23 Boat Neck Wedding Dresses for an Undeniably Classic Look

This neckline is timeless for a reason.
Simple long sleeve bodice with lace A-line skirt
Anna Hecht - The Knot Contributor.
by
Anna Hecht
Anna Hecht - The Knot Contributor.
Anna Hecht
The Knot Contributor
  • As a freelancer, Anna writes articles for The Knot Worldwide.
  • A former New Yorker, Anna now lives in Stockholm, Sweden, where she is the Deputy Managing Editor at a wellness startup.
  • In addition to writing for The Knot Worldwide, Anna has worked as an editor at CNN, a reporter for CNBC Make It, and has freelanced for many other well-established online publications.
Updated Feb 03, 2022
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The boat neck wedding dress is undoubtedly one of the most sophisticated, timeless necklines of them all. Also called the bateau neckline ('bateau' is French for 'boat'), a boat neckline looks instantly elegant on any bridal dress silhouette. It sits high on the chest, with a wide opening to skim your collarbones and the tops of your shoulders. The boat neckline was extremely popular throughout the '40s, '50s and '60s, so we especially love it if you're into a demure, retro-inspired look. Boat necklines are often paired with streamlined satin wedding dresses, tea-length styles, cap sleeves and ball gown silhouettes.

In this roundup, we're sharing our favorite boat neck wedding dresses from recent bridal runway collections, including chiffon wedding dresses, regal ball gowns, A-line wedding dresses and more. Keep reading to see the bateau neckline styles we love (and think you will too).

Galia Lahav Ivy Gown

Simple long sleeve gown with keyhole back

A sexy take on the backless dress trend, this chic, minimalist long-sleeve gown features a keyhole opening on the back. We're big fans of how simple it is—you'll love this boat neck wedding dress if you're into sleek, understated style.

Morilee Cecilia Wedding Dress

Illusion neckline with tulle floral lace overlay

You'll look like a vision in this tulle wedding dress, which features a bateau neckline, short sleeves, sequins, scoop back and a sheer train. The dress is available in two colors and can be made up to size 28.

BHLDN Tadashi Shoji Maven Gown

Minimalist long gown with open back

A romantic dress for the minimalist bride, the Tadashi Shoji Maven gown features a clean silhouette, a chic open back for a bit of sex appeal and a sensible sweep train. As an added plus, this versatile dress can easily be paired with whatever accessories you desire—or no accessories at all if you're going for an ultra-streamlined look.

Justin Alexander Signature Leanne Long Sleeve Ball Gown with Organza Jacquard Skirt

Simple long sleeve bodice with lace A-line skirt

Dream of wearing a ball gown on your big day? Look no further than this beautiful long-sleeve number. While conservative in the front, it features a low V-back and an oversized bow.

Little White Dress by Amsale Satin One-Sleeve Dress

Silk draped bodice with one long sleeve and tea length skirt

This stunning one-sleeve number is the perfect tea-length dress for the modern bride. The skirt flows beautifully as you walk (and dance!), while its interesting design draws the eye and feels effortless at the same time.

Atelier Pronovias Ferri Dress

Long sleeve gown with padded shoulders, high slit and keyhole opening

Go for Old Hollywood glamour in this long-sleeve mermaid gown complete with a cutout bodice and high slit. The bold, padded shoulders are accented with pearl beading, giving the clean style a hint of shimmer. After your wedding day, Pronovias will alter the gown free of charge to transform it into an easily re-wearable style you'll use again and again.

Essense of Australia Lace A-Line Wedding Dress with Long Sleeves

Illusion neckline and long sleeves with tulle floral applique

Embrace timeless, romantic style in this A-line wedding dress. Allover floral appliqué adorns the tulle ball gown skirt, while the low V-back adds a touch of sexy elegance.

BHLDN Lucia Gown

Sleeveless beaded floral dress

This gorgeous boat neck wedding dress is equal parts boho and sophisticated. It's intricately accented with beading, sequins and bold floral embroidery. You'll love the U-shaped back and chapel train, which add a bit of drama to this design.

Rime Arodaky Suki Dress

Maxi dress with draped back, long sleeves and tulle train

Subtle details like floral embroidered cuffs, a removable tulle train and a scoop cowl back take this simple crepe wedding dress to the next level. It's a stunning pick if you're going for a fashion-forward look.

