The Universally Flattering Neckline

Keep a few scoop necks in your wardrobe to save time and effort. "This is one of the most universally flattering styles for the majority of women," says Layla Katz, lead stylist at Stitch Fix, a San Francisco-based clothing subscription service that matches customers with online personal stylists. The open neckline favorably highlights the collarbone and neck area.

The Neckline for Busty Women

The V-neck should be a staple in every busty woman's closet, Katz says. The neckline is superflattering on a larger chest, as it highlights the neck and lengthens the torso. A slight V-neck shape can minimize the bustline, when you prefer to downsize, because it draws the eyes down, creating a longer silhouette. And a deeper V helps you show off skin when you want to accentuate your assets.

The Neckline for Women with Broad Shoulders

A sweetheart neckline can draw attention away from wider shoulders and bring the eyes to the center of the body, Katz says. The openness of the sweetheart neckline can also add volume to a smaller bust.

The Trendy Neckline That Reveals Just Enough

Boho off-the-shoulder or cold-shoulder tops with billowy sleeves highlight the shoulders and collarbone area while covering an area that many women told us they feel insecure about: upper arms. Women of all ages are gravitating toward this Bohemian style because it's so easy to pull off, says Faith Rim, a digital stylist for Neiman Marcus. A simple styling tip: "Volume and silhouette are important when you're styling an off-the-shoulder look," Katz says. Pair a billowy top with a more streamlined bottom, such as capri pants, skinny jeans or a pencil skirt. "If you want to go edgier, you can go with a straight top and fun culottes, or a wide-leg pant," Katz says.

The Show-Off Neckline for Newly Buff Arms and Back

You've made it to a few rowing classes—we can tell. "The halter works really well for clients who want to spotlight their backs, arms and bust," Katz says. Avoid this arm-baring look if you want to de-emphasize strong shoulders, because a high-neck top or dress will draw the eyes out, Rim says.

The Neckline for Women Who Dream of Broader Shoulders

One of the most flattering neckline styles for pear-shaped women is the boat neck. "This cut balances the upper and lower body by creating an optical illusion of more width at the shoulder line," Katz says. Add a prelayered pendant necklace, which draws the eyes down the center line of the body, and pair with straight or wide-leg denim for an even more flattering look.

The Neckline That Complements Round Faces

If you've been blessed with fuller cheeks, a rounded chin and a wide forehead (like Cameron Diaz), try a square neckline, which can lengthen the neck and visually slim the face, Katz says.

The Neckline for Women with Smaller Chests

A slouchy cowl-neck is a great option for women who want to add volume up top. The draping neckline "creates more length in the torso and adds shape to the chest," Katz says.

All illustrations by Florie Duhau.


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