Which types of necklines are there?
When choosing your shirt, jacket or a dress, it is important to be aware of the neckline that the style possesses. Isn't the neckline some of the very first things that we pay attention to, when it comes to tops? Necklines can give an outfit a whole new type of flair, and it is also important to choose the perfect type for the suitable occasion. More so, different necklines compliment the way a persons torso is shaped when bone-structure and posture are taken into consideration. Certain cuts and additions of complimentary fabrics are sure to bring a large variety of necklines for you to choose from!
An old time favorite, the asymmetrical neckline is back. In the past year, the trend was seen in the collections multiple esteemed clothing designers. It then comes as no surprise that it has since made several appearances on red carpets, celebrity events and street style images.
The asymmetrical neckline or more specifically, the one-sided neckline or one shoulder top, is particularly eye-catching and versatile, appropriate for a wide range of occasions. It’s perfect for those who want to show some skin but not too much. It’s both provocative yet demure, slightly revealing yet still conservative, giving just a little tease of something more. During the 80’s and 90’s, Princess Diana wore an assortment of dresses with an asymmetrical neckline to numerous events, looking both fashion forward and elegant at the same time.
While there are many variations of the neckline, for both dresses and tops, it’s flattering for everyone and a refreshing alternative to the more common off shoulder and strapless styles. This is a perfect neckline if you also want to show off your gorgeously defined collarbones!
A bateau neck is a straight neckline that stretches across the collarbone to each shoulder. This neckline is also called a boatneck, as bateau is the French word for boat. The name refers to what is thought to be the origin of the bateau neck — the striped French sailor shirt.
A bateau neck dress design tends to be on the casual side. But on the flip-side fanciest bateau necklines can be seen on wedding gowns. Many of these feature a straight piece of beautiful lace that can seem to frame the bride's face and neck as it stretches across her shoulders. Since the bateau neck highlights each shoulder, it may not be most flattering neckline for people with broad shoulders. While bateau necklines do draw the eye to the neck, it's not necessary to be long-necked in order to wear this style well.
Bateau necklines are said to work well for small chested figures, as the wide neck helps create the illusion of a larger chest. The wide neck of a bateau neckline can also visually balance a pear shaped figure. Pear shaped body types have a small bust and wide hips.
A cowl neck is a neckline that resembles an unstructured, floppy turtleneck and drapes below the collarbone. This design suits certain types of formal wear such as wedding dresses, provided the fabric has the right draping qualities. T
he cowl neck style is said to have been inspired by early Grecian fashions, which specialized in draped garments that didn’t conform to the body’s contours
Modern cowl necks are usually featured on clothing in combination with fitted sections of the garment. Even sweaters with this type of neckline that feature heavy draping in certain areas, such as wide bell-shaped sleeves, will usually also feature fitted sections such as a tapered waist in order to retain the wearer’s silhouette. Cowl necklines are especially flattering to small-chested figures as the extra draping of the fabric can add volume to the bust area.
The Grecian neckline was, quite literally, named because of the Greek style influence. If you look back at Ancient Greek fashion you will notice this neckline worn quite often. Think togas! I notice that sometimes this neckline is confused for, and referred to as, the halter strap neckline. However, they’re two different necklines.
The difference is with a Grecian neckline there is material starting at the center of the bust area that is used to wrap around the neck, where with a halter strap neckline the straps are at the outer sides of the bust area and then wrapped around the neck.
This neckline is fairly common with special occasion dresses. You won’t find it in casual wear quite as often, right now at least. But it’s really flattering when you want to bring more attention to your neck and upper body.
Not to be confused with halter strap, the halter neckline covers the chest and bust (this is the main difference between the two). Instead, the neckline comes inward on the body above the bust and circles closely around the neck.
It’s a gorgeous neckline if you want to bring a lot of attention to your shoulders and arms, thanks to the larger arm holes.
Halterneck is a style of women's clothing strap that runs from the front of the garment around the back of the neck, generally leaving the upper back uncovered. The name comes from livestock halters.
The word "halter" derives from the Germanic words meaning "that by which anything is held" Halter is in the German word Büstenhalter, a dated word for bra, with Büste meaning female chest and breasts.
If a bra is worn with a halter top, it is generally either strapless or of halterneck construction itself.
