The Story of Necklines & Wedding Gowns

The days of plain high collars are gone and now there are so many different styles of necklines. Which one is right for you?

Sweetheart Neckline Wedding Gown
This is a classic sweetheart neckline wedding dress without straps.

Iconic Elizabethan weddings of times past are marked by voluminous high collars because brides were expected to be above all, pure and modest. This meant wearing white to symbolize virginity and covering up every exposed inch of skin. Of course times have surely changed and everything from sheer fabrics and plunging necklines are more and more acceptable. Except, there are still considerations of modesty and formality in many cases but it’s gotten a little more confusing. With all the different types of necklines out there, how do you know which is right for you and for your wedding?

A primer on necklines should definitely start with square necks as they are not only the most common but also the easiest to pull off. They are a good balance between conservative and adventurous. A square necked dress usually has straps and the neckline cuts horizontally across the bodice to conceal cleavage but to accentuate collarbones and shoulders. A square neck is very flattering on most women and can be worn strapless or with sleeves of any kind making it a versatile choice for designers. If you want to toe the line, a square necked dress, such as a Priscilla of Boston dress, is a great choice.

If you fancy a more romantic silhouette though, the next most popular neckline is what is known as a sweetheart neckline. Named so because the neckline resembles the top half of a heart, a sweetheart neckline is a very demure way to emphasize your bust without being too risque. While there are degrees of variation in a sweetheart neckline, when it’s done right it will suggest a hint of sexiness but never cross the line. A good example is a Reem Acra full-skirt gown which is very pretty and delicate without showing too much skin even though it is strapless.

Though square and sweetheart necks are very popular, we are seeing a comeback of high necklines especially when coupled with lace or sheer illusion draping. The high neck remains a staple because though it covers more skin, it creates a very desirable and graceful silhouette. Kate Middleton’s open lace collar is a perfect example of how alluring a high necked gown can be, though it might sound old fashioned. We love a Pronovias Trumpet for that exact reason, and it looks fit for royalty past or present.

Necklines can get creative and complicated especially as embellishments and boleros come into account. A good thing to remember when shopping is your guestlist, will your great grandmother be shocked, and does it matter to you? We’re also always willing to work with you to make a neckline more or less revealing. Keep an open mind for open conversation and you’ll be sure to find a neckline that works for you!

Image license: iStockphoto (view source)