Types of Chain Necklaces

Sabah KarimiJan. 7, 2010


Chain Necklacescome in a variety of lengths and styles, and are a versatile piece of jewelryin any collection. Choosing the right chain necklace style and length depends largely on the type of pendant that will be suspended on the chain, and the cut of the top or the dress to be worn with the accessory. Some chains can be the focal point of an outfit, while others serve only a functional purpose.

16-Inch Choker Length

The 16-inch choker length chain necklace is designed to draw attention to the neck and collarbone and can be worn as a standalone chain or with a small pendant. These necklaces fit snugly against the skin and can be worn with a strapless dress or strapless top, or with a shirt or dress with a deep neckline.

18-Inch Princess Length

The 18-inch princess length chain is the most common length for necklaces, and hangs just at or below the collarbone. They are typically made with very skinny link designs so that they can accommodate a pendant. They usually serve more of a functional purpose than a visual one, and very delicate styles are almost invisible to the eye.

24-Inch Opera Length

The 24-inch opera length chain is among the most dramatic types of necklaces and is typically worn outside of the outfit with a large pendant, or as a set of chains to become the focal point of the ensemble. This type is designed in a variety of link styles, including the classic Figaro, cable, box, herringbone and serpentine.

30-Inch Below Bust Line Length

A necklace chain that is between 30 and 36 inches in length hangs just below the bust line and is typically worn over a shirt or blouse. Chain necklaces of this length can be made with a variety of lengths and widths, with link styles including the box, cable, curb, Figaro, foxtail and herringbone. Many chain necklaces of this length are designed with several chains to create a layered look.

36-Inch Navel Length

Chain necklaces that are 36 inches or longer are designed to be worn outside of the outfit and can complement a dress with a very deep plunging neckline, or a blouse or cardigan that is layered with a tank top underneath. These necklaces can be made with larger link designs such as ropes, serpentine, foxtail, snakes and Byzantine styles to serve as the focal point of the outfit.

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