Your Guide to Choosing the Best Chain Length for Men

Whether you are a man looking to up your style game or searching for a fashionable gift for that special guy in your life, a luxury gold chain makes a great addition to any man’s wardrobe. Chains add a bit of pizzazz to a simple t-shirt and jeans outfit or enhance an already fancy suit and tie ensemble.

A chain is a versatile accessory that comes in different styles and lengths. When choosing a chain, the length is just as important as the style and brings different vibes to the outfit, but how do you know which length to choose? Here’s a comprehensive guide to choosing the best chain length for men so that your style is always on point. 

Chain Materials

Before deciding on the length, it is helpful to determine which style of chain you or your guy wants to wear. There are a few jewelry elements to consider, the first being the chain’s material.  

  • Gold

Gold has always been a valuable commodity and powerful status symbol associated with royalty. Gold jewelry brings a sense of comfort and warmth to the wearer due to its color and symbolic connection to the sun. When you wear a premium gold chain for men, you tap into this historic and energetic association. Gold looks great with any skin tone and is a classic, traditional metal for men’s jewelry. Gold chains are a great piece of luxury jewelry because gold lasts a long time, is easy to care for, and, in some cases, can appreciate over time. 

  • White Gold

White gold is another durable metal that makes for a stylish chain for your man. White gold is a lighter color than regular gold and works with every skin color and outfit. White gold is stronger than other metals because it is composed of solid gold that is rhodium-plated. It keeps its luster longer than other materials and, because it is less malleable, white gold chains can support intricate design work and larger pendants.

  • Rose Gold

Like white gold, rose gold is a metal alloy made with a base of yellow gold and mixed with copper and silver. Rose gold’s soft, pinkish hue works well for men’s chains because its color is more gentle and toned down than straight yellow and white gold. Rose gold chains have a vintage style that looks great with a white crew-neck under a soft sweater or as a base for a diamond-studded chain. 

  • Diamond

For men who like a little bit of bling in their wardrobe, these diamond studded iced-out chains are a great choice. Diamonds are inlaid onto 10K and 14K gold, white gold, and rose gold chains for a maximum sparkle effect. Diamonds are associated with wealth and power and are durable, making them great for everyday wear around your neck. A diamond chain is sure to get you noticed. 

Searching for the Perfect Chain? Browse Frost NYC’s White Gold Chain Collection

Chain Styles

The next element to consider is the style of chain. There are different types of chain links that give a different feeling to each type of necklace. Some styles have flat chains that rest close to the chest, while others are more pronounced. Other chain styles feature interestingly shaped links that make each style unique. Different chain styles are also better suited to certain lengths.

  • Cuban Link Chain

    The Cuban link chain features interconnected oval-shaped links that fit together snugly and work well as simple gold and white gold statement pieces. Cuban links are among the top choice of chains for athletes because of the classic look. 

    portrait of man wearing cuban link chain

    • Franco Chain

    Franco chains look slightly square in appearance and create a raised look due to the tightly knit V-shaped links. These chains are highly durable, making them an excellent choice for everyday wear or layering with other chains.

    • Rope Chain

    Rope chains are a unique type of chain. They resemble solid gold ropes and are sure to make you stand out in a crowd. Rope chains don’t interlock the way other types of chains do; instead, the strands of gold wind around each other just as pieces of rope do. 

    • Figaro Chain

    Figaro chains showcase flat links in three different sizes. These three size links are connected in a pattern that places three small chains together, which are then connected to an elongated link. Figaro chains are stylized and work well as solid gold pieces without diamond additions. 

    • Curb Chain

    Curb chains resemble Cuban chains; however, the links are typically smaller and flatter. They work well as accessories to your other chains if you choose to layer multiple pieces for a trendy, textured look. 

    • Herringbone Chain

    A herringbone chain is an intense piece of jewelry. Solid gold pieces are linked together to create what looks like a solid gold necklace. A herringbone chain is only for the flashiest of male fashionistas! 

    • Tennis Chain

    Tennis chains are an accessory every baller should have. Diamonds are set within gold and white gold chains, dazzling everyone you meet. These pieces work well as stand-alone accessories with suits or t-shirts. 

    • Dog Tag Chain

    Dog tag chains are ideal for wearing pendants. This simple ball link chain is an understated piece, perfect for pairing with sporty athleisure outfits.

    • Mariner Chain

    Mariner chains are another unique type of chain with dope oval links with a bar through the center that hook together to create a piece that is sure to get you noticed. Each link is shaped like a football with a line down the middle and hooked onto the next piece to create a unique look. 

    • Rosary Chain

    Rosary chains are for those who want to represent their faith with their fashion. These large ball link chains are gold, white gold, and rose gold rosaries that are worn under or over button-downs and t-shirts. 

    Looking to Ice Out Your Wrist? Check Out Frost NYC’s Men’s Diamond Bracelets

    Chain Lengths

    The final element to consider when choosing a chain for you or the man in your life is the length. The five most common chain lengths are 18”, 20”, 22”, 24”, and 30”. Generally, chains are measured by neck size, which matches men’s collar sizes on shirts, but each length has its own vibe and works with specific looks and attitudes. 

    an 18 inch chain length

    • 18” Chain

    18” chains are considered chokers on most men. This size chain may hit right at or just below the Adam’s apple. An 18” chain is most likely going to be too tight for most men; however, it works well for younger men and adolescents. As far as outfits go, an 18” chain works well with crew-neck collars because they sit just above the collar line. They also work with button-up t-shirts with flat collars. 

