Do you know what neckline looks best on you? This guide dives into the most popular necklines, so you can find the best styles for your body.
Your neckline is an important component to any outfit regardless of whether it’s formal or casual. Necklines can enhance the look of an outfit by creating length oradding width to the body. They can also made an outfit more modest or sexier.
Shapes matter when it comes to styling. The wrong neckline can make an outfit look awkward and even make you feel awkward wearing it. Understanding the types of necklines and what compliments you is another step in mastering how to dress for your body type.
Many of us are a combination of different body shapes, so classifying each neckline by body shape is not always straight-forward. Factors such as hair style and face shape also have an impact on what neckline flatters a person most.
In this post, you’ll learn the most popular neckline designs and what to look for when it comes to choosing the best neckline pattern for you.
This post is all about the neckline.
1. Asymmetric Neckline
The asymmetric neckline is also known as a one-shoulder neckline. It’s the neckline you get with a one shoulder top that draws a downward diagonal line across the décolleté (or chest area).
One-shoulder necklines are great for adding interest to an outfit and creating shape. This is also a great neckline for broad shoulders and can also distract from a large stomach.
Related Post: 7 Amazing Plus Size Style Tips To Look Your Best
2. Bateau Neck
A bateau neck (boat neck, ballet neckline or Sabrina neckline) is a wide neckline that goes from shoulder to shoulder and skims the collarbones. This neckline is present in the front and back of garments and is considered sophisticated and elegant.
The bateau neckline can help create the illusion of more width at the shoulder area, so they’re great for those looking to add volume to their shoulders, be it a pear body shape or by balancing volume on top and on bottom to create an hourglass effect.
Related Post: I’m Loving These Styles For Pear Shaped Body
3. Collar Neckline
A collar neckline is attributed to any top or shirt with a collar. Typically the design either allows for a v-neck (unbuttoned or open collar) or a high crew neck (if buttoned up).
This is the perfect style for a business casual aesthetic and workwear in general because the ability to wear a collared shirt as a v-neck is one of the most flattering necklines for all body types.
Related Post: Create A Work Capsule Wardrobe With Only 15 Items
There are many different collar necklines, so choosing one in conjunction with how you plan to style wear the buttons is key. The larger or wider the collar is, the more volume it will add to the shoulder area and vice-versa.
4. Cowl Neck
The cowl neckline has a loosely draped fabric collar. The neckline can be high or low depending on the style of clothes as well as elegant like in a slip dress or casual like in a knit sweater. Cowl necks are slowly making a comeback as seen on the latest runways and style trends.
Related Post: Style Trends 2024: Everything You Need To Know
Because cowl necks have extra fabric at the neckline and chest area, they add volume to one’s upper half. This is a great style for small-busted women and those wanting to balance volume with a fuller hips.
Pro-Tip: Pay attention to the drop of the cowl because a high-neck cowl gives a dramatically different style than a low cowl.
5. Crew Neck
A crewneck has a high, rounded neckline that hits at or near the collarbones. This is the typical style of T-shirts whether sold as concert merch or the classic white tee present in many capsule wardrobes.
Related Post: 12 Capsule Wardrobe Essentials To Jumpstart Your Style
This is a modest neckline that won’t add length to the body or neck, so it looks good styled with a long necklace. Crew necks are great layering pieces under collared shirts and wider crewneck tops.
6. Grecian Neckline
A Grecian neckline is a style that wraps around the neck in a round or v-shape pattern, with shoulder cut-ins towards the upper chest. Inspired by Grecian goddesses, this neckline is popular with long gowns and formalwear.
Related Post: What Dresses To Wear To A Wedding: Summer Edition
The Greek neckline is a great style to showcase shoulders and arms. Styles with thinner straps help to slim broad shoulders.
7. Halter Neckline
The halter neckline is a style that wraps or ties around the neck and can range from a high neckline to a cowl neck and even a plunging neckline. The halter neckline is also a popular style in dresses, gowns, and summer outfits.