Another classic neckline many are very familiar with. Halter strap necklines are created with straps that are tied behind the neck. While this is a classic neckline, it’s not one that’s universally flatter.
Generally speaking, those with very broad shoulders should avoid halter strap necklines. Because of the way this neckline ties around the neck, it often accentuates broad shoulders.
The halter style is used with swimsuits, to maximize sun tan exposure on the back and minimize tan lines. It is also used with dresses or shirts, to create a backless dress or top. The neck strap can itself be covered by the wearer's hair, leaving the impression from behind that nothing is holding the dress or shirt up.
Halter strap tops are generally great for those, who want to show off their collarbones and their shoulders. This style is specifically flattering for women with larger busts with either a flattering dress or a top.
This neckline is exactly what it sounds like, it’s a neckline that comes up high onto the neck.
High necklines will be found in dresses and tops with different types of fabrics and materials. It’s very flattering for those with a thin, even long neck. However, not to be confused with the turtleneck. It’s common for people to confuse the two because they are quite similar. I’ll talk about the turtle neck next.
A neckline has always spoken of status. Think of the white roman collar, or dog collar, worn by priests. The old school tie. The string of pearls. The white collar, and the blue.
Your dress can be whatever length you like because it’s what happens at the throat that counts. This season, it’s time to put your neck on the line with this gorgeous neckline fashion.
Generally, it is suggested to avoid a high neckline if you have a shorter neck and very wide shoulders as it tends to bring more attention to those attributes.
The illusion neckline is one that’s recently gained a lot of popularity in bridal fashion, and has been making its appearance in casual/everyday clothing.
What makes this neckline unique is the material above the bust is made of some sort of transparent or sheer-like material (think lace, sheer, etc.), reaching up to fit close to the neck. Because of this you have the look of a high neck, while still showing a touch of skin. The fabric around the bust area typically fits straight across, which gives a look similar to a tube top. Illusion neckline is really the combination of two very different and distinct necklines.
Something to keep in mind with this particular neckline is because of the sheer material above the bust, you will generally need to wear a strapless bra. This is something that can be confusing for some, because there is still material up to the neckline. Since the illusion neckline is the combination of two different necklines, it is quite flattering on almost every body type.
A jewel neck is a plain, basic neckline that is rounded and reaches just above the collarbone. It was named after its ability to showcase a piece of jewelery such as a pendant or brooch against the fabric, so that the eye is drawn upward to the jewelery and the face. Jewel necks are also particularly common in workout wear, and often featured on bodysuits, cycling shirts, and muscle shirts.
This design was also popularized by style icon, Audrey Hepburn, who favored the neckline for its ability to cover her collarbone, about which she was self-conscious. The jewel neck was also favored by another 1960s style icon, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, who often wore shift dresses and cardigan twinsets that featured the neckline along with a string of pearls to accent it.
Jewel necklines can be flattering for many body types. However, it’s not always the best option for those with a larger bust. Because of the high neckline it can cause a large bust to appear larger. (Unless this is a desired effect)
An off-shoulder neckline, as the name clearly tells you, is a wide-open neckline exposing the shoulders. It is also known as the Bardot neckline after the starlet Brigitte Bardot, who really popularized this neckline in the 50’s. A Bardot neckline/off shoulder neckline is usually elasticized and gathered and may be decorated with frills/ruffles.
It is a classic neckline – which adorned the gowns of beauties in the Regency period. You can look straight out of a Jane Austen novel in the right costume with this neckline. Today you will find it even on the most casual t-shirts and knit sweaters. It is never out of style.
To better explain it, though, this is a neckline where no straps are over the shoulders. Instead, the straps of an off-shoulder neckline are across the bicep area – hence ‘off’ shoulder. Chances are you’ve seen this specific neckline quite a bit in recent fashion.
Off-shoulder necklines are flattering on women with a pear shape, narrow shoulders or even a straight body shape.
This regal flare was first embraced by Queen Anne of Britain herself, who allegedly popularized the look during her reign in the 1700s. This is a neckline you’ve likely seen, but didn’t know the technical name for.
