I'm Convinced This One Detail Makes Any Outfit Look Expensive

Over my many years of working in fashion, I've realised a few things. One, I don't have to embrace every new trend, even if it's popular (yes, I mean you, low-rise jeans). Two, the most dedicated fandom is the Croc-lover, and nothing and no one will ever change that. And three, if you want to look expensive, the secret is in the neckline. Hear me out. 

A big claim it may be, but I truly believe that a neckline holds more power than we give it credit for. The difference between a simple racer vest and its square-necked sibling is the easiest example of this. A more unique neckline instantly adds an elevated feel that translates seamlessly to an overall expensive-feeling look. That's not to say your racer vest goes out of business, but that every piece has its role and occasion. The relaxed racer and a pair of denim shorts is my blueprint for running errands in the summer, but if you're looking for something extra, and you don't have the funds to splurge on new high-end, designer items, you can certainly still look the part. 

Not only do these particular neckline designs look more expensive, they add a point of difference. A striking one-shoulder or an elegant halterneck can take even the simplest of basics to new heights. And it isn't just tops I'm referring to. For dresses, jumpsuits and even cosy jumpers, these fresh necklines will instantly upgrade your style. So for the minute, let's sidebar the sweetheart, give the v-neck some time off, and allow the round neck to rest and recoup after working so hard for so many years. For now, we're celebrating five specific necklines (yep, there's plenty to choose from) that always look expensive, no matter the price point. Allow me to show you. 

1. Square Neck


(Image credit: @femmeblk)

Style Notes: More often than not, I'll choose my basics with a square neckline because of the instant elevation that it gives, adding chicness but retaining the simplicity required from staple pieces. 


2. Halterneck


(Image credit: @sasha.mei)

Style Notes: Recently, there's been a return of halterneck styles, and honestly, I couldn't be happier. The high-neck style has enough edge to remove the need for a finishing necklace or statement jewels—it's all about the neckline. 


3. Bardot


(Image credit: @dawn.tan)

Style Notes: Bardot and off-the-shoulder styles have proven particularly popular over the past few months, and it's easy to see why. This style is so elevated, it lends itself well to dressier events, putting the "nice" in "jeans and a nice top". Meanwhile, the dress iterations are exceedingly chic.


4. One Shoulder


(Image credit: @nlmarilyn)

Style Notes: I'm a big fan of a one-shoulder neckline as it looks so effortless, but definitely makes a statement. Better still, this style works for so many different occasions. 


5. Bandeau


(Image credit: @oliviamarcus)

Style Notes: Oh, the bandeau. Simple, sleek and perfect for avoiding tan lines in the summer. Plus, there's no denying that a little shoulder moment can go a long way. 


Next Up: The 9 Most Expensive-Looking Pieces on the High Street This Week

Florrie Alexander
Acting Affiliates Editor

Florrie embarked on her fashion journey while studying French and History at university. Whilst studying in Aix-en-Provence, she began to write her dissertation on the history of fashion and the influence of Haute Couture, and landed her first role at Harper’s Bazaar. Following this, she interned for various publications including Elle, Grazia and Marie Claire before joining the fashion team at Conde Nast Traveller. There, she contributed to international photoshoots, styled pages and covers, and produced engaging digital content.

During a freelance period, Florrie honed her skills in editorial work in various digital and print publications including Vogue Italy and Departures magazine, as well as styling e-commerce photoshoots and personal shopping. Florrie actively pursues an in-depth understanding of fashion and jewellery, and after styling a jewellery cover shoot at Conde Nast Traveller chose to complete the De Beers Diamond Foundation course. Florrie first joined Who What Wear UK as a freelancer before becoming the Commerce Writer, blending both editorial and commercial content. Now, as the Acting Affiliates Editor, she monitors current trends, new-in styles, wardrobe heroes and how best to style them. In her downtime, Florrie can be found in her hometown of London, usually with a coffee in hand.