Necklines 101: How Low to Go for Every Occasion

Wearing a plunging halter top to a boardroom meeting is an obvious no-no, but there’s a gray area when it comes to navigating necklines. For example, how much skin should you risk exposing when attending a wedding or going on a first date? To help you out, we’ve put together a guide on which necklines to wear for eight tricky sartorial situations.

Keep scrolling to check out our eight tips and shop our stylish picks.

Play it safe during an interview, especially if you’re applying to a traditional corporate office. Even if you’re interviewing for a creative gig, err on the side of caution and stick to collared button-downs with no more than one or two buttons left open, which will convey a stronger sense of professionalism.

Avoid racy low-cut dresses when you’re attending a semi-formal wedding, since you don’t want to look flashy and upstage the bride. Instead, you can still expose plenty of skin in an elegant, feminine way with a strapless neckline.

If you’re even debating whether or not your blouse is too low-cut for the office, chances are it is. Opt for a modest V-neck that shows off your collarbone and just a hint of skin.

Whether you’re jetting off to a bachelorette party or just grabbing Friday night drinks with the girls, this is one occasion when you can really flaunt it. Try an unbuttoned down-to-there shirt—as low as you feel comfortable with!

Place of Worship

Photo:

Stockholm Street Style

If you’re attending church or another place of worship, it’s important to respect the environment you’re in. Wearing a low-cut top will draw attention to yourself when all eyes should be on the service, so go for flattering scoop-neck or boat-neck cuts.

Meeting a guy for the first time? Chances are you’ll want to wear a flirtatious outfit that shows off just the right amount of skin. A partially unbuttoned shirtdress reveals just enough without feeling too risqué and intimidating your date. If you’d like a little more coverage, just layer a cami underneath.

Brunch With Parents

When you’re at brunch with mom and dad—or at any family-oriented affair, really—strike a balance between baring skin and remaining appropriately conservative. The compromise? A wide neckline that bares your neck and shoulders, but not too much cleavage.

Black-Tie Gala

Photo:

Stockholm Street Style

If you get the opportunity to dress up for a fancy soiree, take a sartorial risk and go for the plunge. A navel-grazing deep-V tends to work best with a diminutive chest, so you’ll have to experiment with what works best for your own figure.

Ramy Brook Cannes Gown ($695)

Be honest: Have you ever worn something that may have been inappropriately low-cut? Spill in the comments below!