Do You Measure a Necklace Open or Closed?(Quick Answer)

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Necklaces are timeless pieces of jewelry. They are among the earliest pieces of jewelry adorned in ancient times. They come in different shapes and designs for you to choose from. But aside from the design and quality, the length of the necklace also matters for both men and women. Different necklace lengths compliment different necklines, so it is important to get the right length.

What if you are buying the necklace online or it is a gift for a friend and you have no idea what the appropriate neck length is? That is where the dilemma comes in. How do you measure the right necklace length? In this post, we will discuss the correct way of measuring necklace lengths and offer guidelines on how to measure chains.


Do You Measure a Necklace Open or Closed?


There are many ways to measure the preferred length of your necklace when you are shopping for a new one. The easiest way is to use the length of a necklace you already have, one whose length you are satisfied with.

To measure the necklace, you would need a ruler or tape measure. When using a tape measure, it may be possible to measure the necklace while it is closed, by wrapping the tape measure along with the necklace. The problem with this is that you will not get the accurate length.

The correct way to measure the length of a necklace is when it is open. For accurate results, you must open the necklace, place it on a flat surface and pull at both ends to ensure it is as straight as possible. Once it is straight, you can place the tape measure or ruler against the stretched-out ruler and measure it from one end to the other. In the US, the measurements are taken in inches but in some countries, they are in centimeters. You can note down both.


Do You Include the Clasp When Measuring a Necklace?

measure a necklace open or closed

Have you bought a necklace thinking it was a particular length but when you measure it at home, you find that it is a few inches shorter? You are not the only one.

A lot of people measure their necklaces and exclude the clasp. In the jewelry industry, however, it is a standard to include the clasp.

So, when jewelers specify the length of a necklace, it includes the clasp in the measurement, and it is not because they are trying to rip you off.


Why Does the Necklace Length Include the Clasp?

Do You Measure a Necklace Open or Closed

You may wonder, why is it important for the clasp to be added in the measurements?

After all, the clasp is attached to the chain or necklace and not necessarily a part of it. But, can you wear the necklace without the clasp? Of course not.

When the clasp is added to the chain, it increases the length of the necklace. That is because clasps also have a measurement that can’t be assumed.

Therefore, when measuring your necklace, keep in mind that the clasp should be included. On top of the clasp, some necklaces come with extensions that allow you to change the length of the necklace. The extension should be included in the measurement.

So, for example, if your preferred length is 18” but you want a necklace with an extension, you should buy a 16” necklace with a 2” extension.


How Do You Measure the Length of a Gold Chain?

As mentioned, there are numerous ways to measure the length of a necklace or chain. The following are a few methods you can apply:

1.Measuring the length of an already existing.

As we have already explained, if you have a necklace whose length you prefer, you can use it to find out the length of necklace you should get when you go shopping next.

Simply stretch out the necklace on a flat surface and measure it from one end to another using a rule or tape measure.

Remember to include the clasp or chain extension where applicable. You can avoid the pendant, however, where applicable, it does not contribute to the length of the necklace.

Note down the measurement. If it is not a whole number, then round it off to a whole number, for example, if the measurement is 16.5” then round it off to 17”.


2.Measure your neck size.

If you do not already have an existing necklace you can use, you can use the size of your neck to figure out your preferred length.

To do this, you need a wrap a tape measure around your neck, do not make it too tight. Add 2”-4” to whatever measurement you get to give you the minimum necklace length you should get yourself. So, if your neck size is 14”, the suitable necklace length should be 18”.

There are, however, standard sizes of necklaces in the industry and your minimum length may not fall into any category.

In such a case, you can pick the standard size up from your neck size. For example, if your neck size is 17” then the suitable standard size should be 20” not 18”.


3.Use your height.

Your height is another alternative to measuring your neck size. Height is important to decide which necklace length is more flattering.

Longer necklaces can look overwhelming on shorter people. Shorter necklaces may also disappear on a tall person. People who are 5’7” tall for example look good in any necklace length.

Those who are 5’4” tall or shorter, would look better in 16”-20” necklaces while those taller than 5’7” would look better necklaces, longer than 20”.

Aside from the height, there are other elements you can use to determine the most flattering necklace length. The following tables look at different standard necklace lengths and the suitable faces, necklines, and styles, for both men and women:


Or you can read this table below. 

For women

Standard SizeStyleFace shapeNeckline
14”CollarOval, Long, HeartRound neck, boat neck, strapless
16”ChockerLong, Heart, OvalStrapless, off-shoulder
18”PrincessOval, Round, Long, HeartScoop neck, V-neck, strapless, button-up necks
20”-24”MatineeOval, RoundButton-up necks, scoop neck, strapless, V-neck
28”-36”OperaOval, RoundTurtle neck, round neck, boat neck, strapless
36”-42”RopeOval, RoundRound neck, strapless.

 For Men.

Standard SizePosition on the bodyBest neckline
18”The base of the neckCrew neck
20”On the collar boneLow V-neck
22”A few inches under the collar boneAny neckline
24”On the chestButton-up shirt



As you have seen, the necklace length is a very important consideration when you’re getting a necklace.

The length you choose should complement your outfit in terms of the neckline. It should complement your height, face shape, and body shape as well.

You could also keep in mind the type of necklace you want to buy as well, pearls, for example, are better in shorter lengths.

So, take your time before deciding and settling on a particular length.

Read more useful tips here or here!

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