Related Post: 5 Casual Summer Outfits You’ll Wear On Repeat
Halters showcase one’s shoulder and arms and can add length to the body with a deeper neckline. The style can also help to slim broad shoulders, which is a great for inverted triangle body shapes.
8. Illusion Neckline
An illusion neckline features a sheer netting or mesh-like material in a crew neck shape that exposes the upper chest area leading to a sweetheart or plunging neckline of the garment’s main material. This style is popular with bridal gowns, evening gowns, and dressy tops.
Illusion necklines are a great option for those that want a dramatic neckline with a bit more modesty or the option to wear a gown with long, mesh sleeves during the colder months. It’s a very beautiful and elegant style.
Related Post: What To Wear To A November Wedding
9. Jewel Neckline
A jewel neckline is a circular neckline that’s wider and deeper than a crew neck. Jewel necklines are great for showcasing statement jewelry against the fabric of the garment.
A jewel neck is a great option for those who want a modest and elegant neckline, but feel suffocated in a crew neck.
10. Keyhole Neckline
A keyhole neckline has a circular neckline with a keyhole-shaped cutout below the collarbone. This is more of an architectural neckline, meant to draw interest to the chest area depending on how small or large the keyhole is.
Long vertical keyholes can help create length in the top half of the body, great for big busted women. Smaller keyholes are more like accent details and look best on smaller busts.
11. Mock Neck
A mock neckline has a high neck that extends above the neckline of the body. It’s fitted and provides a modest style that often looks very flattering with a more fitted style of top or dress. A mandarin collar is a type of mock neck style.
Mock necks are a great alternative to turtlenecks that can often feel suffocating on those with shorter necks. They also draw the eyes upward, lengthening the upper half of the body and providing a slimming effect.
Related Post: 5 Petite Style Tips You Might Be Missing Out On
12. Notch Neckline
A notch neckline is a neckline with notched “v” shape cut out of the middle. This is a more interesting collar than a standard crewneck or jewel neck. The notch can be small or deep, in a rounded or high neckline (but not limited to either). The split neckline also falls into this category.
Notch necklines add interest to the collarbone area. A deep notch neck will draw the eyes downward, creating a vertical line down the body, which adds length to one’s upper half. Notch necklines look best with statement earrings as opposed to a necklace, which competes for real estate around your neck and chest.
Related Post: What To Wear On A First Date
13. Off-The-Shoulder Neckline
Also known as a bardot neckline (named after the 1950s icon, Bridget Bardot), the off-the-shoulder neckline is specific to off-the-shoulder garments. This neckline leaves the entire neck and chest exposed, with sleeves starting at the upper arms.
This is a very sensual neckline whether in a top or gown, meant to show off the neck, shoulder, and décolletage. Because of this, it’s best for those with slender, athletic, or narrow shoulders, such as a pear, rectangle, or hourglass body shape.
Related Post: How To Dress Hourglass Shape: Master Style Guide
14. Plunging Neckline
A plunging neckline is a dramatic neckline with a deep “V” or “U” down the midline of the body. The neckline generally hits at the upper abdomen, but can extend as low as the belly button in some cases. Plunging necklines can especially be seen on evening gowns, but also make an appearance on summer dresses, halter tops, and swimwear.
The plunging neckline draws the eyes down the body creating a vertical line and adding length to hourglass and apple-shaped women, provided the waist is defined. A plunging v-neck is also flattering on a rectangle shape, adding contrast to the column shape of the body.
Related Post: Most Flattering Styles For Rectangle Body Shape
15. Queen Anne
A Queen Anne neckline has capped sleeves or thicker shoulder straps with a sweetheart or straight neckline. This elegant style is very popular with wedding gowns.
Related Post: 5 Elegant Outfits You Need In Your Wardrobe
Queen Anne necklines are flattering with small to medium busts and narrow shoulders.
16. Scoop Neck
The scoop neckline is a rounded shape that’s deeper than a crew neck or jewel neck; rather it scoops down across the chest and can be cleavage-bearing.
