Wedding Ideas

Wedding Dress 101 : Necklines

Posted At : August 29, 2014 1:45 PM   |  Posted By : Fashion Editor   |  Views: 3,757
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" A series of posts that explain the ins-and-outs of wedding dress terminology, from silhouettes, to necklines, and even sleeve styles. "

Click on any of the photos to jump to the silhouette or scroll down to view all.

Wedding dress with asymmetric neckline. Style Habidd by St. Patrick. Wedding dress with bateau neckline. Style Tomasina by Watters Brides. Wedding dress with cowl neckline. Style Taren by Maggie Sottero. Wedding dress with halter neckline. Style Azita by Sottero & Midgley.
Aymmetric Bateau Cowl Halter

Wedding dress with illusion neckline. Style Jacinda by Watters Brides. Wedding dress with jewel neckline. Style 1914 by Mikaella. Wedding dress with off-the-shoulder neckline. Style 2169 by Casablanca Bridal. Wedding dress with portrait neckline. Style Bellevue by Sottero and Midgley.
Illusion Jewel Off the
Shoulder
Portrait

Wedding dress with scoop neckline. Style Bridget by Eugenia Couture. Wedding dress with square neckline. Style Milan by Watters Encore. Wedding dress with straight neckline. Style Divine by Anne Barge. Wedding dress with surplice (
Scoop Square Straight Surplice /
Ballerina

Wedding dress with sweetheart neckline. Style Kristi by David Tutera for Mon Cheri. Wedding dress with modified sweetheart neckline. Style 2759 Allure Romance. Wedding dress with tank neckline. Style Dulce by Sarah Janks. V-neck wedding dress. Style Gianna Marie by Maggie Sottero.
Sweetheart Modified
Sweetheart
Tank V-neck

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Be sure to check out the other articles in our 101 series:

What is a neckline?

The term neckline describes the top of the dress bodice. The bodice can be designed in a number of ways and can drastically change the overall look of the dress.

Asymmetric

Definition: A neckline that is different on one side than the other.
Perfect for: Brides wanting something a bit different or those that want a more modern, angular look.
When to Avoid This: Brides that want a soft look may want to avoid this style

Style Tip

Asymmetry is something that some people love, while others prefer things to be perfectly symmetrical at all times. If you feel compelled to have both sides match while you are wearing an asymmetrical neckline, we suggest moving to the next one!

Wedding dress with asymmetric neckline. Style Habidd by St. Patrick.

Asymmetric neckline. 'Habidd' gown by St. Patrick

Asymmetric neckline Asymmetric neckline Asymmetric neckline Asymmetric neckline

Site Tip

Want to see the asymmetric neckline gowns available in Canada? Click here.

Bateau

Style icons like Grace Kelly have made this neckline synonymous with grace and elegance.

Definition: A high-neckline that creates a slightly curved line from shoulder-tip to shoulder-tip.
Perfect For: Brides wanting a refined, elegant look. Can be worn by both large and small-chested brides.

Style Tip

Since so much of a petite frame is covered by a bateau neckline, petite brides may want opt for a sheer, bateau shaped illusion neckline instead.

Wedding dress with bateau neckline. Style Tomasina by Watters Brides.

Bateau neckline gown. 'Tomasina' by Watters Brides

Bateau neckline Bateau neckline Bateau neckline Bateau neckline

Site Tip

Want to see the bateau neckline gowns available in Canada? Click here.


Cowl

Definition: Draped fabric starting at the shoulders that creates fabric folds at the bustline. Often paired with sheath and other slim-fit silhouettes.
Perfect For: Smaller-busted women that want to add design detail or depth to their bust line.

Style Tip

Since this style adds extra fabric to the bust, brides wishing to minimize their bust will want to avoid this neckline.

Wedding dress with cowl neckline. Style Taren by Maggie Sottero.

Cowl neckline gown. 'Taren' by Maggie Sottero

Cowl neckline Cowl neckline Cowl neckline Cowl neckline

Site Tip

Want to see the cowl neckline gowns available in Canada? Click here.

