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Advice and ideas for the most popular necklines

Joy of Clothes put here a summary of the most common necklines together, which are ticked on who should wear what. Please note that not all criteria could be considered, but it should provide you with considerable advice what to think about when choosing your perfect neckline in your clothes.

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Hide It All!

Last but not least this is the neckline that hides everything - neck, shoulders, décolleté line and bust. Here the rules are opposite to those for the strapless neckline. That means women with a short, wide neck, big bust or who have a double chin should totally avoid these necklines. Instead, it is best on those with regular, long, or thin necks and small busts.

Turtleneck

Turtleneck

This is usually a tight-fitting high collar and is no good for a short, wide neck, but should be worn instead by women with a long, thin, or regular neck. It’s also great for women with a small chest, whether you have a long or short décolleté.

Roll Neck

Roll Neck

This is another high fitted collar that covers up most of your neck. This one will show what sort of neck you have - if you won’t have any neck to show you definitely have a short neck. This can look very unflattering because there is no space between your face and top. Also, women with a wide neck - whether long or regular - shouldn’t think they can hide its width with fabric around the neck. It will just add bulk and volume where you don’t need it and make your neck disproportionately wide compared to the rest of your body.

Just the Neck

These are necklines that keep the focus just on the neck - unless you choose to accessorise. It is important to get these lines right, because you will have little leverage to distract from them using the bust or shoulders. In general these line are not ideal for women with big busts and women with a normal bust line need to be careful that the fabric of the top doesn’t stretch too much over it.

Bateau

Bateau

This is the edgier version of the scoop neckline. It is great with most neck types, but should be used carefully by women with a short or wide neck. Different to the scoop neckline, the sweetheart shape sits much closer to the neck and would create volume, bulk and ultimately draws attention to the neck. It’s a fantastic style for any bust size but it’s a lifesaver for those who have a small bust since its shape creates the illusion of a bigger bust. This neckline needs space so you’re better off wearing without jewellery since it would only compete with the neckline.

Jewel

Jewel

This round neckline that follows the base of the neck is what is typically seen on t-shirts. Women with a wide neck should be cautious that their neck doesn’t finish where the neckline starts – it’s not an ideal shape. But it’s great for anyone who has a long and thin neck because of its shortening and widening effect.

Cowl Neck

Cowl Neck

The softly draped folds that hang off the neck can help to add curves to a small chest by adding volume, but can also camouflage a big chest that has a long décolleté line combined with a normal, thin or long neck. Those with a bigger bust and short, wide neck will find this neckline less flattering.

Crew Neck

Crew Neck

This neckline fits along the base of the neckline and is collarless. So, everyone with a long and thin or regular neck has a winner here as do women with smaller busts. This neckline is not a good choice for women with a short, wide neck or women with a bigger chest.

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Just the Neck and Shoulders

Boatneck

Boatneck

This is a good neckline for most body shapes but especially for the pear shape since it widens the shoulders and balances the bottom half. On the contrary it is not a good choice for inverted triangles because it will make broad shoulders look even broader drawing attention to the wrong place. If the boat neck starts on or just below the collarbone it’s probably not the best choice for women with a short or wide neck, or a big bust. The neckline cannot plunge very low and still stay on top of the shoulder, so it's perfect for camouflaging a non-existent cleavage.

Bardot

Boatneck

This is an open neckline that has some fabric resting off the shoulders, draped over the shoulders almost like a shawl. Similar rules apply as for the boat neck. It’s great for pear shapes, not so good for inverted triangles. However it does work good well on short or wide necks, but what if your’s is both, the neckline needs to be lower rather than higher and it’s best in a narrower and simple style rather than chunky and colourful. This is also a good choice for small chested women but if you have a long and thin neck then you may want to add layers by wearing a necklace, or wearing your hair down around your face rather than pulled back to avoid your neck looking too lean.

If you have a soft line from neck to shoulders, but want to hide an overly small or large bust, these are the necklines to look for:

Just the Neck and Bust

If you want to show off a slender neck, or a great décolleté line without drawing attention to an unflattering neck, double chin or sloppy shoulders then go for the following necklines. Women with a small bust or a long thin neck can make these work by layering with jewellery or adding details.

Sweetheart

Sweetheart

This is the edgier version of the scoop neckline. It is great with most neck types, but should be used carefully by women with a short or wide neck. Different to the scoop neckline, the sweetheart shape sits much closer to the neck and would create volume, bulk and ultimately draws attention to the neck. It’s a fantastic style for any bust size but it’s a lifesaver for those who have a small bust since its shape creates the illusion of a bigger bust. This neckline needs space so you’re better off wearing without jewellery since it would only compete with the neckline.

Scoop

Scoop

A U-shaped neckline that shows off both neck and décolleté line. It works on almost everyone and is the most versatile and kindest neckline of all. If you are in doubt about which neckline to buy then this is the safest option and will certainly be an investment. It will lengthen your neck line, give you a good shoulder line, work with any face shape and size, and look good on any size of bust - if you feel it’s too low, your neck appears too long, or your chest looks too small then wear a camisole underneath.

Square

Square

A square or rectangle-shaped neckline has a similar look to the scoop so it’s ideal for long and thin necks and long décolletés. Also, it’s great for layering and creating a focal point. It’s not so great for women who have a wide neck since it can make you look boxier. It might also cause problems for women with a short neck if the neckline is too high.

V-Neck

V-Neck

A V-shaped neckline is very popular in today's fashion and will look good on everyone. Again it’s a surefire investment for those in doubt about which line to buy. Women with a long and thin neck need to be careful that it doesn’t make their neck look even longer. By layering ie wearing a camisole underneath or necklace, this can be avoided. These are also good ways to cover up if a neckline is too revealing.

All: Neck, Décolleté, Shoulders and Bust

These are the necklines where you need to have it all since there is no way of camouflaging or balancing out features:

Strapless

Strapless

Most people forget about this style line. In general it works well on every neck option but you should be careful when you have a long and thin neck combined with a long décolleté line - keep the strapless line on the high side and add layers with a necklace. Women with small chests should stay away from this neckline unless you are going to add curves - to do this try wearing a shirt with big collars beneath the strapless neckline, and so add volume where there is none.

Halterneck

Boatneck

This is a big no no for anyone with a short or wide neck. Also it’s not ideal for women with a small bust or short décolleté. There are always exceptions to the rules but if in doubt then stay clear of this neckline. Still, women with a fuller bust, long décolleté line or a long and thin neck should find this neckline works very well for them.

Neckline style advice: What you should know

The six main factors that define your neckline


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