From The Straits Times    |

Photo: Showbit

Besides dressing for your body type, or finding a pair of shades that fit your face shape, did you know that there are various types of necklines? And that they suit different kinds of body shapes? Necklines play a pivotal role — they draw attention to your face, create balanced proportions and make or break your overall look, either making you appear elegant and flattering, or sloppy and messy.

From the round neck to cowl neck, we bring you through 12 different kinds of necklines you need to be aware of and how to choose which ones will make you look best.


1. Round/crew/jewel

The most common neckline in the market, and usually found on items such as t-shirts and tops, this classic design is great for people who are less busty (the scoop emphasises the area), have a slender neck (it accentuates this) and have wider shoulders. Pieces with a round neck have the tendency to frame the face, so people who are conscious of their facial size might want to give this a miss.


2. One-shoulder/Asymmetric

As the name suggests, this neckline bears one of your shoulders, sometimes cutting below your shoulder or collarbone. This is best for those who want to showcase the bust area, or for people who have narrow shoulders. The cut gives one’s shoulders a broader look.


3. V-Neck

Another obvious one, V-necklines are shaped like the letter V and go down towards the chest area, accentuating the cleavage. There are two versions: A subtle one that ends mid-breast, and a plunging alternative that extends below the boobs.

Tip: V-necklines are generally flattering for people with wider shoulders and torsos, because they help balance out broad shoulders and thick torsos. They also help to lengthen shorter necks as they direct the eyes towards the centre of the body. Those who are smaller busted should stay on the high side, while those with larger chests can go for deeper Vs. If you’re going for the plunge, ensure that they don’t make your breasts look sagged.


4. Off-Shoulder

This Bardot style draws the eye up and makes your collarbone and shoulders pop. It’s romantic, flirty and feminine, although it isn’t so great for people who have broad shoulders. This is better suited for those who are petite and athletic, and who have a small to medium bust. It also helps to balance out a pear-shaped body type.



5. Boat/Bateau

Nautical inspired, the boat neckline can be thought of as a wider version of a round neck and extends just below the collarbone. Great for making narrow shoulders look broad, the bateau can also help balance a thicker waist or hip and a smaller chest area.





6. Halterneck

Halternecks are easily identified by the straps that wrap around the base of the neck. Such tops expose the shoulders and parts of the décolletage, making them perfectly suited for those who have an hourglass figure and toned arms and shoulders. However, those with apple shape body type should avoid them as they will make you look even more full-figured.


7. Halter Strap

Unlike halternecks, which have straps that wrap around the neck and cover the chest, halter straps go behind the neck and exposes the cleavage while keeping the shoulders exposed.


8. Sweetheart

A favourite amongst brides, the sweetheart neckline is much like the shape of a heart, with a dip in the middle of your bust and rounding upwards towards the shoulders. This silhouette is great for showing off your collarbone and creates a longer, leaner effect by elongating the neck and chest area. It also adds balance to the overall silhouette.

The square neckline is similar — less the dip, but equally flattering and a touch more retro.


9. High

People with longer necks would look great in high and turtlenecks because it frames the face while hiding the length. Similarly, a person with a longer face would find this style flattering.


10. Strapless/Tube

Whether it is held on with a fitted bodice or elasticated bands, tube tops and strapless dresses highlights your entire upper body area, allowing you to flaunt your shoulders and décolleté. People with wider shoulders might not like this silhouette, while bigger chested girls will need a strapless bra with strong support to avoid any mishaps. Great for those with narrow shoulders and slim toned arms.


11. Cowl

Cowl necks can be distinguished by their draped fabric around the neck, and can be as tight as a round neck or as loose as a V-neck. People with a larger bust should opt for the former to prevent too much weight at the chest. Those with a smaller bust can opt for thicker folds to add depth to your silhouette. However, if you have a bigger facial structure, a tighter drape can risk over-emphasising the face much like a round neck.


12. Collared

Collared necklines have two different silhouettes. When fully buttoned, the silhouette is similar to that of a round neck. When unbuttoned, the exposure of the décolleté and cleavage will make it vary between a shallow to plunge V-neck.