Great chart showing you the 24 different types of necklines for women's tops, shirts and dresses. As you'll see, there really is order when it comes to necklines and the shapes and cuts they come in. Check them all out here.
This will help you shop for tops more easily because it provides some style order with respect to the neckline.
When you shop for clothes, especially tops when there are so many types, you tend to forget specific style cuts such as necklines. By knowing the neckline options, you can narrow down your search for tops by neckline, which can help.
Below are our types of necklines chart followed by brief descriptions of each.
- Neckline Chart
- Straight Across
- Sweetheart Neckline
- The V Neck
- The Scoop
- Asymmetrical Style
- Sexy Scoop
- Spaghetti Strap Cape
- Jewel Neck
- Halter Strap
- Spaghetti Strap
- Off Shoulder
- High Neck
- Queen Anne
- Off-Shoulder Illusion
- Square Neckline
- Halter Top
- Illusion Neckline
- Bateau Flair
- Cowl Look
- Grecian Elegance
- Sabrina Style
The straight-across neckline is exactly as stated: entirely straight across the neck. It extends from one shoulder and then across the breast to the other shoulder. A straight across neckline may have sleeves that drop from the shoulder downward. It can also have a sleeveless look that extends solely across the top of the garment. In many cases, designers to provide nearly invisible straps that drape across each shoulder. The purpose of the straps is to hold up the dress without being obvious. This is often seen in casual garments ready for a day at the beach with friends.
Of all the many kinds of necklines, this is one of the most popular. The design is meant to be a heart that wraps about the bust. This is a good choice for the well-endowed woman as it draws attention to the chest area. It’s also a good choice for those who have a smaller bust and it can help enhance what’s there.
The V Neck
The v neck is one neckline that has drama and keeps it going. This is a neckline in the shape of a v. The sides of the garment extend back across the shoulders at each end. In between the fabric drops down rapidly, forming a plunging shape that resembles the letter. The v neck may be only form a small v. In that case, the neckline may just brush past the neck and stay at the top of the bust. What’s often seen are v necklines that extend past this area. That can help show off cleavage and give off a carefree vibe.
The scoop has been a staple of fashion for many decades. It’s at once modern and yet traditional. The scoop begins at the shoulder with two broad straps at each end. Then it dips downwards. The neckline forms a deep U shape that typically ends right above the bust. With this neckline, the back is typically nearly all covered nearly to the person’s collarbones. A scoop neckline is commonly seen during the summer when people are searching for more casual styles that all for air circulation.
Popular with designers, the asymmetrical look is bold and modern. This kind of neckline is characterized by a single strap across the bust and shoulders. The strap drapes over the bust and then trails over one shoulder. The other shoulder may be left bare.
It may also have another fabric that is see-through such as tulle that is underneath the first fabric or an additional line of fabric that fits underneath the opposite shoulder. Both shoulders are also left bare with this kind of look. The theme may be carried through the rest of the dress or blouse. Wedding dresses frequently have a plume of fabric that cascades down one side of the back.
This is a regular bateau-boat look except for it flairs outward a bit more.
This has a deeper drop and tighter fit than a regular scoop neckline (see above).
Spaghetti Strap Cape
This is a regular spaghetti strap look with a cape on the back.
A jewel neckline is a type of high neckline. It extends past the bust to cover the entire area from including the collarbones. The neckline forms a circle at the top that mirrors the shape of a necklace and gives the neckline its name. Sometimes it may have short or even long sleeves that cover the entire top torso. However, more often the jewel neck is one that is sleeveless. This brings the focus of the line to the chin and the face rather than the shoulders or the bust.
The halter strap borrows from several different kinds of neckline styles. Like the sweetheart neckline, it typically drops on top of the bust and creates a heart shape in the middle of the dress. However, the halter strap differs in that there are additional straps that are holding up the shirt or the dress.
The halter straps may be barely visible or they may be thick bands that are obviously part of the overall design of the item. The straps may be held at the back of the neck and sewn into the bodice of the dress. They can also come to point at the back of the neck that requires the wearer to tie them together to hold up the top.
The spaghetti strap look is centered around the use of two small, thin straps that hold the top up. A spaghetti strap neckline can be combined with various other types of necklines. For example, the rest of the neckline can have a sweetheart neckline or spread across the torso in a straight across look or be part of a square look that flairs out at the waist.
