Wedding Dress Necklines Glossary
Sweetheart. Sabrina. Strapless. The right neckline can make the difference between a wedding gown that flatters and one that falters. Below, we help you decipher the different styles.
Just like the name implies, this neckline sits below the shoulders to showcase a woman's collarbone and shoulders, with sleeves that cover part of the upper arm. While this style is superflattering to medium- or full-chested women, an off-the-shoulder neckline will look good on almost all figures. But if you've got fuller arms and are uncomfortable with baring your shoulders, you may wan to consider a portrait neckline instead.
Good for: Full-chested and pear-shaped women
Bad for: Broad shoulders, fuller arms
Similar to an off-the-shoulder style but made with more fabric, the portrait neckline is characterized by a wide, soft scoop from the tip of one shoulder to the tip of the other.
Good for: Fuller arms and prominent collarbones
Bad for: Undefined collarbones
The sweetheart neckline -- which is actually shaped like the top half of a heart -- is a wonderful option for fuller-chested women because it really accentuates the decolletage. The sweetheart is often done with an overlay of sheer material that rises higher than the heart shape, giving the torso a longer line and also making the neck look longer.
Good for: Serious decolletage
Bad for: The decolletage-impaired
This shape gently follows the curve of the collarbone, almost to the tip of the shoulders -- and it's cut straight across so less of the decolletage shows. It can be paired with sleeves or a sleeveless style.
Good for: Small breasts
Bad for: The well-endowed
The halter features straps that wrap around the back of the neck, or a high neck with deep armholes. Both look best on broad shoulders or taller women -- 5'7" and up.
Good for: Broad shoulders
Bad for: Narrow shoudlers
The scoop, a U-shaped neckline, is a universally flattering classic. It can be cut low, and quite often the scoop will continue on the back of the dress.
Good for: Just about anyone
Also known as the T-shirt neckline, due to it's similarity to an actual T-shirt, the jewel neckline is round and sits at the base of the throat.
Good for: Small-chested woman (it will make you look bustier)
Bad for: Large-chested women (it will make you look bustier too)
The name says it all: The neckline dips down in the front (and sometimes in the back as well) in a V-shape, de-emphasizing the bustline.
Good for: B or C cups
Bad for: Anyone bigger or smaller
The strapless neckline is a popular choice with busty brides, and it looks wonderful when paired with either a sweetheart or straight-across square bodice.
Good for: Great shoulders and collarbones
Bad for: Smaller-chested women