Necklines

The right neckline can make or break a gown. It will sharpen or soften your facial features, elongate your upper body or shorten it, change the look of your neck and shoulders, and emphasize or subdue your bust. Choosing the right neckline means taking all these things into consideration. These rules are not correct 100% of the time, and a style that – by definition – shouldn’t look good on you, could end up being absolutely fabulous! They do  come in  handy when it comes to narrowing down the choices, though.

Basic Necklines:
Scoop Neck~Scoop: A U-shaped neckline, is the most versatile and kindest of necklines. It works well with every face shape and size, and looks good with busts of all sizes. The key is the scoop depth and width. A deep scoop will lengthen your neckline, balance wide shoulders, and flatters wide faces. Go for a shallower scoop neck if you are skinny, have a small bust, a narrow face, or a long neck.
Recommended for: Just about anyone

Square Neck~Square:  The Square neckline, or Straight,  has a straight horizontal bodice that meets with linear side edges which go straight up over the shoulder in a 90 degree angle. Whether it is a deep square or a shallow one, they all form a box around the neck. The crisp clean lines of the square neck works well with most figures, is flattering on most face shapes, and is great for anyone who wants to wear a normal bra with their gown. Depth and width is the key with a square neckline. A deep square will really flatter a round face, especially if you have a short neck and a large bust. It is an easy way for larger chested women to show off their curves without being vulgar. At the same time, a shallow square works better with a long thin neck. This neckline is not really flattering on the very small busted, the horizontal line across the chest will make appear flatter.
Recommended for: Large Busts
Not Recommended for: Very Small Busts

V Neck~V-Neck: The name says it all, this neckline dips down in the shape of a V-shape. The V-neck is versatile and will flatter most faces and figures. It is especially appropriate for those with round or square faces, as it will elongate the face and give it a narrower appearance. Like the scoop and square necklines, width is just as important as depth. It is also perfect for most cup sizes. If you have a smaller bust, a plunging V-neck can create the illusion of a larger bust, while a shallower V will look beautiful with larger busts, giving support as well as accentuating your curves. As with the scoop and square necklines, if you have small shoulders, choose a wider V-neck instead of a deep V-neck; the opposite is true for those with wide shoulders. This neckline does not work well with bony upper chests, or super long necks, it will elongate the neck further.
Recommended for: Any size Bust
Not Recommended for: Bony Upper Chests, Super Long Necks

Plunge Neck~Plunge/Decollete: A Décolleté neckline is a very deep plunging V-neck or a really low scoop.  Décolleté is most commonly applied to a neckline that reveals or emphasizes the cleavage. As with scoop or V-necklines, adjust the width at the shoulder area to account for wide or narrow shoulders. With a Plunging neckline, long necks will look longer, sharp features or narrow faces will look thinner and the upper body will elongate.
Recommended for: Nice Cleavage
Not Recommended for: Narrow Faces, Long Necks, Long Upper Torsos, Décolleté Impaired

Assymmetrical Neck~Asymmetrical: A neckline that is uneven or differs from side to side, either in styles or a simple one shouldered design. This neckline has been in style since the Greeks first wrapped fabric around beautiful women to emulate the Goddesses of old. It is a timeless design that flatters almost every woman’s shape.The numerous possible neckline combinations make this the most adaptable neckline to work with, allowing you to “have your cake and eat it too”.  With the right combinations, asymmetric necklines can break the shoulder line, making wide shoulders look narrower or give narrow shoulders a wider looking effect.
Recommended For: Everyone

Sweetheat Neck~Sweetheart: Follows similar lines to a square neckline, instead of a horizontal line, it is actually shaped like the top half of a heart. It’s great with most neck types, but should be a deeper sweetheart for short or wide necks. It is a wonderful option for fuller-chested women because it accentuates the cleavage, although it’s easy to go overboard if you are really busty. If you’re not well endowed, sweetheart necklines are great at creating the illusion of a bigger bust. It’s usually really good for women with an hourglass figure.
Recommended for: Everyone

Jewel Neck~Jewel: This neckline rest just at the base of the neck. This high, round neckline that will flatter a person with a regular or long neck and any of the following face shapes: oval, oblong, diamond or inverted triangle. However, a jewel will make a round face look rounder and a square face look wider. Wide or short necks should avoid this neckline as well. On the positive side, it’s great for small breasts, making them appear more ample. Larger breasts should avoid this neckline and go for more of a scoop neckline.
Recommended for: Small Busts, Pear Shaped Figure, Long Necks, Oval Face, Oblong Face, Diamond Face, or an Inverted Triangle Figure
Not Recommended for: Large Busts, Short Necks, Wide Shoulders, Round Face, Square Face

Bateau Neck~Bateau: Also called a Boat neck or Sabrina. This shape gently follows the curve of the collarbone, and can either reveal the shoulders or not. It will sometimes dip slightly in the center, but not always. A bateau is great if you have a long neck, narrow face, small chest or rounded shoulders. It will draw the eye out to the edge of your shoulders and create a more balanced and proportioned look for narrow shoulders, providing a nice counterpoint for pear shaped figures.
Recommended for: Small Busts, Long Necks, Narrow Faces, Pear Shaped Figures, Narrow or Rounded Shoulders
Not Recommended for: Large Busts, Short Necks, Wide Shoulders, or Round Faces

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 Now for the more complex necklines. These styles usually have a distinct look, mixed with variations of the Scoop, Square, V-neck, Sweetheart, or Jewel necklines. These variations allow you to pick a shape that best compliments your features. Follow the guidelines laid out for the basic – Square, Scoop, V-neck, Sweetheart, or Jewel necklines when making your choice.

