Your Face Shape and Necklines

Woman who is wearing a turtleneck
Necklines… Looking the Best You Can
Most people understand that the right haircut can accentuate the shape of the face and create the best-balanced look for anyone. However, did you know that there are certain necklines that are better suited to different body types and face shapes? It’s true. The more familiar you are with these styles, the better able you will be to select looks that flatter and suit your particular needs.
The face shapes and the types of collar that best suit can be easily explained. Once you get the basic idea that the goal is to create an illusion of a more oval shaped face, you will be ready to choose the right look in any situation. Let’s break things down by face shape:
The Round Face
The round face needs something to elongate the vertical focus. Often, round faces come packaged in bodies that are also heavier-set and rounded. Therefore, you want to choose collars that are deeper than they are wide. These include v-necks, shirt/blouse collars, Queen Anne necklines and Empire necklines. You can even reinforce the appearance of the elongated neckline by combining looks such as the shirt collar look with a jacket, making a very deep “V” shape to make a stronger vertical line.
The Long Face
The Long Face has the opposite need of the Round Face. Those with long faces need to create a horizontal focus for the eye to follow, thus making the face appear wider and more oval. This can be accomplished using necklines that are shallower, and which do not generate such a downward focus. Long faced individuals are often tall and thin, which further reinforces the need to add some balancing width. This width can easily be created by wearing such neck styles as the Sabrina, Bateau, Portrait and Cowl Neck.
necklines for a round face necklines for a long face necklines for an angular face
(Click to enlarge)
The Angular Face
The angular face presents a case where the shape of the face needs its balance created by reinforcing “curved lines”. These can come in a variety of neckline styles, such as the Scoop Neck, Sabrina, Sweetheart and Cowl Neck styles. These provide both sweeping curves as well as a softer line of focus for the eye which can help to balance the sharp features of the Angular face shape.
The In-Betweens
There are, of course, other face shapes that we deal with when we look to cut the hair into varying styles. However, for the purpose of selecting neckline styles, these other face shapes fall into the above categories. For example, the triangle, inverted triangle and diamond shape face all fall under the Angular Face category, as do those individuals with a Square Face.
Those persons whose face shapes fall into the Rectangular category, can work from the groups of suggestions for both angular faces and long faces, and should try for a balance. They will want to focus on those styles that are both rounded and wider.
The Universal Looks
Those persons with an Oval face shape, in much the same way they approach hairstyles, can basically wear most any neckline style with ease. There are also certain looks that these individuals can pull off that others may need to avoid. These are styles such as halter tops, tube tops, and crew neck style shirts and sweaters.
The exceptions to this come when the individual has other factors that should be considered. For example, a person with an oval shaped face, but a heavier body shape should keep in mind that certain neckline styles are more suited to flattering their figure (V-necks, shirt collar styles, etc.) while others will only emphasize their girth (boat necks, Sabrina necklines, Portrait necklines, etc.).
The bottom line is simple: Aim for a balance in your look. The principles of design that apply to choosing and creating a flattering hairstyle (balance, proportion, and line) translate well into other areas of style. All it takes is a little consideration of the available options on your part to establish the best way to achieve the look you desire. So the next time you decide to go shopping, take a few minutes to look at your face and body and keep these in mind as you look at the latest and trendiest items in the shop. When you keep your focus on making sure the look is balanced, you’ll make certain that it flatters as well.
Model Woodpencil/Shutterstock
See also:
Neckline styles
Turtleneck or plunging neckline?