Just like apparel type, color, and pattern choices can accentuate favorable body parts, the choice in neckline can be used to deemphasize (or emphasize) various body parts. Here’s how to choose the right neckline for your body type and shape of body parts. Note: Check out our complete encyclopedia of necklines here.
Choosing a neckline based on your body type
Pear body shape
Those with the common pear body shape (hip measurement is greater than your bust measurement) will desire to make the bottom look slenderer while adding the appearance of width to your top. To accomplish this, look for tops with collars and high necklines such as bateau, off-the-shoulder, jewel, portrait, square, and boat neck necklines. Crew necks work especially well for small to medium size busts and long necks because they tend to draw the eyes to the face and shoulders.
Heart body shapeHeart shaped body types (bust measurement is greater than your hips) will opt to make the top look slenderer to balance things out. Tops with vertical lines and collars that elongate the top will be desirable. Shoot for V-neck, wrap tops, raglan, and collared button-down necklines. Avoid bateau, strapless, and spaghetti-strap tops.
Box body shapeEvenly proportioned box body shapes (bust, waist, and hip measurements are all very close to the same) will want to add more shape to create a more curved silhouette while adding an indentation for the waist. You can add more shape with shirts that fit around the waist and necklines such as rounded scoop necks, peter pan collars, and wrapped blouses. Scoop necks in particular draw the eyes downward and lengthen the neck and work well for those with shorter necks.
Hourglass body shapeHourglass body shapes (bust and hip measurements are about the same but waist is much smaller) have a wide variety of choices. All necklines look good on hourglass figures so focus on how your clothing fits instead (not too loose and not too tight). Halter necklines work well for hourglass figures with medium to full busts.
Choosing a neckline based on attributes of individual body parts
Wider necklines offset the narrowness of a long face while a V-neck can make it appear even longer. Turtlenecks work great for long faces and thin necklines. Scoop necks also work great for long faces. Round or square faces can be made to appear longer with V-necks or square necklines.
Neck shapeScoop necks, sweetheart necks, square, and V-necks accentuate shorter necks by elongating the upper body. For those with thicker necks, a wider, deeper neckline extends the line of the neck making it appear slimmer. For those with long necks, crew necklines (common with T-Shirts) can help shorten the neck but strapless necklines look great too.
Shoulder shapeNarrow shoulders benefit from necklines such as off-the shoulder necklines that make the shoulder appear wider. A square neckline can also widen narrow shoulders and can balance a fuller midsection. Broader shoulders can benefit from a wider neckline by drawing attention to the collarbone. Halter necklines also work good for those with wide shoulders.
Smaller chests can pull off crew necks, V-necks, and scoop neck tops. Turtlenecks also work because small chested women benefit from a higher neckline. For those with larger busts, necklines that are too high make the breasts look saggy while necklines that are too low expose too much skin. V-necks strike the perfect balance.