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Framing Your Face with the Proper Neckline

Choosing the right neckline for your wedding gown is like selecting the proper frame for a painting. The correct frame will flatter and enhance the composition, while the wrong one can detract from an otherwise beautiful portrait or landscape.

Likewise, when you are selecting the neckline that’s right for your gown, choose one that will frame your face and upper body so that you can show off your best assets (and possibly jewelry) to your greatest advantage.


Flattering For

Broad or well-defined shoulders and thin upper arms

Unflattering For

Thin shoulders and heavy upper arms

The halter has straps that are attached behind the neck or fabric which wraps around the neck. The back is exposed from a bra-height across the back or plunges to the waist. Looks best when worn without a necklace. Hair can be worn short or in an upsweep t,o play up this neckline.

High Neck

Flattering For

Broad, athletic or well-defined shoulders and trim upper arms

Unflattering For

Thin shoulders, heavy upper arms or double-chins

Similar to a mock turtleneck with deep armholes and a covered back. These necklines are often beaded and will replace the need for a necklace. Short hair and upswept styles are most flattering with this cut.


Flattering For

Conservative brides; small-breasted women to enhance their bustline

Unflattering For

Well-endowed women because it makes them look bustier. Not great for women with a double-chin since it focuses on your face and neckline.

If you’re happiest wearing a t-shirt or shell with a round collar, this neckline will be one you’ll love. Great for showing off a choker, simple necklace, or set of pearls. This neckline also offers the most coverage.

Off the Shoulder

Flattering For

Most women, but particularly for well-endowed or pear-shaped brides

Unflattering For

Full upper arms or wide shoulders and/or a badly defined collarbone

The fabric of your dress sits below your shoulders and comes across the upper arm. It will show off a sexy and feminine collarbone. It’s a lovely way to highlight a necklace as well or go bare and wear larger or drop earrings.


Flattering For

Full arms and distinct collarbones

Unflattering For

Non-distinct collarbones

This style of the neckline was very popular for photographic portraits in the 1950s and early 1960s, hence the name. Fabric is draped criss-cross in a deep scoop from shoulder-to-shoulder. A lovely way to show off a necklace or upswept hairstyle.


Flattering For

Perfect for any body type

The most classic of the necklines. It can be worn sleeveless or with any length of the sleeve. The back can be cut high or down to the waist. Great for showing off necklaces.


(sometimes called a bateau)

Flattering For

Giving the illusion of larger breasts

Unflattering For

Amply endowed women

This style looks best without sleeves. It’s a cross between an off-the-shoulder gown and one with cap sleeves. The fabric softly drapes across the shoulders and collarbone and rests on the upper arms. Since it’s not cut low, it draws eyes away from smaller breasts.


Flattering For

Medium to large breasts, good shoulders, and defined collarbones

Unflattering For

Small-breasted women who will have difficulty keeping the dress up

Has become the most popular neckline of the last few seasons. Great with an upsweep, short or medium-length hair. Perfect for highlighting a piece of jewelry or a bare neck. Works well with jackets you want to wear during the ceremony but remove for the reception.


Flattering For

Full breasts with deep cleavage and a lovely collarbone or long neck the brides want to accentuate.

Unflattering For

Smaller breasts or no cleavage

As its name implies, it resembles the lower half of a Valentine. This neckline can be constructed into the design of the dress or from a fabric overlay.


Flattering For

Mid-sized breasts (B or C cup)

Unflattering For

Small (A cup) or larger (D or higher cup)

As the name states, the neckline dives into a deep “V” shape, therefore either detracting or causing focus on breast size. Lovely for showing off a drop necklace.

For best results, try several styles to determine which is right for you. It’s also helpful to bring the style of necklace you plan to wear (especially if it’s a vintage or borrowed piece) and put your hair in the general style you’d like to wear that day.

About the author: Richard L Woodard works as a writer for a service where you can ask to write my essay online. He is fond of taking photos. In this case, Richard dreams of visiting as many countries as possible in order to take a lot of photos and take part in the exhibition to present his works to others.