“Often, when an outfit doesn’t work, it’s because of the neckline,” explains Houston stylist and fashion show producer Todd Ramos to The Style Glossy.
Which should you choose?
Lower, open necklines like a sweetheart (which is shaped like the top of a heart), scoop, square or V-neck tend to look good on almost every body type and size. “They bring attention to your face and elongate your upper body, especially if you’re petite or have a short neck,” says Ramos. These cuts are great for everyone, unless you’re top heavy or have an especially long neck. Whatever size you are, a halter will flatter your figure. If your arms or shoulders are a “trouble spot” for you, top it with a fitted jacket.
If you have a long neck, narrow face, small chest or sloped shoulders, a high neckline -- one that rests on or very near the collarbone -- is your best bet. Crew necks and boatnecks draw the eye out to your shoulders so you appear more balanced and proportioned. But on the flip side, these necklines can make you look bigger than you are if you have generous curves, a short neck or broad shoulders.
A true turtleneck that hits a couple of inches below the chin will whittle away your height, making it best for those who want to offset a long neck or face. A cowl-neck, which is a looser version of a turtleneck, naturally drapes at the chest, creating a vertical line that elongates the body. A mock neck hits slightly lower than a turtleneck and serves as a good midpoint if you can’t part with your more covered-up sweaters.
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