Cowl Neck Tops

Woman wearing a shiny cowl neck top
Photo: Dreamstime
Q: I love the look of cowl neck tops, but I'm not sure if cowl necks are a good choice for me. What will a cowl neck do with your body? Will it make you look slimmer or fatter? Who should avoid them and who should embrace them?
A: Here's a simple way to know what a particular look will do for you. Think of the ways you would describe the garment in question, and then think of the ways you would describe your own body (parts) in those same terms. If there is an overlap in the application of these terms, then you will likely enhance the effect of both aspects.
Conversely, if the garment is diametrically opposite in its descriptors from the terms that might describe you, you are likely to exaggerate the differences in a negative way as well.
In other words, if you are plump and soft looking, and you wear a garment that has a soft full look, with a loose billowy collar or over-stuffed look, you are going to make yourself appear heavier still. By that same token, someone who is lean, tight and lithe who wears something form-fitting and slim-cut will look even slimmer and leaner than in something simply well-fitting and tailored.
Draped neck top
Draped neckline top by
And if you are someone who is petite and slender and opts for an item that is loose, thick and fluffy, you could easily end up looking like a little kid playing dress-up.
So, a cowl-neck top is not really a good look for someone who is of a rounder visage or has a droopy appearance, or jowly-face (and especially not for someone who may have sagging areas such as under the chin and jaws).
Just remember that looking good and choosing the right fashions has most to do with keeping proportion and balance in mind. If you do this, you will most often make smart, flattering choices.
See also:
The positive and negative effects of turtlenecks
The neckline language decoded
How to dress according to your body shape
How to dress to look slim