High Neck Dresses

This page on high neck dresses looks at three common styles: the jewel neck, the drawstring neck and the gathered neckline. All look great on women with modest boobs, unfortunately they do not look good on big busted women. I discuss each style individually below.

The three high neck styles:

  1. Jewel neck
  2. Gathered neckline
  3. Drawstring neck

What is a Jewel Neckline?

The Jewel neckline is a round high neck dress style which is located at the base of the neck. It was originally named for it's ability to showcase jewellery against the fabric itself. Michele Obama demonstrates this perectfully above.

The Jewel neck is also similar to another style, in this case the crew neck and the two are often understandably confused. I am not convinced there is much difference although technically the crew neck is supposed to be higher on the neck and have a band of material, or collar, framing it. 

In practical terms, the crew neck is often used on tee shirts or sweat shirts, whereas the jewel neck is how one would refer to a formal dress style. I know it is not a high neck dress but the principle is the same.

I have actually devoted a page to the crewneck so if, like a horror movie fan, you just love to be frightened head over to that page by clicking the above link.

What is a Gathered Neckline?

A Gathered neckline principally describes the ruching, pleating or gathering of the material at the aperture itself. The neck itself can be various shapes though they do tend to be rounded, it is usually simply a matter of how deep the lie.

The examples above show a low and high neck dress style. It is for this reason that the gathered neckline style is usually only half of a description, for example a gathered scoopneck. Oftentimes the neck itself is elasticated.

Is the Gathered neck line a good style for ladies with large busts? Sorry to be unhelpful but it depends. Generally detail at the bust is not wise but it depends very much on how much detailing there is and exactly where it is located. 

It also depends, very much on the depth and width of the neckline aperture. Generally high neck dresses are not a good look but you may occasionaly find style that breaks the rule.

What is a Drawstring Neck?

A drawstring neck is fairly obvious. It involves a tie, cord or strings which tie up, usually at the front. It can occasionally be merely decorative but normally you can pull the neckline tighter or loosen it by use of the ties.

Like the gathered neckline above, the drawstring neck can be different shapes; primarily a round neck or occasionally a V neck. It is this that will determine whether the style suits a big busted woman.

In the examples above, the normally flattering V neck looks poor. That is partly due to the tight material, the fact she is bra-less and the shallow depth of the V neck.

The top on the right appears to be a far better look. This is primarily because the round neck is low enough to be deemed a scoopneck.

The drawstring itself is a detail which can draw the eye. It is generally advised to keep detailing away from the bust as you do not need unnecessary attention.

Whilst the drawstring neck is not necessarily a bad style, I include it in the listing of neck styles to avoid as it is often used in high neck dresses to (supposedly) provide a bit of style to an otherwise flat front. The detailing of the ties themselves are also not good.

High Neck Dresses Are A Poor Choice For Busty Women

I do not want to labour the explanations I have already made, so merely point out that all three high neck dresses styles discussed above: the drawstring neck, jewel neck and gathered neckline all have insufficient detail to draw the eye away from that large chest.

All can look very good on the right body shape. However for a lady with a large bust, extreme caution is needed. That is not to say, you cannot wear them, just be aware, very aware.

As the great Chinese warlord Sun Tzu once said,

"If you know your enemy and know yourself, you need not fear"

The important thing is for you to recognise the keyhole neckline and the other worst neck styles for a large bust. There will always be room for personal taste, equally there are always exceptions to rules.

Perhaps you may think of a way to combine that neckline with another feature, or layer it. Maybe a camisole or cardigan?

I am not sure if you have seen them, but there are separate pages on  other villains: the boatneck and crewneck, the turtleneck and plunging necklines. If you prefer to see what works well on a big bust, go to flattering necklines.

Or head back to the home page at how to dress a big bust.


Did you like this page, did you learn something, maybe it reinforced you own views? I want to give as much (hopefully helpful) advice to the busty sisterhood as I can.

Please remember, we are all different. You may like to wear certain clothes and styles which I am suggesting that you should not. That is your absolute right. Do what makes you feel good. This site undeniably goes for the more modest approach because I feel all busty ladies already know how to be more racy if they wish.

It would really help me improve the site profile if you would click the Facebook 'Like' button. Pretty please! Susan

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Warning sign - if Keira Knightley looks good in it, I know I almost certainly will not.

It is no surprise to find that she regularly wears high neck dresses. There again she is almost the polar opposite of the generous chested women that will be reading this site.

Therefore you can hardly blame her as these styles suit her.



Again, if Michele Obama likes a style, I know it is not going to be a style that suits me. Here we have the gathered neckline.

Have a wild stab as to whether anything worn by these two ladies will suit a big busted lass?



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Susan