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Mens Chain Length: Your New Dedicated Guide to Jewellery (2023)

So you’re wondering… what would be the perfect mens chain length to best suit your look and make you feel your absolute best?

When it comes to men’s jewellery, a chain length that doesn’t align with your fit can completely tarnish your appearance. With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. 

In this ultimate guide, we’ll go over everything you need to know about mens chain length, including how to measure them correctly, how to choose the right length for you, and how to layer with multiple chain sizes.

Let’s dive right in.

2.0: How to Measure Mens Chain Length

Mens chain lengths are measured in inches for the most part (measured in cm in the UK).

The most common method when measuring mens chain length is using a measuring tape or ruler (pretty self-explanatory). This is great if you have a chain on hand or you’re in a jewellery store so you can try on the chain and see exactly where different chain lengths sit on your body.

Another method would be to cut a piece of string or paper at different lengths to wrap around your neck. This is a fantastic method if you do not have any chains on hand to try on and measure. A perfect example would be if you were online shopping for a chain and found the one you liked at 24 inches, but didn’t have any of that size at home.

When measuring mens chain length, it’s important to keep in mind that the length of the chain will also depend on the thickness of the chain. A thicker chain will require a longer length to fit comfortably around the neck.

3.0: Chain Lengths for Men

Before we bring your fit to life, you must grasp the basic measurement system used for chain lengths and where exactly each measurement would sit on your body. 

Do bear in mind that the picture and table below are a guideline, as mens chain length can vary from person to person. For example, a chain would sit lower on a shorter man with a thinner neck than on a taller man with a thicker neck. 


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16 inches (40.6cm) – Sits around an inch below Adam’s apple. 

18 inches (45.7cm) – Sits around the base of the neck or at the collarbone.

20 inches (50.8cm) – Sits at the top of the upper chest, likely to fall between 1st and 2nd buttons on a men’s shirt.

22 inches (55.9cm) – Sits slightly lower on the upper chest, a few inches below the collarbone.

24 inches (61cm) – Sits closer to the middle chest, around an inch above the armpit line.

26 inches (66cm) – Sits around the middle of the sternum, in line with your armpit.

28 inches (71.1cm) – Sits lower down on the sternum, approaching the lower part of the chest.

30 inches (76.2cm) – Sits even further down the sternum, around an inch above the nipple line.

32 inches (81.3cm) – Sits at the base of the sternum, in line with the nipple.

An important thing to point out is if you attach a pendant to the chain, it will sit lower due to the weight of the pendant.

3.1: Most Common Mens Chain Length

  • The 18-inch (45.7cm) chain creates an understated complement to outfits of many varieties. Many men usually stick to smaller chain lengths for more casual fits, as the intention is to create a subtle finishing touch. This can be worn by itself, or in combination with a small pendant or dog tag.
  • The 20-inch (50.8cm) chain generates a slightly bolder touch than its 18-inch counterpart. Sitting slightly lower towards the upper chest area, it’s the perfect pick for men looking to portray an additional flair to their style. A medium-sized pendant would sit beautifully on a chain of this length. 
  • The 22-inch (55.9cm) chain initiates a more eye-catching effect and is often paired with more flamboyant and larger pendants. This kind of length is a fantastic way for men who want to express themselves via their jewellery choices and make a statement. This chain size is also a popular selection for religious symbols or medallions.
  • The 24-inch (61cm) chain is the go-to piece if you’re looking to make a bold fashion statement. This length draws attention from the sternum level down and is the perfect pick for men who want their jewellery to stand out in any room. Layering a chain of this length with other smaller chains can multiply the style factor and separate you from the crowd. 

See 5.0 for more on how to pair and layer chains.

3.2: Custom Mens Chain Lengths

If you’re looking for a unique and distinct look or struggling to find the perfect length of chain for your pendant, then custom-made chains are the one for you. Many jewellers and online stores have custom chain lengths from as small as 14 inches (35.6cm) up to a whopping 32 inches (81.3cm)! This gives men the opportunity to express their individuality, get creative and become somewhat of a trendsetter.

Owning a personal, customised chain is the best way to showcase your one-of-a-kind style. Many online stores and jewellers provide custom chains in any length you desire – from 14 inches up to 32 inches. Men now have the opportunity to proudly express their personality, get creative, and even set new trends. If you’re looking to portray yourself as a unique individual, try out some of the more uncommon chain lengths and see how they complement your fit.

4.0: Mens Chain Types

On top of the variation in mens chain lengths, there are also a plethora of chain designs on the market for you to experiment with. Here are some of the most popular mens chain types:

  • Cable chains have round links that are tightly connected in a straight line.
  • Curb chains have links that are flattened on one side, giving them a slightly twisted appearance.
  • Figaro chains have a pattern of alternating links of different sizes.
  • Mariner chains have links that are shaped like anchors.
  • Snake chains have links that are shaped like the scales of a snake.
  • Rope chains have twisted links that resemble rope.
  • Bead chains have small beads connected with small rings.
  • Box chains have square links that are tightly connected in a straight line.
  • Ball chains have small round links that are connected to a small ring
  • Cuban chains have large, chunky links that are tightly connected in a straight line.
  • Byzantine chains have complex, interwoven links that create a pattern resembling the architecture of the Byzantine Empire.

mens chain length
mens gold chain

5.0: Choosing The Right Mens Chain Length For you

Choosing the right mens chain length is a matter of personal preference. However, there are a few general guidelines to keep in mind when making your selection. 

Keep in mind that these are general guidelines and that ultimately, the best chain length for you is a matter of personal preference, what feels comfortable and looks good on you.

