We all know how important it is to get the right fit when you are buying clothes, especially if it is a dress for a special occasion or event. But did you realise that one of the most important features of a top or dress is actually the neckline? Some necklines are just perfect for our height, width and ratio whilst others can complete change how we look and not for the better! Of course we can wear whatever we like and whatever makes us feel good, but being more aware of what types of neckline suit us best is an absolute game changer for clothes shopping!
Here I take a closer look and guide you through some of the most popular necklines, giving you an even better shot at choosing the best vintage dress for you.
The boatneck runs straight across the collar bone horizontally. It is traditionally nautical-inspired (hence the name) and was popularised by the Hollywood starlets, namely Audrey Hepburn. This elegant neckline draws the eye out a little, towards the shoulders which means it balances out hips, narrow shoulders and smaller bust sizes. This vintage Fendi Pinstripe Signature Dress is the perfect example of the simple boatneck in all it's glory...
Possibly one of the most famous necklines of all times thanks to Marilyn Monroe! But it certainly wasn't just the blonde bombshell who looked amazing in her halterneck dress. This popular tied neckline draws the eye upwards and inwards and enhances all those killer curves. It is particularly gorgeous on an hourglass figure but also creates a curvier silhouette for a sportier or slimmer torso too. A halterneck is also ideal if you have broad shoulders as it really breaks them up. This is one of our classic vintage inspired halterneck dresses in red polka dots. Perfect with or without a net petticoat.
When it comes to casual clothing like t-shirts and sweatshirts, the crew neck is most definitely the most common so it is very likely you already own a few of these! Crew neck dresses are often found in 50s and 60s fashion too, but they aren't usually a friend of bigger buster gals! The crew neck is a simple round shape cut close to the neck which decreases the amount of skin shown between the chin and chest. This can create the illusion of a shorter neck and bigger chest so in dresses particularly is better for smaller bust sizes. This beautiful 60s shift dress is the perfect example of a close cut crew neck...
The one shoulder neckline is marvelously dramatic and unexpected, popularised in the 70s and 80s and brought forward into modern day fashion. One shoulder designs create a widening effect around this area so they are great for balancing out a figure with wide hips and narrow shoulders but aren't as great if you already have broad shoulders. This stunning Terence Nolder cocktail dress makes a real statement with the asymmetric neckline...
You will find many vintage dresses with collars, particularly mod dresses of the 60s, 1970s day dresses and sporty dresses from the 80s and 90s. The great think about a collar with a button front is that you can show as much or as little décolletage as you wish. Collared dresses are also great with cute jumpers and cardigans over the top. Some vintage collared dresses are bang on trend like this 80s vintage dogtooth shirt dress...
A deep plunging neckline is not for the feint hearted! But it isn't just about showing cleavage, it really helps to elongate the neck so is a great option if you have a shorter neck that you want to stretch out (figuratively of course!) You will find some stunning plunge neck evening dresses in our 70s and 80s collections such as this glorious chocolate brown sequinned number...
The square neck is quite a retro shape and although not seen as often as some of the other necklines, it is actually a lovely flattering line to wear. It's definitely one that is great for busty women as it creates a frame without showing too much cleavage. Having a square neck on a curvier figure is also a great contrast that creates balance but this neckline also looks fantastic on slim and petite figures. Something classic like this amazing vintage Oscar de la Renta shift dress is the perfect way to wear a square!
And finally, I couldn't run through the best necklines without the absolute classic that is the V-neck. Anyone can rock this totally universal neckline, I would say it is the most versatile of them all. The key to absolutely nailing a v-neck is simply the depth. If you have a smaller bust size it is advisable to keep your v-neck higher, and for bustier figures go for a deeper longer V. You will find V-neck dresses throughout most of the fashion eras. Something like this classic V-neck evening dress is striking purple from Susan Small...
Next time you are browsing through the virtual aisles of My Vintage you might just be looking at things a little differently! I hope that this little guide has given you some inspiration to try something you haven't tried before. Or perhaps it has cemented what you already knew about your favourite necklines! Either way, let me know your favourites in the comments and I will see you very soon for another slice of vintage fashion.
Until next time
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