Necklace choice can make or break the outfit of the day, and not just when it comes to color coordinating; necklace length has a great impact on the way your outfit looks, too.
Recently, more and more people have started preferring short necklaces to longer chain style necklaces because they find them more delicate and elegant or simply because they’re following the fashion trend.
However, when it comes to choosing between these shorter style lengths, most people actually get stuck. If you’re one of these people, we’ve got you covered. So keep reading, and we’ll solve your 16 vs. 18-inch necklace dilemma!
What Is a Size 16 Necklace?
Let’s start our 16 vs. 18-inch necklace comparison by understanding how the necklace length is measured in the first place.
According to the jewelry industry standards, necklace lengths are measured when the necklace is spread out, not clasped. And these standards apply to all shapes and patterns, from snake chains, box chains, and rope necklaces to Native American necklaces, as well as all materials, be it diamond, gold-plated, silver-plated, sterling silver, gold, bronze or any other alloy.
That said, the 16-inch necklace is simply a collar necklace; it wraps closely right at the junction of your collar bones, kind of connecting them, thus the reasoning behind the name. And it’s a flattering length on most people.
Is 16 Inch Necklace a Choker?
In essence, no, a 16-inch chain isn’t a choker.
However, people who are on the heavier side usually use them as chokers to give themself enough space for comfortable breathing and movement, as the 14-inch necklace can sit too snugly against their necks.
Is a 16 or 18 Necklace Better?
As opposed to the 16-inch necklace, which sits right at your collarbone, the 18-inch necklace, also known as a princess necklace, falls slightly under the collarbone. So it’s quite the small difference, you see.
Therefore, deciding which is the perfect necklace chain length for you will depend on many factors, such as your personal style, the length you prefer your necklace to sit at, and your body type, among other things.
Generally, though, there’s no exact winner between the two; both of them work for different face, body, and fashion style types. And both necklace lengths look extremely flattering on most women.
However, something to keep in mind is that if you’re a bit rounded in face and neck areas, the 16-inch necklace might end up looking like a choker necklace on you, and the princess might actually look like a collar necklace.
Men, on the other hand, generally have a bigger build, so we wouldn’t at all recommend the 16-inch. Instead, definitely go for the 18-inch or 20-inch style so that the necklace falls perfectly on the upper chest.
What Is the Most Popular Necklace Length?
The 18-inch princess style is the most popular necklace length nowadays. However, some might argue that they prefer chockers and collars, but these two don’t work with every outfit the way a princess chain would.
What Is the Perfect Necklace Length?
Now, it’s time to marsh into the details of knowing the correct chain length for you.
The standard necklace lengths measured in the industry usually fall between 14 to 45 inches for women and 18 to 30 inches for men.
Nevertheless, today we’ll focus on how the 18 and 16-inch necklace lengths fall on different people.
When discussing the proper female necklace length, we’ll talk about the body type, the face shape, the neck measurement, and the style of clothes.
A lady with a tall frame can easily look good in all chain lengths. However, keep in mind that a short-length necklace might become a little bit unseen on a taller lady. So, the necklace length position of a 14-inch choker or a 16-inch collar might not be the best choice if you’re tall; you’d look much more stunning if you opt for a princess, 18-inch necklace.
Wherever your necklace sits on your frame, that’s where it’ll be drawing attention. So, if, for any reason, you wish to shift the gaze from your collarbones, go for the 18-inch style.
And although some say that full-figured women shouldn’t go with shorter necklaces, as they might draw unwanted attention to the upper body, we’re actually firm advocates of bigger women wearing the 16-inch style because it elongates the neck and brings focus towards the collar bones, which are a well-known sign of beauty!
Another important thing to keep in mind is that short necklaces might end up looking longer on petite frames. For example, the 16-inch necklace might end up sitting below your collar bones rather than amidst them if you’re 5.4 inches tall or less. So, keep that in mind when picking your necklace for the day.
As we’ve mentioned before, if you desire to deviate attention from a particular part of your body, don’t wear a necklace that sits at this spot. This leads us to the size of the neck, which significantly affects whether or not the necklace of your preferred length will sit properly at the base of the neck.
How? It’s quite simple. If you’re not exactly fond of the shape of your neck, how a 13-inch falls on you might not make you feel the prettiest. In that case, it’d be better to go for the 18-inch.
Further, if the necklace fits a bit loosely around your neck, it’ll create a longer and smoother look. And if paired with scoop-neck T-shirts or blouses, it’ll attract a lot of attention to the entire décolleté area, giving a sense of elegant vastness and an impression of a long neck – see single pearl necklaces.
Of course, we can’t forget the face shape. It’s kind of similar to how the neck size works. If we’re talking about round, square, or fuller faces in general, then the 18-inch necklace would be a perfect choice as it’ll expand the neck and face area and make everything seem in more harmony.
On the other side of the spectrum, heart and oval-shaped faces, or slender faces in general, would look amazing in both lengths. So if you have a more slender face, both 16 and 18-inch necklaces would work great for you.
Last but certainly not least, you have to think about your outfit before choosing the proper accessories.
So, if you wish to wear a shorter chain, you’ve to give it room to be properly showcased. For example, it’s not recommended to wear the 16-inch necklace with a turtleneck because what would be the point of wearing it in the first place?
Instead, try to wear shorter necklaces with clothes that have an open-neck design, like summer dresses or dressing gowns, for example. You can also pair a 16-inch necklace with a trendy prom dress and nail the look!
Now, onto the other half of the population! There are a few factors guys have to keep in mind in order to choose the perfect necklace length.
As we’ve mentioned before, you should always have your necklace sit in an area you want to draw attention to, and that’s why we recommend the 18-inch necklace for men.
Why? Because it’ll end around the dip of your t-shirt, an area most men enjoy drawing attention to as it gives the impression of some nice bulk. Besides, you can even have the necklace sit inside your t-shirt, which will make a statement and give you a mysterious yet chic look.
Like we said in the women section, don’t wear an 18-inch with a turtleneck. However, wearing a turtleneck with longer necklaces and layering them outside the shirt looks really stylish on a lot of men. So, you can definitely do that; just make sure all the necklaces hang properly and that you don’t pair that with evening wear.
Extra Tips for Choosing the Right Necklace
Before we wrap up this guide, here are some extra tips and tricks on choosing the right necklace for yourself or if you’re buying it as a gift.
- Use a soft measuring tape to measure the necklace length
- It’s safer to go with longer necklace lengths
- Choose the right pendant (see cross necklaces and genesis pendant necklaces)
To wrap up, the right necklace (see also how to clean one) length for you depends on several factors, mainly which area of your body you’d like to draw attention to.
Both 16 and 18-inch necklaces look flattering on most people, but if you’re buying the necklace as a gift, the 18-inch would probably be your safest bet. On the other hand, if you’re on the petite side, a 16-inch would suit you better.
In the end, keep in mind that this isn’t set in stone. You’re absolutely free to pick whichever length makes you feel prettiest!