Neckline Styles (3)
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.
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.
For our purposes here, we will be considering breast size as well as shoulder width. Women with moderately-sized bosoms and average shoulder width should be comfortable with any of the listed neckline styles. A woman who has a small bust and narrow shoulders should consider choices like the bateau, Sabrina and portrait necklines, as well as the sweetheart and Queen Anne styles. Broad-shouldered and big-busted women should choose styles like the empire, Queen Anne and lower-cut portrait necklines as well as scoop neck, cowl neck and vee neck style.
Treat each of these facets of your appearance separately, and look at the suggestions indicated for each and write them down. The neckline styles that appear most often on your list are the ones you should focus on. Just remember that there are variations on each and every style listed that could make a choice not normally recommended more acceptable. If you keep in mind the theme of "balance", you'll find yourself making good decisions.
As a bonus in our discussion of neckline styles, I want to offer you a little extra tip concerning jewelry - namely necklaces. Accessories are important to the overall appearance of your look and many women make the mistake of wearing the wrong jewelry with a certain neckline style. I, personally, have seen countless women wearing pendant necklaces with low cut dresses only to have the jewelry get lost in their cleavage. You wear jewelry because you want to show it off, and if it can't be seen, it's a wasted effort.
As a handy rule of thumb, use your thumb. Any necklace you wear should hang at least one thumb's length above or one thumb's length below the neckline of your dress or blouse. If you keep this in mind, you'll find you have more people admiring your favorite jewelry instead of trying to figure out where it went.
Your face shape and necklines