21 Ways to Wear a Boat Neck Wedding Dress
There's just something about a boat neck wedding dress that's so timeless and flattering. The neckline—also commonly known as "bateau"—has regained popularity as of late for one big reason: Although off-the-shoulder garments are everywhere right now, we can all thank Meghan Markle for the style's comeback. While she regularly chooses the style for official outings, it's the fact that she famously wore a boat neck gown on her wedding day that helped this old-school style make its much-deserved comeback. If you followed 2018's most popular wedding closely, you won't be surprised that her simple, long-sleeved Givenchy wedding dress reignited a passion for this particular bridal fashion trend.
Like an off-the-shoulder neckline, the boat neck is a subtle, classic way to show off the skin around your collar bones. It's slightly elongated, but also appears in different lengths. While some more daring gowns feature tip-of-the-shoulder iterations, many stop just past the shoulder's midway point. The gist? There's no one right interpretation of this style, which makes it a versatile wedding dress detail that caters to many brides. If you're looking for coverage, consider a wedding dress like Markle's, but if you want something a bit more alluring, look to the flirty floral neckline of this Jenny Yoo gown for inspiration.
The neckline's versatility, in addition to its ability to pair prettily with all kinds of go-to embellishments (think mesh, crystals, and lace), make it a trend definitely that's here to stay. Don't just take our word for it, though. Click through to discover how other women donned this elegant, classic neckline on their own wedding day.
Merge the sophisticated, classic neckline with a contemporary, laser-cut print for a wedding dress (like this one, from Victoria Ruesche!) with an unexpected, old-meets-new aesthetic.
The best part about this neckline? It can be as elongated (to the tip of the shoulders!) or as restrained (close to the throat!) as you'd like. This simple, long-sleeved garment is a pretty iteration of the latter.
We love how this traditional Pronovias frock elongates the bride's neck, while accentuating her arms.
While we're generally a fan of pairing this particular style with updos (they allow you to show off those collar bones!), this bride, in Rime Arodaky, proves that opting for beachy waves doesn't detract from its beauty. It's actually even more alluring—with each and every breeze, you'll get a peek of shoulder!
Everything about this vintage Second Dance Bridal wedding dress—from the old-fashioned lace bodice, to the natural waist, to the exaggerated veil—screams the Roaring 20s.
This classic three-quarter-sleeved gown by Celestina Agostino falls somewhere in between boat neck and scoop neck (the prettiest hybrid!).
Meghan Markle called, and she wants her wedding dress back! This fitted, traditional wedding dress (complete with Markle's go-to neckline!) by Dawn FitzGerald Atelier is the perfect source of inspiration for the Duchess-loving bride.
Note how one side of this Garnish & Frill wedding dress' neckline creeps farther towards one shoulder than the other—a genius way to transform the classic into the modern.
There's no wedding dress silhouette that doesn't play nice with a boat neck. This casual Elizabeth Suzann wedding dress is proof that it's just as pretty on a sheath.
Bold and Feminine
Sophisticated can still feel daring. Just take this Ralph Lauren number, for example. Pair a sheer bateau neckline with smoky eye makeup and a dramatic updo and voilà—elegant, but decidedly sexy.
We're noticing a trend, especially thanks to this Tara Lauren gown—long sleeves and boat necklines seem to be a match made in heaven.
Make like this bride and opt for a mesh bateau neckline that will seemingly vanish into your skin.
We love how the lace used on this Jin Wang number's elongated neckline references that used in the sleeves.
Look for a wedding dress with a healthy dose of crystal beadwork concentrated at the neckline, a là this off-white Monique Lhuillier beauty, for an extra dose of pretty. At the very least, it accentuates the bateau style you love.
Try pairing this neckline with a set of statement earrings. This bride's dangling jewelry perfectly complemented her patterned gown's neckline.
Tip of the Shoulder
We're all for the elongated interpretation of this neckline style. The tip-of-the-shoulder look makes for a soft, bohemian moment.