Jewel neckline: envisage the neckline of a simple T-shirt, and you’re close to what goes on here – the rounded collar sits at the base of the neck. Best suited to small-chested women. Photo by Stephen Tilley. Gown by Rue de Seine.
Sweetheart: shaped like the top portion of a heart, this style is flattering with or without straps or sleeves. Photo by Stephen Tilley. Gown by Jane Yeh.
Bateau: this wide, high neckline goes from shoulder to shoulder in a straight line or with the shallowest of scoops. Flattering on those with a small bust. Photo by Carolyn Haslett. Dress by Robyn Cliffe.
Halter neck: well-suited to women with broad shoulders, straps on these gowns wrap round the back of the neck – a style that can be paired with a sweetheart or a straight neckline. Photo by Carolyn Haslett. Dress by John Zimmermann.
Illusion neckline: sheer fabric extends beyond a strapless bodice to form sleeves and cover the décolletage and shoulders – often embellished or made from lace. Photo by Marissa Findlay. Dress from Modes.
Off-the-shoulder: this neckline sweeps below the collar bone and rests just below the shoulders, sometimes with sleeves that cover part of the upper arm. Photo by Stephen Tilley. Dress by Hera Bridal.
One-shoulder: a self-explanatory concept, many gowns make a feature of a single strap, embellishing it with embroidery or a detailed appliqué. Photo by Jackie Meiring. Dress by John Zimmermann.
Scoop: this wide U-shaped cut flatters all shapes and sizes, and can be cut high or low. Photo by Marissa Findlay. Dress from Modes.
Strapless: want to show off fabulous shoulders? A strap-free gown is a classic way of doing so. Accentuate a small cup size with a sweetheart neckline. Photo by Stephen Tilley. Dress by Hera.
V-neck: the neckline dips in a sharp V-shape. Photo by Carolyn Haslett. Dress by Vinka Design.