We have often talked about the importance of choosing a wedding dress that flatters your body shape. While you should make this a priority for an amazing bridal look, there are more dress aspects that you should pay attention to.
After the silhouette, the next most important factor that can make or break your wedding day look is the neckline. Since the neckline sits so close to the face, you should get it right. The right neckline will enhance your facial features and balance out the proportions of your neck and shoulders.
The dress neckline is a major style factor that determines the overall impact of a dress. Thus, you can easily tie your look to the wedding theme by choosing the right wedding dress neckline that complements it.
Join me as I take a look at the all-time favorites in bridal gown necklines for different body types, in the dresses from our collection at Best for Bride. As we explore this dress feature in detail in various dress styles, don’t forget to make a note of your favorites for when you go wedding dress shopping!
Trending and glamorous off-the-shoulder neckline
Immortalized in classic fairy tales like Beauty and the Beast, this timeless favorite has been an ongoing hit in the wedding world. It has a playful vibe, even while it is feminine and classic. This neckline bares the shoulders, as it extends across the bust and fits along the arms. The best thing about the off-the-shoulder neckline is that it looks good with sleeves of any length. Additionally, it looks amazing on most types of fabric including lace. Take a look at this article on the Brides website for more insight into this wedding dress feature.
The off-the-shoulder neckline suits most body types, except the inverted triangle. The pear-shaped body has a heavy and broad upper torso, that is best camouflaged for a balanced look. Unfortunately, the off-the-shoulder neckline draws attention to this very area. Hence it is best avoided by brides with this body type. Similarly it doesn’t flatter women with thick and short necks, as it draws attention to this part of their body.
The dress seen here is from the Sans Pareil collection. The pairing of its off-the-shoulder neckline with cap sleeves and a thick ball gown skirt creates a silhouette that has signature fairytale charm.
Glamorous and stylish single shoulder strap
The one-shoulder neckline is an asymmetrical dress element that instantly enhances the glamour quotient of the dress. It features just one shoulder strap, while the other side has a strapless neckline detail. It reminds us of Grecian goddesses and it is a statement element in a bridal look. Dresses with single shoulder draping or straps are widely favored for destination weddings, as the impact of this element is just right for a beach wedding.
One shoulder wedding gowns can have a draped single shoulder detail, or it may present as a simple shoulder strap that is an extension of the strapless style. The asymmetrical nature of this style element doesn’t suit the inverted body type as it draws focus to the chest and decolletage. Since it highlights the neck, it is also best avoided by brides with thick necks and no distinct collar bones.
The dress in the image above is from the Sophia Tolli collection. Paired with a mermaid silhouette, this dress brings together many elements that look great in a beach ambiance. It is also glamorous, with its lush scattering of embellishments. This renders it ideal for an opulent theme as well.
Classic scoop for all body types
Simple but universally flattering, the scoop or round neckline is suitable for almost every body type. The depth of this neckline can range from high to low, and the effect it creates varies accordingly. The scoop is a naturally rounded shape, and according to the dimensions it takes can enhance the body features of the bride. While a low-cut scoop draws attention to shapely collar bones and the neck, a high scoop conceals this area. The scoop when cut low, will reveal a hint of cleavage and accentuate the sex appeal of the dress.
Featured in this picture is a Sans Pareil wedding gown with wide scoop neckline, that frames a sweetheart bodice. The rounded nature of the neckline creates a balanced look and draws attention to the collar bones, neck and chin. This type of neckline when combined with sleeves is naturally slimming. It diverts attention upwards from the waist and hips, hence making it a good choice for apple and pear-shaped brides. Scoop necklines with half-length sleeves can make a thin bride look very slim, and are best avoided by rectangle-shaped body types.
The V-neckline may have risen and fallen in terms of depth over the years. However it is still going strong in the wedding fashion scene. There is a subtle sexy element attached to this neckline, whether it is kept high or low. This is probably why it is a favorite choice for many brides.
In recent years, the V-neckline has plunged low to reveal more than what can is a modest dose of cleavage. Many bold brides who want to show off their bold and confident style in their wedding dress choice have embraced this trend. Whether paired with long sleeves, straps or barely-there sleeves, the V-neckline is a romantic and feminine style element with few contenders.
Here is a Mori lee wedding dress with cap sleeves that continue into a splendid V-neckline. The textured bodice with heavily embellished lace extends into a V-neckline that is both charming and sexy.
