I love 1950s necklaces. I don't love their length, however. Many of them are choker-esque, and I can't stand stuff up that high on my neck. Feels all constraining and, well, choker-y. Especially with the big beads they used to use. Consequently, I have had a pile of great 50s necklaces languishing in a corner. But recently, I realized it would be fairly easy to extend them to the length I like, so I got out my needle nose pliers, and the box of deconstructed jewelry I keep around, and got to work.
My friend sent me this fab 50s tri-strand necklace with an unusual gold and grey color scheme. I altered it to give me the couple of inches I needed to feel comfortable wearing it.
I took the end bead off of the original necklace and then added a small length of chain from another necklace I had taken apart, adding the original end bead back on to the end. Waaalaaaa--a necklace I will wear. As you can see, the added piece doesn't exactly match. This doesn't bother me, but if that is a concern, one could always go to a craft store and get some chain that is a better match. You are not likely to find stuff that exactly matches the 50s stuff, of course, but you can get close. If you are like me, and keep random pieces of jewelry around, you can probably rustle up a complimentary piece from your own stash. It doesn't have to match, it can be a different color, as long as its complimentary.
So there you go, don't get rid of necklaces that are the wrong length---try altering them first!