Did you ever wonder how to find the most flattering neckline for your body?
As I’ve been paying more attention to the clothes that I feel good in (and those that I don’t) I’m realizing that finding the right neckline for my body is critical.
I’ve known for a long time that I don’t look good in tight crewnecks or turtlenecks. V-neck and scoop-neck tops are better for me, but not even those are created equal. I prefer a wider/deeper neckline to a narrow one, and I definitely can’t do a super deep V.
What makes a wide V-neck or wide scoop neck top flattering on my body? And more importantly, how do you find the most flattering neckline for your body?
Houston stylist and fashion show producer Todd Ramos says this: “Often when an outfit doesn’t work, it’s because of the neckline.” [source] So this topic is definitely worth exploring.
While I’ve figured out what works for me, and I think I have a pretty good idea why, I did some research so I can share what works for other body types as well. There are actually a few factors to consider when trying to find the right neckline for you.
How To Find the Most Flattering Neckline For Your Body
#1. Facial Shape.
I have a long, narrow face, so a wider neckline helps offset the narrowness of my face, whereas a deep V can make it appear longer. If you have a round face or square-shaped face, a deeper V-neckline will help elongate your face. Oval face shapes aren’t limited by much of anything, but read on because there are other factors to consider.
I have a short neck, so crewneck tops and shorter V-necklines accentuate that.
A wider, deeper neckline increases the amount of exposed skin, which extends the line of my neck, making me appear slimmer and taller.
I think this is why I don’t like layering sweaters over button-down shirts. All that bulk in the neck area does me no favors.
If you have a longer neck, you can get away with crewnecks and turtlenecks as well as boat necklines.
I have broad shoulders, so a tighter, narrower neckline will make my shoulders appear even broader. A wider neckline helps compensate for the width of my shoulders and looks more natural. Plus, showing your collar bones is always flattering.
If you have narrow shoulders, the same rules apply, but in the inverse. A crewneck or turtleneck will help your shoulders appear wider. You can also wear deeper V-necklines and scoop neck tops, whereas I prefer a wider neckline.
Incidentally, a square neckline also helps elongate a short neck and narrow shoulders, but if you have a square-shaped face, you may want to avoid this neckline.
Turtlenecks look best on people with longer faces, thin necks, and narrow shoulders. A smaller chest also helps. Which brings me to #4.
Mother nature was quite generous with me in this area, ahem. I have to be careful that my necklines aren’t too low or they will be revealing, but if they are too high, “the girls” tend to look saggy.
If you are smaller chested, you have a lot more flexibility with necklines. You can certainly rock a V-neck of scoop neck top, but you are also free to wear crewnecks and turtlenecks.
See #4. If you have a thick or short torso, a more open neckline helps detract from the thickness of your waist and draws the eye upwards towards your face.
Yes, even hips play into this. If you’re a pear shape, a ballet or boat neckline will help offset the appearance of wide hips since it follows the curve of the collarbone.
If you have narrow hips and you’re bigger on top, you may want a deeper, narrower neckline to help elongate the upper body.
I didn’t address other necklines, like strapless and halter and heart-shaped necklines. Here are a few rules of thumb to guide you.
- Halters cut broad shoulder lines up and add curves.
- Heart-shaped necklines are generally recommended for curvy women with larger chests because it gives coverage while still enhancing our shape.
- Strapless dresses and tops usually look best on women with smaller chests and narrow shoulders.
- Off-shoulders cut the figure horizontally, and are recommended for women with larger busts as well as for women with narrow shoulders. Because I have broad shoulders, I generally steer clear of this style.
At the end of the day, figuring out the best necklines for your body may take some trial and error. We all have different combinations of features, so each woman has to figure out what works best for her.
When I saw a picture of myself in this top is when I had my epiphany. I’ve been paying close attention to my necklines ever since.
From now on, when buying tops and dresses, I’m trying to find necklines that are wider and deeper, but not too wide or too deep. Ha! It’s a balancing act.
That isn’t to say that I’ll never wear another crewneck, but the ones that made the cut and stayed in my closet are the ones that are slightly wider and deeper than a traditional crewneck. I also like to compensate for a higher neckline by wearing a long necklace.
Turtlenecks are not my friends either, but I do still wear them on occasion because they’re so cozy and warm. I try to choose ones that I can pull down to show SOME of my neck, but the better alternative is a cowl neck because it creates a vertical line that elongates the body. A mock neck is another good option for those of us with shorter necks.
So how about you?? What’s the most flattering neckline for you?
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