A cowl neck is type of neckline that instead of being straight, it unstructured and floppy. It drapes below the collarbone like an overgrown turtle neck. The extra folds of fabric mean that a cowl neck can be worn in a variety of different ways. Sweaters, evening dresses and tops can all be made with cowl necks.

Let the cowl neck find its own position. This is a popular choice of how to wear the cowl neck and means that no adjusting needs to be done. The natural position of a cowl neck tends to be all hanging in front.

Wear the cowl neck over the head like a hood. This can only be done when there is enough fabric available to do so. This can look fantastic, especially when the cowl neck is situated on a sweater or other piece of knitwear.

Pull the cowl neck taught over your shoulders. This creates an off the shoulder look which can be extremely flattering for your shape. This works best on evening garments as the off the shoulder look is most appropriate for evening wear.

Transform the look of a cowl neck by pulling it into a boat neckline. This can be achieved by lifting the fabric over the collarbone towards the shoulders. The end result is a cowl neck with as many folds of fabric behind the neck as in front.


  • Cowl neck dresses and tunics are great for maternity wear as they can provide extra room as the bump grows.