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Finding your perfect neckline

As you may already know, I'm on a mission to find balance in my clothes. Vertical, horizontal all around balance. Knowing that balance p...

As you may already know, I'm on a mission to find balance in my clothes. Vertical, horizontal all around balance. Knowing that balance point will help me make more flattering clothes.

And this week, I've spent a LOT of time thinking about faces, necks and necklines. For today's post only, I'm talking first about neckline shapes.

What got me here? My Sisboom Angie. It seems to be the reason I do anything these days.

So here are my two Angies, side by side. The black one has a low deep scoop. My bust looks small. The blue one has a scoop that is 2" higher. My bust looks more balanced. It also looks like I could go even higher with my neckline.

What is this trickery? Last year, I was all about the super low necklines. It was the only thing that balanced my bust on my wide shoulders. Ironically, my bust is currently 2" larger, as is my overbust. How can it be bigger, yet look smaller?!

Now, I wish I was about to tell you the secret to all of your neckline troubles. Sadly, I can't. You see so far I have found so many different theories and they don't agree!

School one, choose your necklines based on your face.
I liked this youtube video to help me pick my face shape. It uses math. You know how much I love math. :)
Inside out style has this blog post on picking necklines.

According to this method I have an oval face (at least I think I do, if I'm wrong, PLEASE TELL ME!). Based on an oval face, I should wear rounded necklines. That means scoop, jewel and crew necklines. Is that flattering for me? My experience says they aren't unflattering. At no point does this method take any consideration into the rest of the body shape. They also mention soft v-necks rather than sharp ones. AND, they say ANYONE can wear a cowl. Hmm, I think that's a bit more complicated than just saying anyone can wear a cowl. There's a huge difference between a big chunky cowl and a thin lightweight one.

School two, choose your necklines based on your body shape.

According to this method, I should wear shallow v-necks and wrap style tops.

Could this be any more conflicting? SURE!

School three, use body shape, face shape, neck length and width, shoulder width and shape, AND bust size.

According to this method, I have:
Inverted Triangle Body Shape with broad shoulders= Yes v-necks, no wide shapes like bardot or boatneck.
Oval Face with Average neck= any neckline

This page from their site breaks down each of the necklines and based on the different options, I can do scoop (but not jewel or crew) or v-neck. This method also recommends avoiding wide straps. Others recommend avoiding thin straps as they make the shoulders wider!

Yet another source says that a wide scoop neck will be unflattering. This one says I can only wear halters! I could link here for pages and I still think we'd have no agreement. No one agrees. What's a girl to do? Try them all I guess.

BUT, before we go trying on all the styles, let me explain WHY there is disagreement. Which style is preferred depends on the end goal. For example, the end goal of the Inside Out Style blog is to create an oval shaped face. There's nothing wrong with that and their method will absolutely ensure your face looks more oval. What it does to the rest of your body is a different idea!

The second method is all about making shoulders look balanced. That's good too! If you are worried your shoulders are wide (or slim) then you'll want to be sure you balance them out with the right neckline.

Method 3 wants to create balanced shoulders AND a balanced bust but taking into account face shape.

What if you want to show off your shoulders? What if you want your bust to look disproportionately big? What if you think your head is too long (short, wide, thin, fat, etc) when their methods say otherwise? Then you may not like their advice at all!

So, before you go taking anyone's advice, consider your end goal. Take a good hard look at what your body looks like and decide how you want it to look different. I'm not saying you can use these methods to make you look like someone you're not. But you can use the information to make small adjustments. So consider the end goal before following anyone.

Now for depths. Inside Out Style talks about using measurements (YAY MATH!). This means that the neckline will be visually balanced. You use the size of your face and the ratio of the widest points to find your best necklines. What if you don't want to look balanced? What if you're trying to make your upper body look longer (shorter)? Or you want to trick the eye into thinking your bust is higher/lower or bigger or smaller? Then this advice is useless!

My face is 7 1/2" long. 

That means my lowest neckline should be 7 1/2" from my chin. That would end up at the center of my bra. The only time that neckline is possible is with a wrap dress. Otherwise, 100% no.

The second line is 4" from my shoulder. That is actually a pretty high neckline, but it probably explains why i like the shape of my navy blue Angie, since it is right around that 4" mark. BUT, this doesn't explain why I liked really low necklines before and find them less flattering now. The length of my face isn't ever going to change. How'd things end up different? I don't know, but you better believe I'm going to find out!

You know what I've figured out so far? No one agrees because what each person thinks is beautiful, balanced, perfect is COMPLETELY subjective. LAME! I guess my next blog post needs to cover what I considered balanced...

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