20″ necklace will fit better
- And for neck sizes between 17-18.5″ (43.2-47cm), go with a 22″ necklace at minimum
When adding a pendant to your necklace, you may want to consider adding another 1-2” in length. And generally, you want the width of your necklace to be at least 2mm.
However, the most important thing to consider is the chain’s width in relation to the size and heft of the pendant. A smaller, lighter pendant can work on smaller chains (1-2mm). Bigger, thicker pendants need a thicker chain.
Speaking of a chain’s thickness, let’s cover that next.
A Word On Necklace Chain Thickness
Chain thickness is another factor to consider when buying a necklace, as chain length and width go hand in hand. The thickness of most men’s chains is between 2mm to 4mm.
Of course, you can find chains that are 5mm, 6mm, 8mm, and beyond. The bigger the chain in millimeters, the more of a statement it makes!
All chains can be worn by themselves, and some widths work better with pendants than others.
Chains measuring 1-3mm are often worn without pendants, alone or layered with other chains. As mentioned earlier, though, pendants can work on slimmer chains. It just depends on the heft of the pendant relative to the chain’s thickness.
Chains that are 5mm and thicker have a visual weight to them. They’re more obvious and make a definitive style statement.
Also, the thicker the chain, the heftier a pendant it can handle. So keep that in mind if you’re planning on pairing your thick chain with a pendant.
What’s the best necklace length for a man vs. a woman?
Finding the right necklace fit depends on a few things: Torso length (or overall height), neck thickness, and general body size.
Here’s an example: Say you have an average 20” 3mm cuban chain necklace.
This specific chain may look a bit large and long on a guy that’s 5’5” and 125 lbs. with a 14″ neck. But put that same chain on a man that’s 6’3” and 220 lbs. with a 17” neck, and it’ll look dinky in comparison.
So “the right fit” is really dependent on your specific body and size. In general, however, men’s necklace lengths range from 16” to 30”.
And in most cases, the 20-22” lengths are considered the right fit for the average man’s height and build. This is the sweet spot that’s the most comfortable and offers enough room without being too short or too long. Plus, you can add all kinds of pendants to necklaces of this size.
For women, the standard necklace sizes range from 14″ to 22″. Necklaces with a length of 18″ are the most common and versatile fit for the average woman’s height and build.
Was this helpful?
Now that you’re armed with all this useful information about the right necklace length and size for you, you’re ready to go out there and shop for your next piece!
We hope this was helpful! DM us on Instagram if you have any other jewelry questions you want us to cover!