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As the weather warms up, it’s time to pack away your heavy winter clothes and slip into your breezy summer wear. Planning your summer wardrobe takes time if you want to look fab when you’re chilling on the beach with friends or hosting your first pool party. As you mix and match your colors and textures, give some consideration to your necklines. A well-chosen neckline will balance your body, play up your best assets, make your neck look slimmer, and elongate your body, so make sure to choose one that’s most flattering for your body type. The basic rules below will help you choose the best neckline for your face and body type. But since rules are meant to be broken, feel free to switch things up whenever the mood hits.

  • Heart-shaped necklines: The feminine scalloped scoop of heart-shaped necklines lengthens your face and shows off your most alluring parts. This type of neckline looks appealing on almost everyone, but they’re especially great for curvy women who want to appear longer and leaner. Try heart shaped cuts on your swimsuits or cocktail dresses and you’ll draw attention to your face and elongate your upper body if you’re petite.
  • Halter necklines: Halters are universally flattering. They provide support for women with a larger bust line, cut broader shoulder lines, and create the illusion of curves where there  is none. Halters are a popular theme in swimsuits, cocktail dresses, and wedding dresses because they are so flattering. Pair Your halter with a fitted blazer if you want to hide trouble spots on your shoulders, back, or arms.
  • V-necklines: Most summer tops have a v-neckline. The deep V elongates your neck and balances your upper body if you’re fuller up top. It’s also a terrific way to draw attention away from a double chin. Go for a wider V if you have narrow shoulders or a smaller upper body. Choose a necklace in a contrasting shape if you plan to wear jewelry. For instance, a round strand of beads sits well in the V of your blouse or dress. Avoid V-necks if you’re top heavy or have an excessively long neck.
  • Scoop necklines: Scooped necklines create the illusion of curves, so they’re especially flattering if you have a smaller chest or an athletic build. Wider scoops make the shoulders appear wider, which is convenient if you have a narrow shoulder. Use a lower scoop to elongate your neck or draw attention away from your chin. A feature necklace in a similar shape adds emphasis to a scoop-neckline, so use it to make a bold statement.
  • Boat/Square necklines: If you have an hourglass figure, you can pull off almost any neckline, like the ones at http://www.navabi.co.uk/. However, boat or square necklines are particularly flattering on your hourglass shape. This cut is common in striped t-shirts and dresses, so pick up a few for the summer. Do not wear a boatneck if you have a thick neck, large breasts, broad shoulders, or a double chin as it will highlight these areas.
  • Tube necklines: Strapless or tube tops line the racks of department stores, but it’s not an easy look to pull off. Generally, strapless tops look best on women with wider shoulders and smaller busts. There’s always the risk of spilling out if you have a larger bust line and fail to wear appropriate foundation garments. Purchase strapless tops, swimsuits, and dresses with built-in bras or use your own seamless or strapless bra. Clear strap bras are a no-no and sticky bra pads are just uncomfortable.
  • Turtlenecks: Turtlenecks provide coverage for those chilly days so you won’t have to sacrifice comfort for fashion’s sake. Turtlenecks hit a few inches below your chin, so they shorten your neck and your overall length. Therefore, it’s a fantastic choice if you have a long neck or face. You’ll also carry the look well if you’re square-shouldered.

When you go shopping, remember to spend some time exploring the neckline options to see how they suit your body type, especially your upper body and face. When you find a flattering neckline, stick with the one that works but don’t be afraid to step out the box if a stunning blouse or dress catches your eye.

Nicole Humphries is a passionate fashionista with a knack for polished and stylish looks. She often blogs about the basics of style for today’s women.