Design Thrift Blog: DIY Basics: Guide to Necklace Lengths

As promised, here is another installment of DIY BASICS. This time we are focusing on a little guide to the types of necklaces and the lengths that correspond to them. 

Knowing where you want a necklace to fall on the body is an extremely important part of the design process. Certain necklace silhouettes only work at certain lengths. For instance: a bib necklace is always going to fall somewhere between 14 and 16 inches. It also helps you to determine which necklace length is appropriate to add a dangling pendant or tassel. Obviously a woman is not going to want a tassel or pendant hanging in between her cleavage so usually charm and pendant necklaces are reserved for shorter necklaces 18″ and under and necklaces with long tassels or long hanging pendants are reserved for necklaces 24″ and longer. Knowing this information before you start making a necklace is extremely valuable as it is one of the biggest rookie mistakes of jewelry design. 

Have a look, familiarize yourself with the picture and bookmark or pin this page. This guide will be useful in the future when deciding how much chain or how many beads you will need for a necklace you are working on. 

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  • awesome illustration and DIY! I will definitely pin this 🙂


  • this is ADORABLE! And I don't want to be a douche BUT "collar" and "choker" should be switched. A choker is around the neck and a collar necklace hits at your collarbone.

    • Jonelle says:

      These days people tend to use both terms interchangeably without knowing the subtle difference between the two. And I know it would sound that way based on the names alone, but it's actually the other way around. At least that's what I was taught at F.I.T. and told by jewelry designers that I worked for in the past. Below is some info describing the difference between the two.
      The Collar
      In jewelry, a collar is an ornament for the neck. Collar is an older word for necklace, and is usually reserved today for a necklace that lies flat to the body rather than hanging freely. Sometimes also called a dog collar, this 12-13-inch necklace fits around the throat. The style was very popular in the early 1900's. Often several strands of beads or pearls will make up this necklace. This is a great choice if you have a longer neck.
      The Choker
      The next longer length, despite its name, does not hug the throat as closely as a collar necklace. This 14-16 inch face-flattering length sits just at the base of the neck right above the collarbone. Chokers come in many styles to suit many personalities, from delicate pearls to chunky turquoise or dramatic metallic for a Cleopatra vibe. This short but sweet necklace length is great with anything with an open collar and is a killer statement piece!

  • Great tips! Thanks for sharing!

  • mellowbeing says:

    Can I use this image in my Etsy listing? I have necklaces for sale and customers are always asking what 24" means and this is a great illustration!

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