The neckline frames your face and is probably the feature you’ll most concentrate on when selecting your dress. It’s the part of your dress that gives your face some wow! Because there are almost as many neckline options as sleeve variations, think of mixing both components as an opportunity to really create that one-of-a-kind dress. Front and back bodices though aren’t always identical. For instance, the front could have a Sabrina neckline, the back a deep V; whereas another gown could have a scoop in front as well as back.

Clockwise: Photo 1: Halter Neckline (photo: Stephanie Williams Photography). Photo 2: Sweetheart Neckline (photo by John T PhotoPhoto 3: Square Neckline (photo Lirette PhotographyPhoto 4: Scoop Neckline////Photo 5: Turtleneck Neckline (photo: PixamagePhoto 6: V-neckline (photo: Samantha Brancato)

Right to left-Photo 1: Asymmetrical neckline (Photo by Studio 7teen)  Photo 2: Bateau or Sabrina Neckline (Photo by Henley Photography) Photo3: Cowl Neckline (Photo by Aura Obrien)
All dresses by Amy Jo Tatum


Turtleneck-Once a classic, the high neck or turtleneck can be a plain band of dress fabric or lace.  Especially popular in the Edwardian gown craze of the 70s when cotton ‘granny gowns’ reappeared.
Mandarin-Like the high neck collar only it’s notched in front
Cowl-draped either as an attached piece or integrated into the pattern.  Lots of retro styles of the 1930s use this effect.
Jewel-Aka crew neck, round and higher neckline.  Not seen too much these days except in an overbodice of all-over lace.
Bateau  or Sabrina-Straight across the neckline
Scoop-Low rounded neckline
V or U-These necklines point down just like the letters they are named after.
Off-the-Shoulder-Neckline extends horizontally across and sits below the shoulders.
Portrait-Wide band that extends from shoulder to shoulder
Square-One of my personal favorites, conveying a real open look, square necks look great on long and A-line silhouettes.
Halter-Straps either wrap around the neck or neckline is high with deep armholes.
Strap-Usually holds up a strapless bodice.
Asymmetrical-Neckline falls diagonally-one side strapless the other either with sleeve or sleeveless.
Queen Anne-High neckline curving into a sweetheart around the décolletage area
Sweetheart-Plunges into an open heart shape.
Keyhole-Open tear-drop.
Strapless-Either cut straight across or sweetheart shaped, the strapless is held up by boning inside the bodice.