The most obvious and most common neckline is strapless, but even within that one category, there are many variations:
All three dress above are from the Monique Lhuillier "Bliss" line
Straight across strapless is pretty self-explanatory, but sweetheart and modified sweetheart can get pretty varied. To put it simply, a sweetheart has a pretty obvious heart-shape to the neckline, whereas a modified sweetheart is not nearly as strong a "v" in the dip. It's more of a slight curve down at the center of the bustline. Generally speaking, sweetheart is the most flattering of the strapless necklines, but there are exceptions, of course. Straight across can be somewhat harsh and unforgiving, unlike the sweetheart- true or modified- which curves naturally with the shape of the bust.
Personally, I'm not a huge fan of strapless dresses. I prefer a neckline that frames the face a little more, even if it's merely the addition of some type of straps to a strapless neckline:
Spaghetti straps Monique Lhuillier Bliss
Wide lace straps Monique Lhuillier
Fortunately, for those of us not enamored of the strapless neckline, there are many options that are both beautiful and flattering and that include straps or sleeves of some kine.
A common neckline choice is the halter. Once again, there are many variations on this theme. I even wrote a post about the halter neckline a few months ago. Check it out here.
Halter may be very pretty and quite varied in the options available, but it's still not for everyone. I love scoop necklines, especially when they are fairly plunging:
Scoop necklines can also be squared off for a slightly different effect:
For someone interested in showing off a little more cleavage, the v-neck works quite well:
One rarely seen neckline that is actually quite elegant is the bateau:
And another that is actually quite popular right now is the asymmetrical one-shoulder look:
It may seem overwhelming at first, but if you try different necklines out, you'll soon discover that there is one you gravitate towards, most likely because it is the one that is the most flattering on you. Check back soon as we cover differences in waistlines, fabric choices and trains.