Style Decision – Neckline
Being aware of the names and types of necklines that are available on a wedding dress will be a massive help to you when it comes to searching for that perfect dress. Working out the necklines you like and don’t like will enable you to quickly home in on the types of dress you are really interested in and will also be a great help to the shop assistant if they are finding dresses for you to try on.
One of the most popular types of neckline on wedding dresses is called the Sweetheart neckline. This refers to when the neckline is just above the bust and follows the shape of the top of a love heart. The dip in the middle of the neckline can be of varying depths, from a very soft dip (simply known as ‘Dipped’) to a much stronger cut, and this will flatter different bust sizes. This neckline is most frequently found on strapless gowns.
A Straight Strapless neckline is a neckline that follows along the top of the bust, just as the Sweetheart neckline does, but in a simple horizontal line with no curve or dip.
A Scalloped neckline is often similar to the Straight Strapless, in that the main dress will usually follow horizontally above the bust. The main difference with the Scalloped neckline is that there will be some detailing over the top of the main neckline, such as pleats, shell shapes or fan detailing.
The neckline of a one shouldered dress follows the angle of the opposite collar bone, from the bust line to the opposing shoulder. Curving gently around the neck, this design is often found on ‘Grecian’ style dresses with gathered chiffon as the strap.
A Halter Neck neckline is when the straps of a dress join up behind the neck, rather than at the back of the dress. The front neckline becomes a triangle shape as the two straps make up the two diagonal sides and the top of the dress becomes the bottom line of the triangle.
A Square neckline lies horizontally just above the bust, where it joins the straps or sleeves at a 90 degree angle, creating 3 sides of a square.
A V Neck neckline follows from round the back of the neck, in a diagonally straight line to meet in the middle of the bust, creating a ‘V’ shape. The depth of the ‘V’ shape is variable, and can end above or below the bust.
A Scooped neckline is the same as V Neck, except that the shape created is a ‘U’. This is made by curving the neckline as it comes down either side of the neck.
The Cowl neckline is a similar shape to the V Neck or the Scoop neck, with one major difference – there is excess fabric draping loosely around the neckline. It falls just below the collar bone and is often made out of a light satin or silk.
A High neckline simply means that the fabric goes higher up the neck. It may follow a similar shape to a t-shirt neckline (often known as a ‘Jewel’ neckline) or even have some sort of collar, such as a Swan-neck or Mandarin collar.
An Illusion neckline has a straight across or sweetheart neckline above the bust with a sheer fabric or a light lace fabric continuing up to the neck following a high (often ‘Jewel’) neckline.
A Queen Anne neckline has a Scoop, Sweetheart or V Neck line above the centre of the bust, but just before it reaches the shoulders, thick sleeves (almost cap sleeves) come up diagonally towards the back of the neck, forming into a small collar.
A Bateau or Boat neckline starts from the point where the collarbone meets the shoulder, following the collar bone around the neck and meeting at the same point on the other shoulder.
Portrait necklines involve the sleeves lying at the very tip of shoulders. It follows from shoulder point to shoulder point creating a high but wide neckline.
OFF THE SHOULDER
The Off the Shoulder neckline is similar to the Portrait neckline in that a wide neckline is created through the position of the sleeves on the shoulder. However, the difference between the two necklines is the exact point at which the sleeves start. The sleeves on the Off the Shoulder neckline start below the shoulder point, while the sleeves on the Portrait neckline are higher up on the shoulder point. The Off the Shoulder neckline also follows down to the bust line, exposing the collar bone and the shoulders.
To see more dresses with a variety of necklines from a range of designers, click here.