PYT: Subtle Appeal

By Lumay Wang • Aug 26th, 2009 • Category: Obsessions of the Week, Style   

I have a penchant for all things classical from black blazers to simple cardigans, so it is no surprise that my obsession for this week is a sweet and simple bateau or boat neckline. Past style wants have been V-necks and sweethearts, but after noting how flattering the boat neck is on the Fall 2009 runways, I instantly became a fan. Giambatista Valli kept it classy with ebony colors, while Dries Van Noten brought the neckline up to date with satiny fabrics and strategically placed patterns.

The bateau neck is conservatively sexy as oxymoronic as it may sound. Without the conspicuous show of cleavage, va-va-voom sex appeal is thrown out the window. Instead, the space between the neck and shoulders is fully revealed, which in my opinion is an unspoken sexy curve. The neck is instantly elongated, helping the wearer to seem taller, more elegant, and more dignified. (Of course, good posture helps, too.)

This year’s pickings waver between the basic cotton tee and more imaginative options. The basic tees are a dime a dozen, while the more stylish, trendy tops and dresses remain more elusive and pricier. The pairing of a dolman or bat sleeve with the boat neck seems popular as does exaggerating the boxiness that such a neckline can create. I suggest shying away from the tight-fitting boat necks (or those with too many navy and white stripes) because the form fitting nature of the garment will take away from the sexiness created by the neckline. Try to find tops and dresses with embellishments or contemporary cuts and drapes. Create intersecting lines with long necklaces like Jaeger London. On my wish list:

Mary Meyer top ($59 @ - The graphic on the front transforms this otherwise simple black top into a visually interesting centerpiece. When the weather starts to cool, layer a bright color underneath to add a pop. Pair with jeans or other slim bottoms.

Vanessa Bruno dress ($455 @ - What does one classic plus another classic look like? Super chic – at least that’s what you get when you add the bateau neck on the LBD. Always a fan of pockets, I am thrilled that this little number has room for your keys and subway card (and features a little belting to keep in the tummy). The wool component of the fabric adds a touch of weight to help ward off any cooling chills.

Lewis Cho Top ($120 @ - This green top is a perfect layering piece underneath a charcoal cardi. Throw your scarf on, or tuck into a pencil skirt to make it work appropriate. Modal ensures a silky smooth feel on your skin.


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One Comment

  1. Bateau necklines are a fave of mine, too. Something so elegant about them …

    August 27th, 2009 at 11:28 am

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