Bateau neckline that works for all
Shaped like a boat, the bateau neckline is a universal favorite that flatters all body types. This style extends from one shoulder to the other, barely revealing the collar bones. Although the neckline is modest, it is elegant and sophisticated. The only issue with this dress feature is that it draws attention to the neck. So, it is best avoided if you have a thick neck area and your collar bones aren’t visible. Also the raised nature of this neckline enhances the bust area. Hence, you may wish to avoid this neckline if you have a large bust and do not wish to draw attention to this part of your body. On the contrary, this neckline is well-suited for brides with small or average busts as it emphasizes these proportions.
This Sans Pareil dress features a bateau neckline over a sweetheart bodice with T-shirt sleeves. The neckline adds a demure, feminine touch to the classic wedding gown, and it draws attention to the facial features. This neckline is also a good option to consider if you want to avoid a necklace, but draw focus to a pair of stunning earrings in your outfit.
All-time favorite—the sweetheart
The sweetheart neckline is feminine and romantic. It closely follows the contours of the bust and resembles the upper half of a heart shape. There is a dip in the center, and the depth of it determines the amount of cleavage that it reveals. Sweetheart necklines are a bridal favorite, and are popular in many bridal collections. This neckline detail may come with straps or hold up on its own. The final look is very different in either case. This style looks best on women with average bust sizes, as it is revealing on women with heavy tops. It doesn’t always sit well on women with small busts. Since this type of neckline reveals the neck and decolletage, it draws attention to the upper torso. However, the extent of embellishments will also determine the overall impact of this neckline.
Here is a Sans Pareil wedding dress which features a classic sweetheart neckline. You can see how the embellishments on it add to the texture and beautifully complements the fitted waistband. The upper half of the dress is just as appealing as the elaborate peplum lace details and the heavily layered skirt that it continues into.
Retro-inspired halter neckline
Although the halter doesn’t work well for all body types, it is a style element with no parallel. This dress style exudes confidence and is youthful and exciting. The factor that it offers modest coverage in the front, only to reveal an open back makes it unusually charming. In the absence of sleeves and shoulder straps, the top is simply held up by straps that fasten at the back of the neck.
This dress feature works wonders for hourglass and straight body types. However it is best avoided by pear-shaped women. This is because the neckline doesn’t look good on narrow shoulders. It further accentuates the effect of the hips and makes the rounded nature of this area very obvious. It is difficult to pair this neckline with a bra. Hence, you should consider this factor when choosing this dress style.
The beautiful Mori Lee dress in the image here has pretty illusion details on a halter neckline. The embellishments are very bridal and add a feminine touch to the dress style.
The elusive illusion neckline
There is an unbeatable charm for a sheer neckline embellished with scintillating embroidery and lace effects. Illusion necklines are very popular in the bridal world, for they have a soft charm and the embellishments add sparkle to the bridal look. Illusion necklines are often seen over a sweetheart or strapless bodice, and draw attention to the neck and decolletage area. Although they offer coverage, they are distinctly sexy and very feminine in effect. This type of neckline is universally flattering, and is suitable for women of all shapes and sizes. It can also come with or without sleeves, and the effect is dramatically different in each of the cases.
This neckline can take on any shape, including the bateau and scoop. The best thing about this style is that the simple presence of a layer or sheer renders a strapless dress suitable for a traditional wedding setting. Hence, brides who have church weddings often prefer this neckline over a strapless gown. Take a look at this article on the Bridal Extravaganza Show to understand why this style is huge in wedding fashion.
Notice how the ethereal illusion neckline layer adds sophistication and charm to this beautiful Sans Pareil dress seen here! What could just look like another sweetheart ball gown receives a dose of modesty as well as sparkle with the simple addition of an illusion layer that extends into soft cap sleeves.
While the previous dress had simple illusion details, here is one that stands out. This dress from the Mori Lee collection features an illusion layer over a sweetheart bodice. The sheer fabric is richly embellished with a fine scattering of jewels. You can also see how the strategic placement of the details in the neckline eliminates the need for a necklace.
While there are more necklines like the portrait, Queen Anne, strapless and square styles, the ones we discussed here have been quite popular on the wedding fashion scene over the last couple of years. As the modern bride’s interests change over time, so does her choices in various dress features. Nonetheless, some trends stand the test of time, and these necklines we discussed fit the bill.
It is your turn now, so tell us which of these necklines is your favorite in the comments section below.
To learn more about the dresses featured in this post as well as check out more options that are available, visit our bridal dress gallery on the Best for Bride website. With a variety of designer collections that cater to the preferences of every type of bride, this is the perfect destination for you to shortlist your bridal dress choices. So, whether you prefer a sweetheart gown, an off-the-shoulder beauty or destination wedding dress with asymmetrical neckline details, find your dream dress here in the Best for Bride wedding collection.