Spaghetti straps are most frequently seen during a summer look when the desired result is casual and comfortable but also has enough support to keep the top up with ease.
The off the shoulder look is one that bypasses the shoulders and creates a straight line. Rather than being held up by straps that lie across each shoulder, the off the shoulder look has a neckline that drapes across an area just beneath the shoulders. Two small straps cup the sides of the upper arms. The straps are usually designed to blend in with the rest of the blouse or dress and create a totally uniform look.
The high neckline is essentially a form of turtleneck that spans the seasons from spring to fall. Instead of having long sleeves, the high neck typically has only short sleeves or it may have no sleeves at all. There’s a fitted collar that runs around the neck from back to drop often with some texture to it.
The rest of the neckline may drape over the entire torso and may be made from the same fabric. Another form of the high neck resembles the illusion neckline. In this form of neckline, the piece that spans the area from the bust may be made of a sheer fabric while the rest of the neckline is composed of a thicker fabric.
Named after England’s Queen Anne, this is a look often seen in bridal gowns and other types of formal dresses. The look has two parts to it. There’s a deep sweetheart neckline that’s usually higher than a v neck but still has a visible bend to it in the middle. Two sleeves keep the neckline up at both ends. They are typically only small pieces of cloth rather than full sleeves, making this one version of a sleeveless dress. The sleeves cover only a small part of the top and come directly over the shoulders.
The deep cut is a long vertical V.
Square necklines are designed to form three sides of a square along the neck and the shoulders. There’s a line of fabric across the bust that forms the base of the square. There may be sleeves that are set in at the shoulders to form two additional straight lines. This kind of neckline may also have straps at the shoulder that are straight and keep the elements in place so the dress doesn’t slide down. This kind of neckline is seen on clothing all year long in fabrics ranging from airy summer cotton to thick winter silks.
The halter top typically covers the collarbones but leaves the arms and shoulders totally bare. Fabric encircles the neckline, drawing the eye upwards from the bodice. Sometimes the neckline is left plain with an expanse of fabric all the way down. Sometimes it has decoration at the neck. This kind of neckline is typically paired with a bare back that may reach down and graze the abdomen.
The illusion neckline is made up of a combination of varied types of fabrics. The goal is to give the illusion of a much higher neckline. There’s a base made up of thicker fabric that can’t be seen through such as satin or jersey. The rest of the neckline is made up of a see-through fabric such as tulle or an embroidered lace.
The see-through fabric extends from the bust, covers the collarbones, and then hits just below the neck. The contrasting fabric forms a circle around the neck. It’s also sometimes called the illusion yoke neckline.
The bateau neckline is also known as a boat neck. French in origin, it’s designed to call to mind the streamlined front of a boat and show off the wearer’s face. This kind of neckline is typically is a wide style that is designed to run horizontally across the front from one shoulder to the next. It follows the line of the collarbone and may cover them or end just underneath it. The neckline is mirrored in the back with the same shape. There’s usually a slight bend in the middle of the neckline. This lends a bit of giving that softens the overall look.
This is an old fashioned look that is still popular today. It’s usually seen during the winter months as it provides an easy means of adding additional warmth across the neck. The cowl look is made up of fabric that adds several lines across the collarbones. There’s a drop in the middle that creates a casual feel as the fabric forms a semicircle across the front of the neck. The back typically has the same folds but they are higher than in the front. They can often be pulled up to serve as a scarf or even a small hood.
Also known as the Greek neckline, the Grecian is a style that is ideal for warm summer days and nights. It begins with two pieces of fabric that drape across the bust and form a small keyhole at the waist. At the top is a sweetheart neckline point that shows off the bust. The two pieces of fabric meet above the collarbone. Here, they come together with a collar that spans the neck and keeps the entire look from sliding down. This is a look that is frequently seen in evening gowns and other formal dresses.
The Sabrina was originally made famous in an Audrey Hepburn movie of the same name. Designer Edith Head won an Oscar for her contribution to fashion and showed moviegoers a new look. It is similar to the bateau in many ways. However, the Sabrina is distinguished by certain crucial elements.
This neckline begins at the inner tips of the wearer’s shoulders. From there, it curves down about an inch and lies across the neck. There’s a slight curve across the neck that slopes down in the middle. This neckline is of equal depth across both the front and back.