Necklines are defined by the edge of a garment at or below a woman’s neck. Typically, a neckline is described by its shape, such as a square neckline, or by its height, such as a high-collar neckline. A vertical neckline emphasizes the vertical axis of a garment and suggests a general linear shape that goes up and down.

Balancing Faces and Body Shapes

Vertical necklines comprise many variations to bring balance and proportions to a person’s torso, neck and face. This style complements most body types and elongates the wearer’s figure while highlighting the shape of her face. Depending on the length and width of the vertical neckline, the wearer can create the appearance of broader or narrower shoulders. Because vertical necklines have a slimming effect, women with longer faces should take particular care when choosing this neckline: Someone with thin facial features may not want a deep vertical neckline because it seems to further narrow the face.

Types of Vertical Necklines

There are myriad variations on the vertical neckline. A standard V-neck covers the shoulders and forms down into a wide “V” shape on the front chest. A deep V-neck also covers the woman’s shoulders; however, the “V” shape dips farther down the front chest than a standard neckline. Another type of deep V-neck is the surplice vertical neckline, which uses overlapping fabric to create a long, downward appearance.

A halter-top cut is another kind of vertical neckline. It’s typically sleeveless and secures at the back of the neck while forming a wide or narrow “V” shape on or above the chest. A plunging neckline, on the other hand, often forms a low-cut “V” and extends to chest level or farther down to waist level.

Clothing with Vertical Necklines

From casual wear to formal wear, vertical necklines are available for a wide range of woman’s clothing. Oxford-style tops such as button-down blouses and polo shirts can convey a subtle vertical neckline. Certain halter-top swimsuits put the focus on a “V” shape at the cleavage area. For wearers who want to make a bold, confident statement at an event, evening gowns may feature a racy plunging neckline. Vertical necklines are also achieved with a tailored blazer buttoned at the front, or even a cocktail dress that wraps around the body like a robe.

Creating Vertical Necklines

Layering and accessories are other ways to create a vertical neckline effect. For women who want to indulge in a V-neck style without revealing too much, wearing something sheer underneath a daring deep V-shaped blouse creates a modest vertical neckline. To give an outfit a vertical effect, women can try wearing a scarf that lies at the front chest. Accessorizing with long necklaces can also give outfits a desired vertical neckline.