How to Find the Most Flattering Neckline To Dress


The neckline is one of the most overlooked parts of clothing styles that greatly affect how flattering a top or dress will be, regardless of accessories. There are dozens of different necklines that change the way your bust, neck and face areas look. Some women who have a wide neck wouldn’t want to wear something that will make the neck look thicker, nor would a woman with a small face want to create a disproportioned look from top to bottom.

There are 5 key areas that should be considered when choosing a neckline for tops and dresses. To get started, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is my Body Shape? (Apple, Pear, Hourglass…)
  • What size is my Bust? (Small, Average, Large…)
  • What shape is my Face? (Square, Round, Oval…)
  • What kind of Neck do I have? (Long, Short, Wide…)
  • What kind of Shoulders do I have? (Wide, Round, Square…)

Once you have figured out the type of upper body you have, it will be easier to choose the most flattering necklines to make you look great!

Which Necklines Flatter My Shape?

Take a look at this quick breakdown of necklines and which shapes they are best suited for.


Trendy and stylish, an asymmetrical neckline helps draw the eyes up to the bustline and away from a heavier tummy or hip area. It also helps create the illusion of narrow shoulders. Some styles will only have one shoulder (strap of sleeve), and others will have both straps/sleeves but the neckline will be off to one side. An asymmetrical neckline generally does not affect the shape of the face, but it is not recommended for women with a short neck.asymmetrical neckline

Boat Neck

A boat neckline (also known as bateau) is a beautiful modern look that really shows off a slim neck and shoulders. If you have a shorter or thicker neck, this style will only make it look wider. This neckline is also a good choice for women with a larger tummy or bust because it draws the eye up to the neck. Great for pear, hourglass and rectangle body shapes.

boat neckline

Bardot Neck

The bardot neckline is similar to the boat neck, but this style will generally sit just off the shoulders. Since it’s a much more open style, women with a wider neck can easily wear this, and it looks great to accentuate smaller shoulders. This style can work well for women with a larger and smaller bust, and it draws the eye away from the hips and tummy, making it a favorite for pear shapes. Many hourglass women also love this neckline.

Cowl Neck (Draped Neck)

A cowl neck drapes down to the bust and adds some shape and volume to the bustline. Women with a smaller bust and wider hips will benefit from this style. Apple, hourglass and pear body shapes will even out their bodies from top to bottom, while rectangle shapes will add shape to their bust.

cowl neckline

Crew Neck

A crew neck is round and closer up to the neck. They are the most flattering for women with a smaller bust and slender neck. This neckline works well for hourglass, pear, rectangle and some apple body shapes.


The crossover neckline adds great visual interest and texture to the chest, making it a favorite for women with a smaller bust. There are two main crossover styles that work with different body details. A crossover v-neck style is great for most body shapes, but low v-neck styles look best on women with a fuller bust and work well to minimize a thicker neck. A crossover halter neckline is best suited for a smaller bust, slender neck and narrower shoulders.

crossover neckline