The chain length that will best suit you can depend on a variety of factors:

  • Your height
  • Your body type
  • The occasion
  • Your shirt color

We sum up how all of these variables play a part in your chain selection, so you’re better informed about what will take your jewellery game to the next level.

mens jewelry

5.1: Best Chain Length for a Tall Man

For a taller man, who is over six feet, the perfect chain length can be found between 20 inches (50.8cm) and 24 inches (61cm). This allows for an optimal balance of proportions as these men tend to have longer torsos, larger necks, and wider chests. Moreover, it adds drama to their overall aesthetic while comfortably resting on their chest area.

5.2: Best Chain Length for a Shorter Man

The most complementary chain length for shorter men is 18 inches (45.7cm) to 20 inches (50.8cm), as this option will rest beneath the collarbone and provide a visually balanced look. Shorter men tend to have smaller necks and chests along with shorter torsos, which can be complemented by an appropriately positioned mid-length necklace or chain.

A very important thing to also take into consideration as a shorter man is the size of the pendant accompanying the chain. A larger, heavier pendant may require a longer chain to balance out the proportions and avoid overwhelming a shorter man’s frame.

5.3: Best Mens Chain Length for Different Body Types

  • Slimmer men may prefer a shorter chain length of 18 inches (45.7cm) to 20 inches (50.8cm) as they generally have smaller necks and chest measurements.
  • Athletic builds may also prefer a chain length of 18 to 20 inches for similar reasons as a result of their streamlined physique. A shorter chain can complement the leaner physique by adding a touch of style without overwhelming the overall look.
  • Muscular men, on the other hand, may prefer longer chain lengths of 20 inches (50.8cm) to 24 inches (61cm), or even longer! A longer chain can help balance out the proportions of a more muscular man’s frame, adding a touch of sophistication to their overall look. 
  • Larger men may also prefer longer chain lengths of 20 to 24 inches or longer. This can add a dramatic effect to their overall look whilst balancing out the proportions of a larger man’s frame.

It’s also important to note that the size of the pendant or charm can also play a role in determining the right chain length. A larger, heavier pendant may require a longer chain to balance out the proportions and avoid overwhelming a skinnier or athletic man’s frame, while a smaller, delicate pendant can be paired with a shorter chain to avoid overwhelming a larger or more muscular man’s frame.

5.4: Best Mens Chain Sizes for Different Occasions

Whatever the occasion, you can determine the ideal chain length for your outfit by considering a few factors.

  • When attending formal events, such as weddings, galas and ceremonies, a longer chain length of 20 inches (50.8cm) to 24 inches (61cm) can grant you an extra sense of sophistication. Additionally, a thinner chain will bring forth feelings of delicacy that are perfect for these occasions. Wearing the proper size jewelry with your ensemble will ultimately emphasize your gracefulness and allure on those special days.

  • For a casual, go-to style, 18 inches (45.7cm) to 20 inches (61cm) is the optimal chain length as it fits snugly at your collarbone. To finish off with an effortless aesthetic, opt for a thicker chain that adds texture and ruggedness suitable for wearing day in and day out.

5.5: Best Chain Length for Different Shirt Colors

The shade of your shirt can greatly influence the perfect chain length for you. As various colors provide unique visual effects, they will also shape how a chain looks on your specific body type.

  • For maximum impact on light-colored tops such as white or pastel, choose an 18-inch (45.7cm) to 20-inch (50.8cm) delicate chain. It will gracefully hang at the base of your throat without being overpowering due to its thinner stature. This accessory can create a subtle yet appealing complement to your fit.
  • To truly elevate a dark-coloured top like black or navy, opt for a chain length between 20 inches (50.8cm) to 24 inches (61cm) – or even longer! This will create visual interest without clashing with the rest of your outfit and sit nicely on your chest. Longer chains can add an elegant drama to any ensemble. Don’t be afraid to go for a thicker, more sturdy chain, as this will further capture the eye.

6.0: How to Pull off Layering Multiple Chains

Men are progressively turning to layer multiple chains of varying lengths for a distinctive, head-turning ensemble that adds visual interest and dimensionality. This trend is quickly becoming ever-present among modern fashion-forward gents.

For those who want to take their jewelry game up a notch, layering multiple chains is the way to go. To perfect the art of layering, here are some tips that will help you look like a chain-layering pro:

  • Start with the basics: It is essential to start with a strong foundation. An 18-inch (45.7cm) or 20-inch (50.8cm) chain should be used as the base layer so that all other layers are measured around it. This will ensure that each additional chain adds an intentional look and feel when worn together.
  • Mix and match: To make it stand out, combine chains of contrasting lengths and thicknesses for added texture and depth. For instance, try combining a thin, dainty chain with one that’s chunky or broader to create interest – the difference in size will give your look dimension!
  • Keep it balanced: Layering chains can quickly become overwhelming if not done correctly. To keep your layered look balanced, keep the length of the chains proportionate to your body. If you’re taller, you can handle longer chains, whereas shorter men should stick to shorter chains.
  • Play with different pendants: Layering chains provides you with the perfect chance to explore different pendants and create a unique look. For instance, combine a delicate pendant with an oversized chain or vice versa for an eye-catching outcome.
  • Have fun: Experiment and enjoy yourself as you layer chains. Don’t be afraid to mix it up by exploring a variety of combinations and styles. You never know what unique outcome awaits until you delve in.

7.0: Conclusion

We have uncovered all things related to mens chain length, from the different lengths available on the market, to choosing the right chain length for you. We would like to point out that these are guidelines only, and ultimately the most important thing is that you feel good and comfortable in whatever jewelry you wear. The best chain length for a man is an entirely subjective process.

Now… With this new-formed knowledge of chain lengths, go ahead and explore the jewelry world. Make a purchase you will enjoy for years to come!

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