Halter

Definition: Straps that angle inwards and connect or lay behind the head at the base of the neck. Straps may vary in width and fabric, which offers a lot of variety with this look.
Perfect For: Fuller busted brides that want extra support from their gown.

Style Tip

If you halter strap is one piece, you will need to lift it over your head and so be sure to consider this when choosing your hairstyle!

Wedding dress with halter neckline. Style Azita by Sottero & Midgley.

Halter neckline gown. 'Azita' by Sottero & Midgley

Halter neckline Halter neckline Halter neckline Halter neckline

Site Tip

Want to see the halter neckline gowns available in Canada? Click here.

Illusion

Definition: A neckline that involves a sheer fabric overlay. An illusion neckline is often in a bateau shape, but can be incorporated into a variety of other necklines.
Perfect For: Brides that like the look of a strapless gown, but like the security of straps.

Style Tip

Illusion necklines can be worn by all body types, but fuller-chested brides will want to make sure that they have ordered the correct cup size to ensure that the base layer underneath the illusion fabric covers properly.

Wedding dress with illusion neckline. Style Jacinda by Watters Brides.

Illusion neckline gown. 'Jacinda' by Watters Brides

Illusion neckline Illusion neckline Illusion neckline Illusion neckline

Site Tip

Want to see the illusion neckline gowns available in Canada? Click here.

Jewel

Definition: A maximum coverage neckline that is rounded and ends at the collarbone or base of the neck.
Perfect For: Brides that want maximum support.

Style Tip

This neckline can highlight pretty embroidery or lace details and is complemented nicely by sheer fabrics or sleeves.

Wedding dress with jewel neckline. Style 1914 by Mikaella.

Jewel neckline gown. '1914' by Mikaella

Jewel neckline Jewel neckline Jewel neckline Jewel neckline

Site Tip

Want to see the jewel neckline gowns available in Canada? Click here.

Off the Shoulder

Definition: A neckline that extends past the armhole to wrap around the arm. Off the shoulder necklines can be straight or curved.
Perfect For: A bride wanting a refined look that isn't overly modest.
When to Avoid This: Bride's that want to avoid emphasizing wide shoulders will want to keep away from this style.

Wedding dress with off-the-shoulder neckline. Style 2169 by Casablanca Bridal.

Off the shoulder neckline gown. '2169' by Casablanca Bridal

Off-the-shoulder neckline Off-the-shoulder neckline Off-the-shoulder neckline Off-the-shoulder neckline

Site Tip

Want to see the off the shoulder gowns available in Canada? Click here.

Portrait

Definition: A curved or sweetheart line at the bust accented by fabric that covers the shoulders and is angled inward to connect behind the neck.
Perfect For: Added versatility. Since this neckline can be added to a strapless gown, many brides choose a detachable portrait neckline for their ceremony and remove it for their reception.

Wedding dress with portrait neckline. Style Bellevue by Sottero and Midgley.

Portrait neckline gown. 'Bellevue' by Sottero & Midgley

Portrait neckline Portrait neckline Portrait neckline Portrait neckline

Site Tip

Want to see the portrait gowns available in Canada? Click here.

Scoop

Definition: A curved neckline in a "U" shape with shoulder straps. Straps may be wide or narrow, but are not typically spaghetti straps.
Perfect For: Brides wanting to highlight their bust and achieve enough support at the same time.
When to Avoid This: Smaller busted women may find that this neckline draws too much attention to their bust.

Wedding dress with scoop neckline. Style Bridget by Eugenia Couture.

Scoop neckline gown. 'Bridget' by Eugenia Couture

Scoop neckline Scoop neckline Scoop neckline Scoop neckline

Site Tip

Want to see the scoop gowns available in Canada? Click here.

Square

Definition: Scooped neckline that is square at the corners instead of rounded.
Perfect For: Brides that like the look of a straight neckline but want added support for their gown.

Wedding dress with square neckline. Style Milan by Watters Encore.

