Most of us, let’s be honest, have a knowledge of necklines that stretches as far as a V-neck t-shirt. Since we don’t shop for ball gowns or wedding dresses very often, you may be a little stumped when it comes to figuring out which style suits you better.

Luckily for you, we spend all our time matching up necklines to flatter all of our brides’ figures, so we thought we’d put together a handy little checklist so that you can swot up on your sartorial vocabulary!

Strapless Neck

Probably the most popular style in the bridalwear vernacular, strapless dresses are perhaps what spring to mind when envisioning any old wedding dress. This is a go-to choice for those with a strong collarbone and elegant neck. They’re not great for smaller-chested women, but look lovely on bustier brides, especially in a sweetheart bodice to really show off those curves.

Sweetheart Neck

Since we’re on the subject, the sweetheart neckline is so-called as it mimics the round top of a heart, thus accentuating one’s décolletage. It’s pretty sexy. The sweetheart neckline also has the benefit of making your torso and neck look longer, so you too can look like a graceful swan-necked ballerina.


As with t-shirts, this also refers to a plunging V shape which can actually be deployed on the back instead of/as well as the front of your dress. The V-neck detracts from the bustline by drawing the eye down the torso.

Scoop Neck

Not dissimilar from the above, the scoop neck is one letter up in the alphabet, providing a U shape that can be cut pretty low, if you so choose. The scoop neck is flattering for pretty much every size and shape of body, which is why it’s so popular and, again, it can be mirrored on the back of the dress too.

Cowl Neck

This is an extension of the scoop neck but allows the material to be more fluid and ruched. This is a style that’s really popular for a low cut with designers at the moment.

Square Neck

Unsurprisingly, the cut of this neckline is more pronounced, creating an exposed square of chest between shoulder straps. This can look a little boxy on those with smaller torsos.

Halter Neck

This is the one that has a strap (usually from a straight or sweetheart bodice) that reaches up from your armpits around to the back of your neck. Sometimes halter necks also refer to high necklines that have deep armholes, too. As this style creates strong geometric lines, it tends to work best on tall brides with broad shoulders.

Off-the-Shoulder Neck

This one includes a tantalising teaser of the tops of your shoulders and your collarbone, whilst providing arm coverage with full or partial sleeves for at least the upper arms. This one is best avoided if you’ve got broad shoulders as they’ll just appear to go on forever.

Portrait Neck

Imagine a gentle curve being drawn from the top of one shoulder to the other and you’ve got the portrait neckline. It’s a softer, gentler version of the above that provides slightly more coverage for fulsome arms.

Jewel Neck

This one is a round neckline that sits at the base of the throat, a bit like a jewel necklace and not dissimilar to those t-shirts we discussed earlier. Due to the high neckline, this one will make you look bustier so if you’re already well-endowed you won’t love this style.

Bateau Neck

The bateau neckline always reminds of Audrey Hepburn, as it follows the collarbone but is cut straight across in order to provide more coverage. The bateau is a dream for brides with small chests and also has the flexibility of being paired with sleeves or remaining sleeveless.

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