The neckline on your wedding dress is a very important feature – it can really change the shape of the dress and accentuate your shape. When choosing a wedding dress, make sure to think carefully about the type of neckline you choose.
There is a lot of variety in wedding dresses and their necklines, and be advised that not all of them will look equally good on you. So which types of wedding dress necklines are the best? It depends on your bone structure and the shape of your face, neck, and shoulders.
Types of Necklines for Wedding Dresses
This is really just a bodice with no staps – hence the name! It’s a gorgeous neckline and very popular. However, it’s a difficult style to wear if you have big boobs but with really great underwear and a good seamstress you can get away with it. The only downside to a strapless neckline is that you have to have perfect, flawless skin as it’s showing off a lot of flesh.
2. Spaghetti Straps
This neckline is really pretty and delicate, almost a strapless style except for very thin straps. This is a great neckline for a simple dress style and good for a beach or casual wedding. Not so great if you have a big bust, wide shoulders and big arms.
The halter neckline is effortlessly chic. It’s a usually a square neckline with straps that secure around the neck rather than over the shoulders and sometimes is backless. It’s a good neckline for an athletic figure and if you have small or medium boobs. Beware of this style if you have a large bust or have broad shoulders and big arms.
This neckline sits below or just on the shoulders, with very short cap-like sleeves that cover part of the upper arm. This is a beautiful, refined neckline and great for pearshapes as it balances out your silhouette. If you have wide shoulders this is a style that should be avoided as it’ll make you look broader.
A low-cut neckline shaped like the top half of a heart, it can be sleeveless or with straps or sleeves. Because of its romantic symbolism and its suggestion of innocence and joy, the sweetheart neckline is an extremely popular choice for weddings.
Square necklines have gained popularity in recent years. Their geometric shape – three lines at right angles that form a square – is a modern and flattering alternative to traditional necklines. Square necks look especially good on brides with rounded facial shapes. They will emphasize a hefty build or broad shoulders, so be careful with the square neckline if that’s your body type.
The U-shaped scoop neck varies in depth, from conservative to scandalous, but one that falls no more than 6 inches below the collarbone generally covers the garments. The rounded shape of the scoop neckline can be used to balance out a more linear or angular face. Full-figured brides or brides with wide faces look great in scoop necks, but brides with long necks or thin faces should avoid them.
8. Bateau (Boat)
This wide-necked shape follows the curve of the collarbone, almost to the tip of the shoulders. The Sabrina version - made popular by actress Audrey Hepburn - is sleeveless and has a slightly squarer shape. This is a good style if you have small boobs but not so flattering if you have a large bust.
V-necks are classic necklines and look good on almost anyone. It is a a great choice if you want to minimize a big bust, the V-neck style also elongates the neck and highlights the décolleté.
10. High collar
A band-style collar that covers the neck. It’s a style that’s also called Mandarin that’s taken from traditional Asian dress. Some Mandarin collars have a little cut out V or a slight overlap of fabric at the front. If you have a small bust this is a great neckline for you and works well with an updo hairstyle.
Jewel necks are circular and fit fairly tightly around the neck. The jewel neck hugs the neck fairly closely, they work best for slender necks and should be avoided by brides with wide necks or broad shoulders.
A gorgeous classic wedding dress neckline, the portrait neckline really shows off a beautiful décolletage, neck and face. It’s a wide neckline that scoops from shoulder to shoulder and is good for making small or broad shoulders more in balance with the rest of your shape. Characterised by a wide, soft scoop from shoulder to shoulder.
13. One-Shoulder Neckline
The one-shoulder neckline is an asymmetrical design element, featuring a strap on one side of the gown, and a strapless neckline on the other; creates visual interest, as well as offering the added support of a strap.
14. Surplice Neckline
Similar to a bathrobe, the surplice neckline forms a V shape with one side overlapping the other. A surplice wedding dress with frog closures lining the overlapping hem looks very exotic. The surplice neckline balances round facial features and adds length to the face and neck. It is a very popular neckline for women’s formalwear, and it’s easy to find surplice bridesmaids’ dresses to complement the bride’s gown.
15. Cowl Neck
The cowl neck features loosely draped fabric, forming something of a turnover effect (not the pastry), creating a swinging, unstructured appearance, like that of a softly draped scarf worn around the neck.
16. The Keyhole Neckline
The keyhole design can be seen in the neckline, or the back of dresses, and can be a revealing style, or may show very little skin.
How to Choose a Flattering Wedding Dress Neckline
In the end, you want to choose a neckline that flatters your face and build. Aim for balance: rounded faces should choose angular necklines, and angular faces should choose rounded necklines. Broad-shouldered and full-figured brides should choose vertical lines over horizontal ones. Narrow faces or long, thin necks are emphasized by vertical lines and need horizontal ones to balance them out.
By thinking about balance in your choice of a neckline, you’ll be able to instinctively choose one that flatters your particular body type and the shape of your neck and face.