Perhaps it would be best to open this article with the obvious assertion: plunging necklines aren’t made for just everyone. A matter of taste, of stepping outside the comfort zone, of knowing your body and your limitations, of feeling at ease while exposing a little bit more skin, it’s no wonder the statement cut for spring / summer 2014 continues to be surrounded by controversy.

Although still daring and revealing plenty, the plunging neckline meets an entirely new level of sophistication this season, with inspiration spanning in between the utterly feminine and the sleek masculine tailoring. With the right styling, the right attitude and the right balance, the infinite plunge can easily morph into a secret (and totally fashionable) weapon.

Find out how to wear it this season, which are this spring’s key styles and all the necessary tips to make the plunging neckline a thriving experience, after the break.

After the break we’ll take you through examples of the statement cut for the coming season, including all the key styles and necessary tips. And as always, you can keep up with all the latest trends and styling advice by subscribing to Fashionising.com’s newsletter or Facebook page.

Click the thumbnails for full pictures
Take the plunge: S/S '14
Take the plunge: S/S '14
Take the plunge: S/S '14
Take the plunge: S/S '14
Take the plunge: S/S '14
Take the plunge: S/S '14
Take the plunge: S/S '14
Take the plunge: S/S '14
Take the plunge: S/S '14
Take the plunge: S/S '14
Take the plunge: S/S '14
Take the plunge: S/S '14
Take the plunge: S/S '14
Take the plunge: S/S '14
Take the plunge: S/S '14
Take the plunge: S/S '14
Take the plunge: S/S '14
Take the plunge: S/S '14
Take the plunge: S/S '14
Take the plunge: S/S '14
Take the plunge: S/S '14
Take the plunge: S/S '14
Take the plunge: S/S '14
Take the plunge: S/S '14
Take the plunge: S/S '14
Take the plunge: S/S '14
Take the plunge: S/S '14
Take the plunge: S/S '14
Take the plunge: S/S '14
Take the plunge: S/S '14
Take the plunge: S/S '14
Take the plunge: S/S '14
Take the plunge: S/S '14
Take the plunge: S/S '14
Take the plunge: S/S '14
Take the plunge: S/S '14
Take the plunge: S/S '14
Take the plunge: S/S '14
Take the plunge: S/S '14
Take the plunge: S/S '14

The plunging neckline: a fashion statement for spring.

When talking plunging necklines you kind of expect the whole look to be brimming with unadulterated sex-appeal. What this season brings along is a subtler take on the revealing cut, making it more approachable, and suited even for daytime. The sensual quality is still one to define the statement cut, but it’s the air of effortlessness to make it wearable in the end. To which one can add the clean, minimal styling as a definite promise of getting it right with little effort.

Plunging neckline spring 2014
Plunging neckline at Christopher Kane, S/S ’14

How to wear the plunging neckline.

Subtle vs. daring.

If you already decided to give the plunging neckline a well-deserved shot this season, you should take into consideration two important aspects: your figure type and your level of confidence.

  • if you are well-endowed and want to try this look, make sure the cups of the top (dress) are roomy enough to accommodate your breasts;
  • keep in mind that too much breast tissue pushed together or flattened out can look inappropriate;
  • do opt for a subtle plunging neckline, in dark colours and for delicate pieces of lingerie peeping out from below your plunging top (dress); same rule goes if you want to sport the trend without having to expose too much skin.

While the deep V neckline is flattering to many women for elongating the torso, it also looks best on those with more modest chests (C cups or less). If you’re body is built that way, you can safely sport the infinite plunge for more of a daring look, remembering to:

  • keep the rest of your outfit somewhat subdued (the rule of flaunting one body part at a time);
  • pick a cool pair of flats instead of heels to keep things from looking too over-the-top sexy;
  • use double-stick tape to avoid any possible malfunctions.

Plunging neckline spring 2014
Subtle vs. daring plunging necklines at Thakoon and Givenchy, S/S ’14

Softly feminine.

Another way of maintaining a much needed balance when sporting the deep plunging neckline this season is to opt for delicate hues, lightweight fabrics and ethereal silhouettes in your garments of choice. Go for:

  • long, flowy dresses covered in psychedelic prints, or sheer layering (keep away from the head-to-toe use of transparency though, as the plunging neckline is all about subtle hints more than inappropriate parades);
  • delicate pastel hues, making sure to complement them with barely there make-up and soft waves;
  • a pair of minimalist heels to infuse the whole look with an easy air of sophistication.

Plunging neckline spring 2014
Feminine plunging necklines at Etro and Genny, S/S ’14

Masculine tailoring.

Where the plunging neckline is utterly dramatic and incredibly sexy, the masculine tailoring is slick, sophisticated and cool, making the combination of the two an instant success.

  • think tailored blazers, vest and pants in luxe fabrics and bold colours;
  • choose architectural motifs and a minimalistic styling approach;
  • wear the looks with nothing underneath for more of a dramatic impact.

Plunging neckline spring 2014
Plunging necklines at Genny and Costume National, S/S ’14

Structured dresses.

If the menswear influence is not for you, preserve the slick tailoring but ditch the blazers and pants for a clean, structured dress instead. When sporting one this season make sure:

  • the hemlines are slightly longer, as too much exposure is never tasteful;
  • the lines are clean, the embellishments are minimal, the tailoring is slightly relaxed;
  • the look reads effortless chic, so subdued makeup and sleek, minimal sandals to finish it off.

Plunging neckline spring 2014
Plunging necklines at Costume National and Proenza Schouler, S/S ’14

The unbuttoned shirt.

Seeing how an unbuttoned, or a draped boyfriend shirt works equally well as a variation of the plunging neckline, you could easily build your looks for both day and night upon this basic staple:

  • enhance the shirt’s chic quality with classic black and white tones;
  • opt to go braless for a smooth, effortless look;
  • pair the unbuttoned shirt with tailored shorts, short skirts or wide-leg pants;
  • give up on accessories for a statement pair of heels.

Plunging neckline spring 2014
Plunging necklines at Anthony Vaccarello and Paul Smith, S/S ’14

Transitioning from day to night.

If not that long ago the plunging neckline was considered to be a synonym for nigh glamour, the spring 2014 trends brought forward a string of relaxed silhouettes that help the plunge-neck transition effortlessly from day to night:

  • for day, go with a casual shirt dresses, worn with wide belts, flat sandals and roomy bags;
  • for cocktail hours opt for block colours/prints, hems that hit just below the knee and body hugging silhouettes;
  • at night, shine bright bearing your décolletage in a sun-ray pleated dress, that’s both romantic and dark; prior to exposing your skin make sure you follow a consistent skin-care regimen. A few drops of liquid foundation into your moisturizer is another great way of assuring light coverage where it’s needed.

Plunging neckline spring 2014
Plunging necklines at Donna Karan, Etro and Givency, S/S ’14

Plunging neckline: what to wear underneath.

Going sans bra is possibly to best way to approach a plunging neckline. It translates to easiness, effortlessness, unbroken lines but it’s not always suitable. If you’re wondering what to wear underneath a deep plunge-neck, the runways have plenty of examples for you. You can opt for a a soft (sheer, lace, mesh) triangle bra and make a statement of it a la Gucci, a bandeau for more of a casual approach, or you can choose to layer a sequined top underneath a bright yellow, deep-plunging jumpsuit for double the effect, as shown at Aigner.

Plunging neckline spring 2014
Plunging necklines at Gucci and Aigner, S/S ’14

Plunging neckline styling updates

For more inspiration on how to wear and style a plunging neckline, click on the thumbnails and peruse the gallery of examples from off the runways.

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