Square neckline gown. 'Milan' by Watters Encore

Square neckline Square neckline Square neckline Square neckline

Site Tip

Want to see the square gowns available in Canada? Click here.

Straight

Definition: Neckline that cuts straight across at the bust.
Perfect For: Brides that do not want to draw attention to their busts. Petite brides and brides with athletic figures often like this neckline.

Style Tip

Brides that want to minimize their shoulders will want to avoid this silhouette because it creates a straight line across that parallels the shoulder line.

Wedding dress with straight neckline. Style Divine by Anne Barge.

Straight neckline gown. 'Divine' by Anne Barge.

Straight neckline Straight neckline Straight neckline Straight neckline

Site Tip

Want to see the straight gowns available in Canada? Click here.

Surplice / Ballerina

Definition: Sweetheart shaped neckline that is created by two distinct cups. The cups can be softly rounded or more triangular. The term "surplice" means that the triangles also cross over one another in the middle. This neckline is often connected by spaghetti straps.
Perfect For: Smaller busted brides since the look can often be a bit low-cut.
When to Avoid This: Busty brides will often find that there is not enough support from this neckline.

Wedding dress with surplice (

Surplice / Ballerina neckline gown. '3452' by Lazaro.

Surplice neckline (also called ballerina). Surplice neckline (also called ballerina). Surplice neckline (also called ballerina). Surplice neckline (also called ballerina).

Site Tip

Want to see the surplice / ballerina gowns available in Canada? Click here.

Sweetheart

This is the most popular neckline because it is universally flattering.

Definition: Slightly curved neckline with a dip in the middle.
Perfect For: Everyone, thanks to the various depths available for middle point.

Style Tip

Larger busted brides can choose a modified sweetheart if they do not want the neckline to cut as low, while smaller busted women can also wear a deep sweetheart.

Wedding dress with sweetheart neckline. Style Kristi by David Tutera for Mon Cheri.

Sweetheart neckline gown. 'Kristi' by David Tutera for Mon Cheri.

Sweetheart neckline Sweetheart neckline Sweetheart neckline Sweetheart neckline

Site Tip

Want to see the sweetheart neckline gowns available in Canada? Click here.

Modified Sweetheart

Definition: Slightly curved neckline with a dip in the middle. The modified sweetheart is less dipped than a full sweetheart neckline.
Perfect For: Brides that prefer to have a more modest look than a deep sweetheart. It is also a softer alternative to a straight neckline.

Wedding dress with modified sweetheart neckline. Style 2759 Allure Romance.

Modified sweetheart neckline gown. '2759' by Allure Romance

Modified sweetheart neckline Modified sweetheart neckline Modified sweetheart neckline Modified sweetheart neckline

Site Tip

Want to see the modified sweetheart neckline gowns available in Canada? Click here.

Tank

Definition: Angled scoop neckline similar to the shape of a t-shirt or tank top.
Perfect For: Brides with a laid-back style will like the un-structured look of a tank neckline.

Style Tip

If you are wanting a dress with ample bust support, you may want to avoid a tank neckline.

Wedding dress with tank neckline. Style Dulce by Sarah Janks.

Tank neckline gown. 'Dulce' by Sarah Janks.

Tank neckline tank neckline Tank neckline Tank neckline

Site Tip

Want to see the tank neckline gowns available in Canada? Click here.

V-neck

Definition: Neckline that creates a "V" shape in the center bust.
Perfect For: Everyone thanks to the versatility of the "V" shape, which can be anywhere from very deep to shallow.

V-neck wedding dress. Style Gianna Marie by Maggie Sottero.

V-neck gown. 'Gianna Marie' by Maggie Sottero.

V-neckline dress V-neckline dress V-neckline dress V-neckline dress

Site Tip

Want to see the V-neck neckline gowns available in Canada? Click here.

You are now an expert on bridal necklines!
Have you read the other articles in our 101 series yet?

Wedding Dress 101 : Silhouettes
Wedding Dress 101 : Strap & Sleeve Styles

Ready to start browsing our gown gallery? Click here to get started.

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