Oleg Cassini Lace Illusion Long Sleeve Plus Size Wedding Dress

Illusion neckline and long sleeves with floral sequin design and tulle skirt

Make a major statement in this plus-size ball gown with a flattering corset-style bodice and long sleeves. You'll love how perfectly bridal you'll feel with the chapel train trailing behind you during your ceremony. The illusion mesh is available in four colors to match a range of skin tones.

Houghton Cheyne Dress

Long sleeve crepe column dress

You can't go wrong with this long-sleeve wedding dress. The silk crepe column gown has an open back to offset the coverage on the front of the design.

Anne Barge Eames Dress

Floral beaded illusion long sleeve bodice with A-line tulle skirt

If you can't decide whether to go strapless or wear sleeves on your special day, this boat neck wedding dress gives you the best of both worlds. It combines a sheer bateau neckline with delicate embroidery and a corset bodice beneath.

Justin Alexander Signature Gillespie Crepe Fit and Flare Gown with Long Sleeves and Illusion Back

Illusion floral lace long sleeves with fit and flare skirt

For a wedding dress that will most definitely turn heads, you'll love this beautiful boat neckline number. We're absolutely swooning over its fit-and-flare silhouette, deep V-back and beautiful beaded lace appliqué.

Michelle Roth Rylee Illusion Long Sleeve A-Line Wedding Dress with Beaded Lace

Illusion long sleeves with A-line skirt and beaded lace

Perfect for a winter wedding, this gown by Michelle Roth offers a bit of sparkle while still looking supremely sophisticated. The illusion bateau neckline is finished with ivory beaded lace to show a hint of skin while still providing coverage.

Marchesa Octavia Dress

Long sleeve fit and flare dress with grid beading pattern

With long sleeves, an illusion lace bodice and eye-catching grid beading, this unique boat neck wedding dress is an instant showstopper. The allover appliqué adds vintage bohemian flare and elegance to your look.

Amsale LW148 Faille Bateau Neck Dress

Sleeveless boat neckline knee length dress

Perfect for a courthouse wedding, elopement, reception change or rehearsal dinner, this knee-length style from Amsale's Little White Dress collection is classy and timeless. For an extra-flattering fit, this sleeveless dress has a sash across the middle to enhance your natural waistline.

Jenny by Jenny Yoo Ivette Dress

Crepe gown with fit and flare skirt and scoop back

Modern and minimalistic, this boat neck wedding dress is versatile enough for nearly any season, style or venue. The simple matte crepe gown features a low scoop back, gorgeous fit-and-flare skirt and a chapel train for just enough wow factor.

Anne Barge Manhattan Dress

Long sleeve gown with cowl back

Three cheers for this dress that perfectly combines drama and sophistication. The front is chic and streamlined, while the back features a plunging draped cowl and a long row of buttons down the skirt to match the buttoned sleeve cuffs.

Justin Alexander Signature Lace Mini Dress with Sabrina Neckline and Puff Sleeves

Lace fitted mini dress with long sleeves

For the bride who loves to have fun, we recommend this short lace dress. With hand-placed Venice lace appliqué and laser-cut chiffon appliqué, you'll love how every detail of this design adds to its overall look.

Lela Rose The Lounge Dress

Illusion floral lace long sleeves and side cutouts

Can't decide between a minimalist crepe wedding dress or a romantic lace style? This design gives you both. The lace creates a cutout effect along the sides, enhancing an hourglass shape, with a full sheer lace back and long sleeves.

Sareh Nouri Heaven on Earth Dress

Long sleeve silk A-line gown

Channel your inner royal princess in this boat neck wedding dress made from Italian stretch Mikado silk. The fabric gives the ball gown a beautiful pearlescent sheen, while three-quarter sleeves, a scoop back and delicate bow detail complete the demure aesthetic.

Casablanca Bridal Style 2284 Petunia Gown

Sleeveless illusion neckline with fit and flare skirt

Made from romantic satin, this bridal gown has princess seams down the front to elongate and flatter all body types, with a court train for a bit of drama. Additionally, it features an illusion neckline that connects to an intricately beaded scoop back. The best part? It's available in four different colors, so you can choose the one that best suits your complexion.

Lulus Bridal I Take Thee Forever White Lace Long Sleeve Mermaid Maxi Dress

Lace long sleeves and neckline and fitted skirt

Looking for an affordable, elegant dress in a pinch? With long sleeves, an illusion bateau neckline and fitted skirt, you may have met your match with this style. This lace wedding dress provides plenty of coverage in the front and has an unexpected keyhole opening at the back.

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