Crew Neck: The crew neck is called such because it is the style of neckline that was found on crewmen's jerseys. It is close all
around the neck and is usually found with a narrow, ribbed edge, especially in knitted fabrics. Crew necks are generally good for all but
heavier-set women or those with short necks. Those women with wide necks and faces should use caution when thinking about crew neck garments
because it will tend to make them look even wider and the necks will appear shorter.
Turtleneck: This close neckline features an extended collar, reminiscent of a turtle's neck when fully extended from its shell.
Women with wide faces should use caution when wearing a turtleneck or look as though their head is even larger than it is. As a rule of thumb,
the turtleneck collar should be folded so that it extends no higher than one-or-two inches below the chin. Turtlenecks are especially good for
women with narrow shoulders and long necks and faces, as it helps to balance them.
Scoop Neck: The scoop neck is characterized by its wide opening and full-curving dip down the chest. It is a good choice for
heavier builds and wide faces because it helps to keep the upper torso looking proportionate. It even works for small busted women, as the
curved neckline gives an illusion of chest. However, women with long slim necks and narrow faces should avoid scoop necks because it will cause
them to appear sticklike and gangly.
Cowl Neck: Similar to the turtleneck, this neckline style features a collar of folded fabric, but instead of being
close-fitted, the cowl neck's collar is wider and looser. The collar drapes loosely around the neck and is a great choice for women who want a
collar but don't look good in turtlenecks (i.e. women with heavier builds, wide faces and shorter, wider necks). The cowl neck is not a good look
for small-build or petite women as the width of the collar will only emphasize a horizontal line and make the woman look stumpy.
The Rules for Neckline Choice:
Now that we've discussed the options, it's time to review the rules for choosing a neckline. The areas we
will be focusing on are body type, face shape, and bust-size. Each of these elements are important considerations when choosing a neckline style,
but may be counter-indicative. The key is to look at the different areas and go with neckline styles that are most recommended.
The shape of your face is the first consideration for determining your ideal neckline. If your face is oval
and well proportioned, you will be able to wear most any style of neckline with equal success. If your face is long and narrow, choose necklines
that are wider and more shallow, to draw the eye to the horizontal and make your face appear wider. Conversely, if your face is wider and
rounder, a neckline that has a stronger vertical shape will help to balance your overall look.
The concept here is balance. You want to choose a neckline style to balance your features and help you look more in proportion.
Following along on the theme of balance, you again want to select a neckline that will create balance in
your overall appearance. Women who are average in build should be able to wear most every neckline style with equal ease. Large-framed women
should look for necklines that stress a more vertical line. Vee necks, scoop necks, sweetheart necklines, Queen Anne and empire necklines can
all look good. Even portrait necklines can be flattering as long as the neckline dips sufficiently to provide an elongating effect.
Small-framed women should look for necklines that will offer a widening effect. The bateau, Sabrina, portrait, crew neck, vee neck and jewel
necklines will help to make the narrower build appear wider.