Sabrina neckline is, more often than not, another name for the bateau neckline. While they’re extremely similar, technically there is a slight difference which is why they have two different names. It was named for the neckline made famous in the 1954 movie, "Sabrina", starring Audrey Hepburn
That slight difference is with a Sabrina neckline, it’s not as deep of a scoop in the neckline. With a Sabrina neckline it’s sits much closer to the neck itself, and goes straight across.
Because this neckline offers a lot of coverage of the body, it’s favored in conservative environments and individuals.
You will find the Sabrina neckline in a lot of business appropriate dresses for women. Similar to the bateau neckline, it’s generally not the most flattering for women with a larger bust.
A scoop neck shirt is one in which the scoop-shape neckline drops significantly below normal limits. These shirts come in a variety of forms, including those with and without buttons.
The exact shape of the neckline may vary from a slightly exaggerated circle to extremely severe parabola, with limitless variation between
The scoop neckline is quite classic, chances are you’ve seen and have worn this particular neckline quite a bit throughout your life.
Flattering for all body shapes, the scoop neckline will be found in various lengths. You may see some tops or dresses with a slight scoop, while others may have a deeper scoop showing more skin.
This is one of the better known necklines in the fashion industry. Every woman is pretty familiar with the spaghetti strap neckline. But to give some of the specifics, it’s a neckline that can be combined with just about any neckline ‘shape,’ whether it’s straight across, sweetheart, you get the idea.
The distinct element of the spaghetti strap neckline is, of course, the very thin straps that go over the shoulder area.
It’s a great option when you want to show a bit more skin, or even highlight your shoulders and arms.
Most of the time spaghetti strap neckline straps are very thin (hence the name) which makes it difficult to wear a bra with straps – something to keep in mind as you’re shopping and trying different types of necklines. Otherwise, it’s a neckline that’s pretty universally flattering!
The square neck is a type of neckline that forms a square-shaped frame around the collarbone. Square necks are popular features on a wide variety of garments, including tank tops, bathing suits, fitted shirts, and dresses.
The square neck has been featured on several different formal and informal styles of garments throughout the years. Square neckline is fairly self-explanatory.
This neckline, quite literally, consists of a square shape. The square shape brings more attention to the shoulder and neck area, making it flattering for those with a smaller top half.
That being said, this typically isn’t the most flattering neckline if you have broad shoulders, as the sharp edges of the square shape broadens already broad shoulders.
The straight across neckline is often called ‘strapless.’ While you’ve already seen with the sweetheart neckline, there are different types of necklines that can be created with strapless tops and dresses.
A straight across neckline may have sleeves that drop from the shoulder downward. It can also have a sleeveless look that extends solely across the top of the garment. In many cases, designers to provide nearly invisible straps that drape across each shoulder.
The difference between the sweetheart and straight across is while sweetheart has a curved shape at the top, this does not. Hence the name, straight across. The straight across neckline rests right above the breasts in a straight line.
Generally found in strapless dresses and tops, the sweetheart neck is one of the most feminine designs. The sweetheart neckline makes a shape at the top resembling a heart. Makes sense, right?
Most popularly used in wedding dresses, it became possible in the middle of 20th century to obtain these necklines in blouses as well.
Of all the many kinds of necklines, this is one of the most popular. The design is meant to be a heart that wraps about the bust.
This is a neckline that flatters and enhances the natural shape of the bust. If you have larger chest, for instance, if you are the hourglass shape or apple body type, this neckline will balance out your full chest, as it draws attention to the chest area. It’s also a good choice for those who have a smaller bust and it can help enhance what’s there.
One of the most universally flattering necklines around, the v-neck. Surely you’re very familiar with this neckline. The v-neck creates a ‘v’ shape, you will find this in various lengths similar to the scoop neck.
The v-neck is one neckline that has drama and keeps it going. This is a neckline in the shape of a v. The sides of the garment extend back across the shoulders at each end. In between the fabric drops down rapidly, forming a plunging shape that resembles the letter. The v-neck may be only form a small v. In that case, the neckline may just brush past the neck and stay at the top of the bust. What’s often seen are v-necklines that extend past this area. That can help show off cleavage and give off a carefree vibe.
V-necklines can rest higher up around the neckline, or offer a plunging style. If you have a short torso or smaller top half a v-neck can elongate your top half.