Bateau, boat neck, off the shoulder, Bardot - whatever you prefer to call it, this neckline is having a real moment and we think we know the reason why.
It's probably Meghan Markle - now the Duchess of Sussex - who has done the most to popularise the style, having chosen a bateau neckline for her beautiful wedding dress.
From left: Studio Design Collection 4513, Dessy Style 3002
Who should choose a boat neckline?
- It's great if you want to show off a slim neck and shoulders
- If you have a large tummy or bust it's flattering because it draws the eye upwards
- Good for pear and hourglass figures
- Off the shoulder - can sit on the shoulder or just below it
From left: Bella style BB112, Dessy Collection Style 3016
Remember to think about your underwear when you're choosing this style as visible bra straps are an absolute no starter. Choose a good strapless bra instead.
Bateau necklines look wonderful with a hat as they leave a clear neckline, allowing the dress to work with the hat and vice versa. In the case of your bridesmaids, you might want them to wear flower crowns or some sort of fascinator in their hair.
Talking of hair, a bateau neckline works best with an updo. It doesn't have to be super formal - a messy bun like Meghan's is a fantastic choice. Chandelier earrings also look amazing.
- If you leave locks long and flowing it will detract from the line of the dress - so put that hair up!
- The other name for this neckline is a 'Sabrina' after the Audrey Hepburn film in which the heroine wears just such a style.
- It's supremely elegant and timeless, so it will look good in your wedding photographs for a long time to come.
However, as you know, it's always best to choose bridesmaids dresses that flatter your girls - so if one of your maids is self conscious about her waist or has a larger bustline, then a bateau neckline probably isn't for her. Ask her what she'd like to wear and browse through some alternative styles.