Myth: Very low necklines flatter everyone.

Truth: Very low necklines flatter no one.

Overall, I’m pretty comfortable with my body but I do have my issues. One of those issues is my neck. It’s short with a bit of thickness at my jawline. You would expect that I would want to cover that with turtlenecks and other high necklines but that’s not the case. It seems counterintuitive, but high necklines do not flatter me. All they do is emphasize my neck issues. Instead, I keep my necklines open and I avoid choker necklaces. It works.

But just how far can you go?

From me, you get the truth.

It’s true that most lower necklines are universally flattering. An exposed neck is a visually longer and slimmer neck. Who doesn’t want that? Even if you have the turtleneck neck- a long, slim, firm neck combined with a firm, strong jawline- it’s never necessary to wear a high neckline. A low-ish neckline can play up that long line without looking gawky.

On the other hand, if the neckline is too low, it goes horribly wrong. It draws way too much attention to the chest and that’s not a good thing even if you like your chest otherwise. I remember a TV show in which one of the characters was considering enhancement on her chest but a co-worker who was more endowed talked her out of it. The co-worker told her that “when you talk to other people, they’re interested in your viewpoint. When I talk to other people, all they’re interested in is the view.” 

In general, most fashion gurus agree that showing even just a hint of the bust is not appropriate for the workplace. But even they make mistakes. One book that I love otherwise made the mistake of showing “before” photos and not pointing out the mistake of revealing too much on top. And some of the “after” photos featured a very low neckline. Even though the specific looks were for after-work gatherings, they were specifically meant as professional looks and it was just too much.

Which brings me to another point. Many fashion gurus say that showing that kind of skin is appropriate for special events. I couldn’t disagree more. I have never seen it look anything other than cheap and tasteless. Those gurus feel that showing skin is a good way to look attractive for evening. I honestly feel that there are tasteful ways to do that and this is not one of them.

But even if we avoid going that far, some necklines are still too low for comfort. I remember a friend recently asking me my opinion on her low neckline. She had heard from others that it was too low and she wanted my opinion. I honestly felt that it was too low to really flatter her. Why did I feel that way? Because the neckline wasn’t high enough to really frame her face.

A neckline’s job isn’t just to flatter the neck. It has to frame and flatter the face and draw attention there. If it’s not high enough, it can’t accomplish that.

Part of that has to do with color. If you’re wearing the right color near your face, it will make you appear healthy and either active or relaxed and you’ll look as if you’re wearing a bit of makeup. One of my favorite books on color does make this mistake. The “after” photos mostly showed women with very low necklines and I was wondering if the color was doing the flattering or just the very obvious (albeit pretty and not overdone) makeup.

No, you need not wear turtlenecks or mock turtlenecks, especially if they don’t flatter you. But you do need your neckline to be high enough to frame and flatter your face. That way, your personality can really shine and people will be interested in your viewpoint and not just in the view.

Meira E. Schneider-Atik is a wardrobe organizer, personal shopper, jewelry designer, and fashion writer/blogger and speaker. She helps women look great while saving time, effort, and money, all within tznius. And she’ll add to that with custom-designed jewelry. Read more about her ideas on her blog- She also has the YouTube channel “Look your best in mitpachot” where she does headwrapping tutorials and she is available for private demonstrations. She can be reached at (718) 644-6135 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.