Scoop necks look good on just about every body type. A deep scoop neck can help create the illusion of a longer neck, creating length in the upper torso; a great style for apple shapes and hourglass bodies. Ladies with narrow shoulders should opt for a wide scoop while ladies with broad shoulders should opt for a narrow scoop.
17. Square Neckline
A square neckline is shaped like a square with a horizontal line going straight across the top of the chest. From knit tops to spaghetti strap dresses this wider neckline is considered quite romantic.
Related Post: Style Types: 5 Beautiful Pieces For Romantics
Square necks look best on narrow or slender shoulders because they can add volume to that area (especially with puffed sleeves). The style also compliments curves and big busts, helping to lengthen the neck.
A strapless neckline doesn’t contain any straps, but can be modeled after any of the following necklines: sweetheart, straight, or notch. This style is most popular in bridal gowns, evening gowns, sun dresses, and of course, tube tops.
Strapless necklines show off the neck, chest, and shoulders. Strapless styles look best on average to narrow shoulders.
19. Surplice Neckline
A surplice neck consists of two pieces of fabric that intersect at a diagonal, showcasing a V neck. Styles can be low cut or high cut, depending on one’s preference.
Surplice tops and dresses (and wrap dresses) are universally-flattering on all body shapes. The V shape which draws the eyes up and down, creating some length (but not too much) while the neck and chest areas are highlighted.
Related Post: 7 French Dresses You Need This Spring
20. Sweetheart Neckline
The sweetheart neckline showcases a wide and deep neckline shaped like the top of a heart. This frames the chest (cleavage area) and is romantic, feminine, and very flattering.
Sweetheart necklines look great on lades with average to narrow shoulders because of the wider style. It also helps to balance out wider hips. Lastly, sweetheart styles help add curves to smaller chested women while nicely emphasizing those with a larger chest already.
21. Tie Neck
The tie neckline is a style of shirt with a high collar, tied around the neck. This classic style is typically found in silk blouses, collared shirts, and boho blouses.
Related Post: 11 Classic Wardrobe Essentials You Need in Your Life
Tie necks are most flattering on those who want to draw attention to a long neck and enhance a smaller bust. Those with broad shoulders should avoid this style. Leaving the tie undone along with a few loose buttons so the style looks like a v-neck is best for big busted women.
The turtleneck is the highest neckline mentioned in this article. This style usually consists of double-folded or bunched fabric that extends halfway or higher up the neck.
Turtlenecks are most flattering on those with long necks and faces. They can suit any body shape based on color and fit. Dark colors (black, brown, charcoal, navy) have a slimming effect on the body while bright, bold and light colors add volume, so keep that in mind when shopping or styling.
The U neckline is a type of scoop neck with a longer, wider cut that resembles a “U”. This neckline is flirty and can be cleavage-revealing.
U necklines help elongate the neck and look great on hourglass and apple shapes. If you have broad shoulders, a slim deep U is most suitable.
24. V Neckline
V necklines are shaped in a “V” and can be shallow or deep and cleavage-revealing. Found in all styles of tops and dresses, the v-neck is effortlessly timeless and feminine.
Related Post: What To Wear Everyday | 7 Outfit Ideas To Try
This style is the most universally-flattering neckline for all body shapes. V-necks help draw a vertical line down the upper body, creating length. They also help showcase the chest and emphasize “V” lines in the body, maintaining balance for an hourglass shape and helping create balance for a rectangle shape.
Wide v-necks are great for narrow shoulders while narrow v-necks are best for broad shoulders.
25. Yoke Neckline
A yoke neckline is a style with a horizontal panel (sometimes patterned) across and around the shoulders and upper chest that’s attached to the rest of the garment. Yoke necklines are higher and draw attention to the shoulders and upper chest.
A yoke neckline is a great style for those wanting to add volume to their shoulder or chest area, as well as break up an overarching column effect (rectangle body shape).
That wraps up the list of the best necklines right now. I recently fell in love with sweetheart necklines after a lifetime of thinking I couldn’t pull them off with my smaller chest (just add a push-up bra). Now, I’m borderline-obsessed!
What’s your favorite type of neckline? Comment below.
This post was all about necklines