Necklace Lengths at a Glance

There are six common necklace lengths that are referenced by name. These are, in ascending order, collar, choker, princess, matinee, opera, and rope or lariat. As people are rather larger nowadays than in even the 1900s these lengths have grown to include a range, not just a single measurement. Of course commisioning a work from a jewelry artist does give you an edge in that your necklace can be made to fit exactly.

Collar: This is the elegant multistrand necklace that sits up high on the neck. It is 12 to 13 inches (30 to 33 cm), long and nowadays is used often in Steampunk jewelry which derives a lot of its inspiration from so-called (in the USA at least) Victorian fashion. An example of this length is my necklace,

Collar length Necklace Timeless.

Collar length Necklace

Choker: At 14 to 16 inches (35.5 to 40.5 cm), this length is perhaps somewhat more comfortable for most women to wear. It rests close to the neck without needing to be tight to hold itself up.
Princess: Slightly longer, 17 to 19 inches (43 to 48 cm), this is the length most often used to carry pendants and is a very comfortable wear. An example is
Purple Perfection princess length necklacePurple Perfection

Purple Perfection princess length necklace

Matinee: is between 20 and 24 inches (59 to 26.5 cm) and was meant to be less formal than the very dramtic opera length.
Opera: Back when going to the Opera was the very essence of a high class night on the town, women wanted jewelry that was as dramatic as the goinds on that played out on stage. Opera length necklaces are are anywhere from 28 to 34 inches (71 to 86 cm) and the drama is pumped when the lady is wearing several of these, as was popular in the 1920s.
Lariat or Rope: Any length over 45 inches (114 cm), these can be wrapped and draped and may or may not have a clasp.

Of course the ornate Art Jewelry pieces created by myself and other beadweavers don’t necessarily follow these rules. But that’s what Art is all about; knowing the rules before we break them.