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Necklace and Chain Size Guide

Non-custom necklaces or chains come in industry standard lengths; five different lengths for women, and four for men. The table and model below describe and illustrate these standard sizes.

Standard Necklace Sizes for Women*
  • 16"- Choker Length
  • 17-18"- at collarbone
  • 20"- A few inches below collarbone
  • 22"- At or above neckline
  • 24"- Below the neckline
Standard Necklace Sizes for Men*
  • 18"- Base of the neck (*for smaller neck sizes)
  • 20"- to collarbone(*most common length for average men)
  • 22"- A few inches below the collarbone
  • 24"- Just above the sternum

*Note: Its a good idea to select the next size up for larger neck sizes.

varying standard lengths available

This image displays the varying standard lengths available in most necklace and neck chains. With our almost foolproof help in choosing neck adornments, you can relax and enjoy the new piece of jewelry.

Custom Sized Necklaces

Everyone is unique, both physically and in aesthetic preferences. In other words, we aren't all "standard" size nor do we have the same taste in jewelry. For individuals that require a special size necklace, sometimes ordering the same necklace in the next standard size (either up or down) works as well as customization. Depending on the style of necklace, a jeweler can also remove links to shorten the length for those with small necks. (Note: It's always a good idea to keep the extra links in case the necklace is eventually passed on to an individual with a larger neck or backup links are needed in the event repairs are necessary.) Not all necklaces are available in the size you may need however, and customization may be necessary.

If you have a specific necklace or chain style in mind and customization is necessary, several steps need to be taken. First, contact REEDS via telephone, email, live chat or in store and specify your special requirements in regards to size and style. We'll check with the manufacturer and/or expert jewelers regarding not only the availability, but the feasibility of customizing a particular necklace in the desired size. If the necklace can be customized, we'll provide you with a quote and timeframe for completion. Please note that custom orders take time, not only to obtain quotes, but for the customized construction. Custom necklaces cost more than their standard equivalents not only due to the custom work required but also for any additional materials needed, such as extra metal or gemstones. Other factors effecting costs include restructuring the original design to allow for the size adjustments.

Prior to placing an order, it's vitally important to correctly size the wearer's neck. A man's neck size corresponds to his shirt's collar size. Measuring neck size for women is generally necessary as size is often unknown. Measurements may be taken by REEDS in-store professionals or at home utilizing a standard measuring tape or our printable REEDS Jewelry Measurer. (TM)* If you do not have a soft measuring tape, wrap a ribbon around the base of the wearer's neck, mark the spot where the ends meet, then lay the ribbon against a yardstick or ruler to determine approximate neck size.

If you do not have a measuring tape handy, we have provided a printable version: Reeds Jewelry Measurer

*NOTE: To view REEDs Jewelry Measurer, Adobe Acrobat reader must be installed on your computer. If you do not have this program, go to Adobe's website and follow the instructions for your computer, platform and language for a free, safe installation.

To use REEDS Jewelry Measurer, you'll need to follow these directions. Before printing, set print options at 100% normal size, with no Shrinking or Expanding to fit the page. Since screen resolution and printer settings vary for every user, these measurements are only an approximation. Cut the tool out and tape it together to form a measuring tape. Wrap the tape around the base of the wearer's neck and mark the spot where the ends meet to obtain an approximate neck measurement.

After a measurement is obtained, its a good idea to opt for a necklace size that is at least the second size up from your neck size. For example, if you have an 18 inch neck, you should probably choose a chain length of 20 inches or more. An 18 inch chain would feel too tight. Also consider the type of necklace when choosing length. Does the necklace lie flat? Is there a heavy dangling pendant? These aspects can both effect how a chain will hang.

Choosing Chain Lengths for Women

Consider where the wearer is likely to wear the necklace and the clothing that is likely to be worn with it. Some women may wear different lengths for different occasions and seasons. A choker style may look wonderful with a cocktail dress with a scooped neckline but may not fit over a turtleneck sweater. Many women opt for longer necklaces in the winter as bulky clothing may require the extra length. Take the wearer's size into account. A 24 inch necklace on a petite woman may hang down too far just as the same necklace may be ideal for a larger woman. In general, the shorter the necklace, the more important the size. Necklaces that are too short may not fit at all.

Choosing Chain Lengths for Men

Most chain lengths chosen for men typically fall at the collar bone, which is usually around 20 inches in length. If the necklace includes a medallion, cross, or dog tag, a slightly longer length is suggested. Multiple chains of varying lengths may be worn for a layered look.

If you are unsure about neck size and whether or not a particular necklace or chain is right for you, please contact a REEDS sales associate at your nearest REEDS store or you can chat with an online representative via our toll-free number or live chat. We'd be happy to help you select a suitable style of necklace that meets your specific requirements.