Caroline: You know, there are some people that are always easy to dress. The ones that look good in anything/everything. They are often the quick and easy sales. Then there are the others like a woman with a short neck. One solution is to sell a bracelet instead, but that might not be the way for everyone to go! Maybe you have some additional solutions?
Cynthia: That’s right, Caroline. Most jewelers have come to understand that one-size-fits-all really doesn’t work with necklaces. But sometimes it’s not the length of the necklace that’s the issue, it’s the length of the customer’s neck.
Caroline: I’d imagine that a longer necklace is better if you have a short neck…..yes?
Cynthia: That’s right. Chokers are the most difficult type of necklace for a woman with a short neck.
Caroline: Is there any time when they work or are they something to stay away from?
Cynthia: If a woman has a slender neck, even if it’s quite short, and she has delicate features, she may be able to wear a very delicate “choker” in the sense of a necklace that lays right up against her neck.
Caroline: That’s a nice visual.
Cynthia: But for most women with short necks, it is preferable to open up the neck area with a longer piece.
Caroline: Is there an optimal length?
Cynthia: For most women, there are two lengths that work well, based on what are called the “balance points.” This is a term used by image consultants.
Caroline: I know we cover that in our new book, Jewelry Savvy, at length. But is there any easy way for someone behind the counter to pick a length? Someone taller, a 30″ and someone of medium height, 24″ for example?
Cynthia: Your suggestions probably work well in most cases, because the taller woman is likely to have a longer neck, and the woman of medium height is likely to have an average length neck.
Caroline: That’s me, master of generalities. I know if you, as an image consultant, were working one-on-one with someone, this would be grossly oversimplified, but it’s nice that that works as a general rule.
Cynthia: But do keep in mind that if either woman has a noticeably short neck, the general rule might not produce an optimally flattering look for the customer. In the case of a customer with a short neck, think slightly longer if she’s of short or average height, and think slightly shorter if she’s tall.
Caroline: Oh? Why is that?
Cynthia: For the woman of short or average height with a short neck, a necklace slightly longer than 24” will open up the neck area, which may give her a taller look. For the taller woman, going longer than a 30” necklace may make her body seem out of proportion. For her, a necklace shorter than 30” may be a good choice.
Caroline: Ok, very good information in our crash course on “what to do with a customer with a short neck.”
We know that most retailers carry a variety of sized chains/necklaces in stock so it’s easy to ask a customer to try them on and see what works well.
We also suggest that jewelers carry necklaces that bridge the gap between 24″ and 30″. And nothing works better than having the customer try on different lengths in front of a full-length mirror.