A boatneck is a type of neckline in both men and women’s wear. Initially, the neckline, also called the bateau neck, was designed for sailors. The wide slit made it easy to change a shirt quickly, since it slips easily over the head. This can be advantageous when clothing gets wet and needs to be changed in a hurry.
The modern boatneck is a popular design especially in women’s clothing. It is a neckline that is cut out from shoulder to shoulder. This presents a straight horizontal opening that usually covers the chest to just below the neck. The front and back are of the same design. Frequently, it simply means a wide slit across the top of a garment that forms the neckline. It does cover from the middle to most of the shoulders, though some are cut lower on the shoulders.
The boatneck can be featured on a variety of women’s tops. Knit tops, sweaters, and blouses can all feature this design. Some dresses, even formal ones have the neckline style too. Many men’s sweaters and knit shirts also come in boatneck styles. They’re easy to slip on, comfortable to wear, and considered a flattering neckline for many.
The one main problem women may cite with a boatneck style top is the degree of width from shoulder to shoulder. The neckline may be too wide, causing bra straps to show. To avoid this issue, women can look for a those that don’t have a very wide cut. As long as the slit doesn’t extend onto the shoulders, the wearer can still capture the look without having to show off her undergarments.
A pretty and popular style in dancewear is the boatneck leotard. Unlike the traditional style, the back of the leotard dips down to showcase the upper portion of the back. It is still a nice look, and actually an interesting modern interpretation of the boatneck. People may also see neckline fronts in this style with dropped backs in evening dresses.
One way in which people might be familiar with boatneck tops is because they are traditional wear for French mimes. The black and white striped top tends to be the popular choice when someone is dressed in full mime regalia. People can also find striped tops like this, particularly in women’s styles, but they may evoking mime clothing styles when worn. At the least, they allude to the nautical origins of the neckline.