V-neck tops and round-neck tops are the two most common necklines in women's clothing. And why you prefer one over the other may be for several reasons, but after 7 years of styling women, I still hear "I don't know why but [insert either v-neck or round neck] neckline looks better on me."
And here's why! It's probably your bustline!
If you have a full bust, breaking up the roundness of your chest will be more flattering. A v-neck breaks up the straight line across your collar bone which helps to break up the roundness, plus it pulls the focus of the eye up towards your face, almost like an arrow. I'm a very busty 14-16 (38DDD bust) and I almost always wear a v-neck. Here's why!
In this photo below, you can see that the v-neck in my blouse breaks up the roundness of my upper body in multiple ways. It adds straight lines to my collar bone area, it breaks up the visual field between my shoulder and chest areas, and opens up the blouse at the neck which elongates my neckline.
Round-neck tops can look fantastic on smaller busts for the opposite reasons. They can create roundness where there isn't much and it can really show off your neck and shoulder line. They also soften angular features or thinner frames.
For those reasons, they're often not as flattering on larger-busted women. Using myself as an example again, in the photo below, I'm wearing a round-neck top. It does have a slight scoop to it so does break up the line between my shoulders more than a crew-neck or turtleneck top would, but it certainly doesn't give me the slimming effect of the straight lines that a v-neck would. If anything, it adds more roundness to my figure with the curve of the scoop neck. It would look fantastic on someone with a smaller bust!
There are many, many reasons why you may prefer one neckline over the other, including the general shape of your body (such as an apple shape vs a rectangular shape) but your bustline is one of the major factors.
I personally think v-necks are universally flattering but one of my friends who happens to have a very small bust swears that she can't wear them because they make her look too angular, so your personal style and taste should obviously be the deciding factor in what you choose!
P.S. If you haven't downloaded my FREE Shape & Style Guide, grab it here!
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