The presence and shape of a collar can completely change the way a blouse or a dress looks on you. Do you want to accentuate your face? Your neck? Your shoulders? A piece’s collar will change what is and is not emphasized, which is why it’s important to take collars into consideration when selecting a new piece of clothing.
Emphasizing the Collarbone with a Round Neck
Most round styled necklines, like crew necks or boat necks, lack a collar entirely. The breadth of the shoulders is accentuated by the lack of a separate collar, which allows for a wider shirt neck. If you want to draw attention to your shoulders and collarbone, consider a stylish boat neck dress that puts a fresh twist on a classic silhouette with its modern colors. If you want to further emphasize your collarbone, wearing a scoop neck style is an effective way to lengthen the appearance of the neck.
If you’re partial to a collar but still want to achieve a round neck look, a Peter Pan collar is a popular aesthetic choice you might consider. This type of collar lies flat and follows the established shape of a neckline. A simple black dress is made even more beautiful with the addition of a lacy white Peter Pan collar, which keeps a round shape while better emphasizing the area between the neck and the shoulders.
Looking Upwards with a High Neckline
A halter neckline is a unique shape that leaves the shoulders bare and covers most of the neck. This effectively places emphasis on the face and shoulders and draws the eye upward. Because it rests so high on the neck and shoulders, a halter neck takes up a lot of space, and it can feel like the neckline is almost excessive. If that’s the case, you can free up space around your collar bone while still sporting this elegant neckline by wearing a top that has see-through crochet neckline between the top of the collar and the bust, as seen in this black and blue crop top and skirt combo.
A turtleneck is another great option to achieve a high neckline. While this style is generally associated with long sleeves and colder seasons, there’s no reason you can sport a sleeveless turtleneck top one lovely summer evening!
Lengthening the Neck with a V-Neck
The V-neck effectively elongates the neck by covering the shoulders and dipping down past the area where a usual collar would stop. This is a good collar to wear with one or more necklaces, since there’s space around the neck that’s unobstructed by clothing.
Though it’s often thought of as a neckline that lacks any sort of defined collar, the V-neck can, in fact, have a collar reminiscent of a buttoned-up blazer, like this blush dress. This, along with the fact that the neckline’s depth varies greatly from one piece to another, makes this particular style incredibly versatile.
Centralizing Focus with The Traditional Collar
The straight or button-up collar is probably the most popular collar. It can be styled to be extremely formal or fairly casual. Leaving most, if not all, of the shirt buttoned keeps the collar closed and centered, helping to elongate the face and come across as especially formal and refined. This is typically the collar to choose if you want a modest appearance and want to keep attention central to the face and neck. Even so, you can emulate the neck-lengthening effects of a V-neck by unbuttoning a couple of buttons. This allows the collar to fold out a bit more, freeing up space around the neck and making the entire ensemble feel more relaxed. This is an especially popular way to wear this type of collar during the summer, when the heat of the season demands breathable ensembles that don’t feel restrictive.
Accentuating the Shoulders with Off-Shoulder
The off-shoulder neckline is a summer favorite, and it’s the most effective method for drawing attention to the shoulders. Again, it lacks a defined collar, which frees up space from the shoulders up and accentuates the collarbone. If you feel this look is doubling as a rather blunt divider that shortens the appearance of the neck, that’s easily fixed with the right accessories! You can, for instance, pair an off-shoulder blue floral dress with a long necklace to create a lengthening effect.
We here at WFS want to provide shoppers and shop owners with the knowledge they need to make informed decisions about the fashions they purchase for their wardrobe or store. Collars (or lack thereof) can significantly impact the look of a piece, so try out different necklines this summer to see what works for you! Visit our website to view our large assortment of collared dresses and blouses, and be sure to drop a comment below telling us what you’d like us to discuss next! We always love to hear from you.