Face Shapes and Necklines

I plan to revisit my Sencha blouse again soon, which had me thinking about necklines and face shapes. I still wear my keyhole neckline Sencha, but I’ve never felt comfortable with the high neckline. I’ll probably draft the neckline differently once I tackle this project again for a more wearable Sencha based on the guidelines below.

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What face shape am I?

The best way to determine your face shape is to stand in front of a mirror. Pull your hair back and draw a faint line on the mirror, following the outline of your face.

Here are some examples of different face shapes:


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The most balanced face shape is the oval face shape. The combination of the face shape and the neckline aim to create balance, giving the illusion of a more oval-shaped face. Here are some examples of face shapes and necklines.

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The Round Face

The round face needs vertical space to balance out the roundness. Necklines that are flattering include v-necks, shirt/blouse collars, Queen Anne necklines and Empire necklines.

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The Long Face

The long face needs horizontal space to balance out the longness, making the face appear wider and more oval. Necklines that are flattering include using necklines that are shallower, and which do not generate such a downward focus. Neck styles as the Sabrina, Bateau, Portrait and Cowl Neck, are also flattering.

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The Angular Face

The angular face needs curves to balance out the angles. These can come in a variety of neckline styles, such as the Scoop Neck, Sabrina, Sweetheart and Cowl Neck styles. The triangle, inverted triangle and diamond shape face all fall under the Angular Face category, as do those individuals with a Square Face.

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The Oval Face

The oval face can wear generally any look, as it’s already balanced.

Source: greatestlook.com

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Here are other examples of necklines and face shapes:





18 thoughts on “Face Shapes and Necklines

  1. A treasure trove of necklines and their names… The tracing on a mirror thing is kind of hard to get right, I have to close one eye and hope for the best… I think the architecture of the bosom (there’s a great turn of phrase if I’ve ever heard one…) has something to do with necklines, too. I recently read that larger busts should avoid high necklines. It’s hard though, because if I wear anything but a high neckline I fall out of it. Now I have to factor in face shape too… Sigh. It’s all so hard…. 😉

  2. Yes, I’ve heard that too that those who are um, well-endowed should avoid higher necklines. I guess it also comes down to what you feel comfortable in.

    I tried the tracing thing on the mirror and I did get a shape, though how accurate it actually is would be another thing.

  3. Thanks for this post, Janice. One reason I’ve veered clear of the Sencha (and nearly all vintage blouses) is because I worry about the high neckline. I’ve got a square jaw and, man, it’s hard for me to wear anything that gets that close to my neck without feeling downright manly. Though some scoff at these sorts of “rules” I frequently find them right on — this case included!

    As for the bust issue, as a small busted gal, I’m finding the tightness of the top makes all the difference. A looser, blousier top is much more flattering whereas a skin tight one (that might show off a busty gal’s curves), not so much.

  4. I have the same issue with Sencha, Ali. I’ve been wearing my wearable muslin version since I really do like the pink floral print, but I don’t do well with high necklines. I’m not comfortable with them and I always feel like I’m being strangled.

    I’m probably going to end up re-drafting a lot of the necklines on vintage patterns from now on so I don’t feel so strangled.

  5. Wonderful, wonderful post! Very thorough and terribly helpful. I feel like I understand how I’m framing my face so much better now.

    I’m going to let others know! ^_^ Thank you!

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  8. It’s important to take your neck and shoulders into consideration, too. Plus your hair length and style, and what neck jewelry you wear, can have a big effect. I have a longish face, but I also have quite a long neck and wide, almost manly shoulders, so if I wear a boatneck or even a high crew, it makes me look like my whole head is a pencil eraser set on a plate, unless I wear my long hair very loose or do some strong, contrasting jewelry or a neck scarf. I use big square glasses to widen and shorten my face instead:)

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  12. Hey Janice, I have never thought about my body shape to make a dress with a neckline. But when I saw your article then I realize the importance of the body shape to design a dress and which neckline will be ok for me.

  13. Fantastic experience of learning after reading your blog. Usually we do not think about what neckline will be great according our shape. Thanks for this informative article. By the by, what blouse back neck designs will be great for oval face?

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