    20 inch length chain

    • 20” Chain

    20” chains are the most common length chain. Chains look best when they rest at the collar bone, which is where a 20” chain hits on most men. It may fall between the first and second buttons on a button-down shirt as well. This length chain works inside or outside of the shirt, depending on the look you are trying to achieve. Whether it is a plain t-shirt, a suit, or a patterned Hawaiian button-up, a 20” chain adds swag to your outfit. 

    22 inch length chain

    • 22” Chain

    A 22” chain allows for the addition of a pendant, dog tag, cross, or other hanging accessories. This length chain is common and usually works outside of your shirt so that others see the additional elements. 22” chains work well with solid color button-ups, t-shirts, or even knit sweaters. 

    24 inch chains work well

    • 24” Chain

    A 24” chain is another great length for adding accessories. This length hits most men around their sternum and is worn outside the shirt. This longer chain also works well as part of a layered look with a shorter chain or two. 24” chains look great paired with multiple chains when visible between an unzipped hoodie. 

    30 inch chains length

    • 30” Chain

    30” chains are the longest of the standard chain lengths and are usually part of a layered look. Pendants or crosses aren’t used with this length because they would hit at an unflattering spot between your chest and stomach, but these chains are great on their own or with other plain chains. 30” chains also look good layered with a hoodie or plain black or solid-colored t-shirts. 

    Chain Width

    One final element to consider when buying a chain is the chain width. The bigger the width, the more your chain stands out. If you prefer a more subtle look to your chains, go for a smaller width, but if you really want to make a statement, then get a chain that measures wide. 

    Chain width is measured in millimeters. When looking at a chain, the measurements, including length and width, are listed with the piece. Pieces range from about 2.5 MM to 11 MM and refer to the diameter of the link. However, the exact measurements depend on the chain material, style, and what the manufacturer sells. 

    Most chains are available in different widths and lengths. For instance, a solid gold Figaro chain is available in 20”, 22”, 24”, 26”, 28”, and 30” lengths and various widths ranging from 3 MM to 11.5 MM. If you love a style but want a more subtle chain, you can choose your chain in a smaller width but the same statement length.

    Thin chains look great as subtle accent pieces for work suits or daytime activities, while thick chains pop for special events or parties. A layered look with chains of varying lengths and widths creates texture and brings the focus to your style no matter what you are wearing. 

    Styling Different Chain Lengths

    Different chain lengths can be styled in various ways, from single bold statement pieces to loud layers. For solitary chains or chain and pendant combinations, short- to mid-length chains are ideal, as they allow your pendant to fall to the correct height, and they can be easily tucked underneath clothing. 

    Mid to long chains were made for layering. Opt for chains in a variety of lengths, chain styles, and thicknesses to add texture and interest to your outfit. Combine a thick 24” chain in a chunky Figaro link with a thinner 22” rope link chain.

    Alternatives to Chains

    Although chains are a great choice to accessorize a man’s outfit, some men just don’t like wearing anything around their neck. In that case, opt for a watch, bracelet, or ring instead. 

    There are plenty of accessories to style up your ensemble and help you make a statement with the way you look. 

    diamond encrusted gold rolex watch

    • Watches

    Watches are a classy and traditional way to accessorize your wrist. Explore options like luxury Rolex watches for men that lend a touch of elegance and refinement when you walk into the room. 

    • Bracelets

    All gold or iced-out bracelets are another great option when it comes to accessorizing. Choose a fancy diamond bracelet to elevate a plain black or white v-neck t-shirt or pair a classic gold bracelet with a colorful button-down. 

    • Rings

    Rings are an unexpected fashion choice that shines when worn with confidence. Try a Versace ring to accessorize your outfit or a rose-gold pinky ring for a unique fashion statement. 

    • Earrings

    Earrings offer a way to bling out your outfit without worrying about pieces knocking into surfaces and becoming damaged. Men can choose from a wide variety of men’s earrings to match their chains, watches, rings, bracelets or just wear a pair on their own. 

    Not Just for Men

    Although men’s chains are typically heavier and more masculine, some women are embracing the fashion of wearing men’s jewelry.  Pair a few men’s chains with a feminine black t-shirt, or go all out with a men’s crew neck, boyfriend jeans, and heavy 18” chain for a stylish, powerful look.  

    Alternatively, find yourself a plain white gold chain and expressive pendant to create a unique look to go with your office pants suit or opt for a rope chain to accent your nightlife attire.

    gold link chain on black

    Plenty of Chain Choices at NYC Frost

    Chains are a versatile accessory that takes men’s fashion to the next level. Athletes, musicians, and artists love to show their style with chains, and you can too. Frost NYC boasts an incredible collection of men’s chains, ranging from gold to white gold to rose gold to diamond-studded masterpieces. With varying styles and lengths to choose from, you are sure to find among our collections the chain that speaks to you. 


    Image Credits


    Jitjaroen Channarong/


    Kristina Petkina/

    Wirestock Creators/


    More Than Production/

    AS photostudio/



    June 06, 2021

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