It’s hip to be square! It’s spring’s tricky new neckline. Here’s the way to wear it — and how to smooth your chest before you do
- Renee Zellweger and Helen Mirren have embraced the square neckline trend
- Jess Wood revealed a selection of stylish square neck outfits from UK stores
- She advises those with a bigger bust to opt for a higher, narrower cut
We know of the hemline index theory — hems go up if the economy does.
But I hereby introduce another philosophy: the neckline connection.
As the news gets grimmer, our thirst for vaguely historical silhouettes gets more extreme.
The revival of the square neck is a case in point. Previously the least cool cut imaginable, they haven’t been in since, ooh, about two centuries ago (if you don’t count a brief 1960s moment). But they’ve been making a surprise comeback of late.
Jess Wood shared advice for embracing the trend for square necklines. Pictured: Top, £18, warehouse. co.uk; jeans, £49.95, massimodutti.com; belt, £65, baukjen. com; bag, £95, Iris & Ink at theoutnet.com
Dress, £28, Warehouse at johnlewis. com; shoes, £245, russell andbromley. co.uk
They look particularly fetching on the Little Women-inspired prairie dresses that we cannot seem to get enough of.
They’ve even hit the red carpet, with stars including Renee Zellweger and Helen Mirren sporting them at recent events.
The big selling point is the way this shape elegantly exposes the collarbone and elongates the neck. It’s a neckline that can whisper ‘softly feminine’. But it can also shout ‘buxom milkmaid’, if you’re not careful.
How to pull it off? The easiest way to try the trend is to invest in a square-necked top to update your jeans, like this classic striped Breton from Warehouse (top left).
Top, £155, Ganni at irisfashion. co.uk
Dress, £145, kitristudio. com; heels, £146.25, lkbennett. com
If you have a bigger bust, choose a higher, narrower cut — more of a rectangle than a square, if you will. If you’re in the market for exposing a little more skin, wearing a balconette bra underneath is a must to give you the right shape.
Opt for block colours and simple silhouettes — as seen with most of the pieces here — for a more grown-up way to wear it.
Personally, I’ll be pushing the envelope with a piece that gets double points for historical referencing — this balloon-sleeved polka dot blouse by Ganni (top right).
It may not make the news headlines any less awful, but at least it will give my look (and me) a gentle, Austen-esque lift.
Top, £7, Red Herring at debenhams. com; skirt, £46, topshop. com
Floral dress, £285, rixo.co.uk; earrings, £95, thehoopstation. co.uk; necklace, £22, orelia.co.uk (same jewellery throughout)
Green dress, £49.99, zara.com; flats, £195, russelland bromley. co.uk
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