Matching Your Favorite Necklace Lengths to Your Favorite Necklines

After my last blog about ways to adjust your beaded necklaces to get the perfect fit, a couple of my co-workers here at Beading Daily asked me how I match up my necklaces with the different necklines of shirts.

What a great idea for a blog!, I thought.

You're probably like me — whenever I embark on a new necklace making project, I don't really think about what I have in my closet that will match the finished beaded necklace. I usually just finish the necklace making project and then take it shopping to find a new shirt with a neckline that works with it.

But knowing ahead of time how long your finished necklace making project will be, and knowing a little something about some popular necklines, can help you create fashion-forward looks that show off both your new beaded necklace and your shirt!

Crew neck shirt: The neckline of a crew neck shirt sits just at the base of your throat, covering your chest. Princess length necklace making projects are the classic way to accent these necklines, as the finished beaded necklace will dip down just below the neckline. Longer lengths are good, too. Both lariats and opera length necklace making projects will draw your eye down and create a longer, leaner silhouette.
Scoop neck shirt: Scoop neck shirts have a rounded neckline that dips well below your shoulders. These kinds of shirts leave a lot of open space between your neck and your chest, so you'll want to fill in that space with a necklace. Wearing a longer necklace (thirty inches or more) will help draw the eye down away from your neck. Avoid chokers with this kind of neckline, since their short length will only draw attention to all that space between your neck and your chest!
V-neck shirt: V-neck shirts can be tricky. For a shallow v-shaped neckline, necklaces around sixteen or eighteen inches will work very well. For a deeper v-neck shirt, think about necklace making projects that will be between twenty-four and thirty inches long.This is one type of neckline where you also want to consider the shape of your finished necklace making project. Depending on their length, you may want to avoid v-shaped necklace making projects and instead opt for shorter, rounder necklaces that complement the shape of the neckline.
Collared shirt: Whether you're wearing a pointy collar or a rounded collar, pairing a necklace with this particular neckline can be a challenge. Chokers can work sometimes with these types of shirts, as can simple beaded chains of princess length. It gets tricky when you start wearing necklaces around 20 inches long — they can easily get lost in the shirt. If you want to wear a longer necklace with a collared shirt, try going for something at least lariat length (around thirty two inches long) and slender so that it works with your shirt instead of against it.
Turtleneck shirt: A turtleneck shirt has a long neck that comes up close to your chin. Shorter necklace making projects like chokers are tough to wear with these kinds of shirts because the fabric from the high neckline can get bunched up or caught in the necklace. For accenting a turtleneck shirt, try necklace making projects that are more than twenty two inches in length. Lariats and opera length necklaces are even better!

Another way to keep up with the latest trends in fashion jewelry is to subscribe to Jewelry Stringing magazine. No matter what type of neckline you prefer to wear, you're sure to find lots of great necklace making projects to accessorize your look! With great step-by-step project instructions, resource guides, and product reviews to help you keep on doing what you love best — making your own handmade jewelry! Subscribe to Jewelry Stringing magazine today and get the inside scoop on great necklace making projects for all your favorite necklines.

Do you have a great tip for my co-workers who want to match their necklaces with their necklines? Leave a comment here on the Beading Daily blog and share it with us!

Bead Happy,


P.S. You can also check out my handy reference guide to common necklace lengths over on the Beading Instructions blog!

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Jennifer VanBenschoten

About Jennifer VanBenschoten

Born in New Jersey in 1974, I escaped to the Adirondacks for the first time in 1995, making it my permanent home in 2000.  I have been interested in beads, buttons and making jewelry as long as I can remember.  It's probably my mother's fault - she was a fiber artist and crochet historian, and whenever she ordered supplies from one mail order source, she would order a huge bag of assorted buttons and beads for me and my sister!    

7 thoughts on “Matching Your Favorite Necklace Lengths to Your Favorite Necklines

  1. If I’m making a necklace for a particular top, I try on existing necklaces to find one the right length, then measure it. When the necklace I’m making is the same length (including the clasp), I’m done! Making them for others is a little trickier; an extension chain then becomes a nice addition to a necklace, to allow the customer to adjust the length once they get it home.

    Betty Winslow

  2. Don’t forget about color-If the fabric is close to the overall color of the necklace, the jewelry just disappears. Choose something contrasty or neutral if you want that piece to pop.
    Kat West

  3. I think I’m a little less practical. I wear solid neutral colors as a canvas for the jewelry. My only rule is to make sure the necklace doesn’t disappear behind the blouse. The extension chain is a great idea (Bead Soup Chef). I use them myself but hadn’t considered selling them with the necklaces. People have such varied preferences that unless you’re making a custom piece, it’s a challenge to decide on a length that will work for everyone because nothing does. 18″ on one person is better at 19-1/2″ on another.

  4. I think all these suggestions are good ones, but the point would be so much better illustrated if “do” and “don’t” pictures were used. Also, weight and age figure into this issue rather substantially. Women who are aging often don’t want to bring attention to their necks by wearing a shorter necklace. Women who are heavy must consider several things – not only the length, but the visual weight of the necklace. Whether the shirt is solid, striped, or patterned will also make a difference, as will the mood of the outfit – you likely wouldn’t wear something whimsical with a black suit, for example, and casual clothing calls for a less structured design than a suit would. These issues are seldom addressed in beading magazines, and I think they should be. They help a designer define her brand; are you designing for weddings, office, casual, etc., identify her customer base, and help find a direction. I’ve had to discover most of the solutions to these issues on my own, and would love to see them get more coverage in beading publications.

  5. I usually use lobster clasps to finish off a necklace and add a detachable extender chain of at least 2 inches. I use a fairly sturdy chain (I learned my lesson with cheap, flimsy chains) with links large enough to fasten the lobster clasp to anywhere along the chain. Beadalon makes a very sturdy, attractive and inexpensive chain for this type of use. For interest and consistency, I also usually add a bead or two (from the necklace composition) on a headpin, fastened with a wrapped loop to the last link in the chain. Not only does the extender chain accommodate different necklines, it can also accommodate different size necks if you’re making something for someone else or for sale.

  6. Great article and comments! I agree with jgm3 about the other things to take into consideration. I tend to design pieces to go with specific tops or outfits already in my wardrobe. My mother recently asked me if I decide what I’m going to wear for an occasion and then design a necklace to match… and I said, “Why, yes, I do!” I have a personal dislike for long necklaces on big-busted women. I am not terribly large, but large enough that I really don’t like the look of a necklace jutting out and down from my “shelf.” Unfortunately, that leaves me with shorter lengths that draw the eye to my wrinkly neck. (Sigh)