~

~Portrait: Just like the name implies, this neckline sits below the shoulders to showcase the collar bones and shoulders. While this style is Super-flattering to medium- or full-breasted women, an off-the-shoulder neckline will look good on almost all figures. It’s really great for pear shaped figures in balancing out their lower half, but not so good for inverted triangles. Unlike the bateau neckline, the portrait’s wider neckline works for short and wide necks. If you have both a short and wide neck, go for a lower neckline in this style. This is also a good choice for small busted women, but if you have a long thin neck you may want to wear a nice sized necklace or your hair down to avoid looking too lean.
Recommended for: Pear-shaped Figures, Narrow Shoulders
Not Recommended for: Broad Shoulders, Wide Backs, or Full Arms
~Straight
Portrait Neck~Scoop
Portrait Scoop Neck
~V-neck
Portrait V Neck
~Sweetheart
Portrait Sweetheart Neck

~Halter: The halter features straps that wrap around the back of the neck, or a high neck with deep armholes. This neckline also creates a beautiful open back. Although such necklines reveal a lot of shoulder, their converging lines make the shoulders seem smaller, so it looks great on wide shoulders. Well-toned shoulders and arms are great for this look. It is not so good for short or wide necks. This style is not the best for really big-breasted women either, it offers little support and – it will make you look huge! At the same time, not all halter necklines are kind to smaller busted women. The halter neckline has multiple subcategories that would further influence the face, bust and neck appearance. Follow the guidelines for Jewel, Scoop, Square, Sweetheart, and V-necks when choosing the shape of a halter neckline.
~Jewel
Halter Jewel Neck
~Scoop
Halter Scoop Neck
~Wide Scoop
Halter WideScoop Neck
~Straight
HalterStraight Neck
~Sweetheart
Halter Sweetheat Neck
~V-Neck
Halter V Neck
~Wide V-Neck
Halter Wide V Neck

 

 

 

Queen Anne Sweetheat NeckQueen Anne: Higher on the sides and back of neck, widening to the bra strap area, and traditionally…ending in a sweetheart shape. This wedding gown neckline is suitable for most body types. The almost diamond-shape of the Queen Anne draws the eye up to the neck and collar bone area and looks nice with both broad and narrow shoulders. Modern fashion has created multiple variations to this style that would further influence the face, bust and neck appearance. Follow the guidelines for Scoop, Square, Sweetheart, and V-necks when choosing the shape of a Queen Anne neckline.
Not Recommended for: Short Necks
More modern versions on this neckline include:
~Scoop
Queen Anne Scoop Neck
~Straight
Queen Anne Straight Neck
~Deep Sweetheart
Queen Anne Low Sweetheat Neck
~V-Neck
Queen Anne V Neck

 

 

 

Queen ElizabethShallow V NeckQueen Elizabeth: Very similar to a Queen Anne, but with a high portrait collar that stands up in the back and traditionally…closes in a V in front. Modern fashion has created multiple variations to this style that would further influence the face, bust and neck appearance. Follow the guidelines for Scoop, Square, Sweetheart, and V-necks when choosing the shape of a Queen Elizabeth neckline.
Not Recommended for: Short Necks
More modern versions on this neckline include:
~Scoop
Queen Elizabeth Scoop Neck
~Straight
Queen Elizabeth Straight Neck
~Sweetheart
Queen Elizabeth Sweetheat Neck
~Deep V-Neck
Queen Elizabeth V Neck

 

Strapless: The strapless neckline is a popular choice with lots of brides due to its classic and sophisticated look. It works for just about every neck, although, long thin necks should wear it higher on the bust to avoid looking too stretched out. This is a great neckline for petite women as it will make the torso appear longer. As the name implies, this neckline doesn’t have any straps, and has multiple variations that would further influence the face, bust and shoulder appearance:

Strapless Straight Neck~Straight:This is the most common strapless neckline, it is a straight horizontal line above the bust. It provides a great balance for narrow or sloped shoulders as it will widen and make them appear square.
Recommended for:  Narrow Shoulders, Rounded or Sloped Shoulders
Not Recommended for: Very Small Busts, Large Busts

 
Strapless Sweetheart Neck~Sweetheart: It’s great with most neck types, but should be a deeper sweetheart for short or wide necks. It is a wonderful option for fuller-chested women because it accentuates the cleavage, although it’s easy to go overboard if you are really busty. If you’re not well endowed, sweetheart necklines are great at creating the illusion of a bigger bust.
Recommended for: Most Everyone
Not Recommended for: Sloped Shoulders
Strapless Peaked Neck~Peaked: The neckline forms peaks over the bust area with either a scoop or a V in the middle. This neckline will draw the eye to the chest area and accentuate everything. The plunging lines will make long necks, and upper torsos appear longer. Thin faces and sharp features will be more pronounced as well.
Recommended for: Square Faces, Round Faces, Serious Décolletage
Not Recommended for: Narrow Faces, Long Necks, Long Upper Torsos, Décolleté Impaired

Strapless ScoopUp Neck~ Slight Curve: The neckline slightly curves up giving a bit more coverage for small or bony chests. The extra coverage will add to an already large bust. The higher line will have a minimizing effect on longer necks as well.
Recommended for: Small Busts, Bony Chests, Narrow Shoulders, Long Necks
Not Recommended for: Large Busts, Short Necks, Rounded or Sloped Shoulders

Strapless ScoopDown Neck~Modified Sweetheart: The neckline takes a gentle dip in the center,  creating a softer, more subtle version of the prominent curves seen in the sweetheart neckline, as well as a shallower plunge at the décolletage. This will showcase your cleavage in a very classy way. If you have a special necklace you want to show-off, this is a good neckline for that.
Recommended for: Large Busts, and girls with fun necklaces

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