The Bateau (boatneck) Neckline: Thank You Duchess of Sussex

May 22, 2018

From a style stand-point, I am exceedingly grateful to the Duchess of Sussex for exhibiting the simple sophistication of the bateau neck – also known more commonly as the boatneck or Sabrina neckline (aka Audrey Hepburn’s neckline of choice).

On display Saturday were many smart, thoughtful stylish details reminenscent of Meghan’s style inspiration Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy – simple, timeless, seemingly effortless and intelligently sophisticated to allow the woman in the dress to shine.

Interestingly enough, the wedding gown’s design house Givenchy (now under the direction of Briton Clare Waight Keller) was the designer Audrey Hepburn is most associated with. The namesake, founder and creative genius of Givenchy, Hubert de Givenchy, worked for decades with Ms. Hepburn – elevating both of their careers and their working relationship lasted until her death in 1993.

There is something traditional and demure, but also mysterious and assured about the bateau neck. Whether a blouse, a sweater or a dress, there are few this neckline does not complement.

As one TSLL reader expressed to me on Instagram, I would be elated if this neckline takes a prominent presence in the upcoming season for both fall and spring. Designers, I have a feeling, are taking note from the response, but we’ll just have to wait and see.

Below I have shopped more than a few blouses, sweaters (even one sleep dress – white, just below on the right), as well as a couple of dresses.



4 thoughts on “The Bateau (boatneck) Neckline: Thank You Duchess of Sussex

  1. Thanks for putting this tableau together, Shanon. The bateau is perfect for all seasons, but especially spring & summer. I do love that it will return in stores now that the Duchess made it fashionable again. PS: Noted & appreciated your on-point history lesson of the bateau and icons who wore it well. Bien dit!

  2. I adore this neckline and had just bought a fine merino jumper (sweater) in fuchsia days before the wedding. I think Meghan looked fantastic. Simple and Elegant and graceful. Like the Georgian equivalent in clothes compared to the excesses of Rococo or Victorian!
    Interestingly enough it reminded me of another wedding of a woman of African heritage marrying into another Royal family. In that case, Angela Brown, a woman from Panama, living and working in New York as a fashion designer, married Prince Maximillian of Lichtenstein. Her dress which she designed herself, was almost identical to the one that Meghan wore. She even designed her own stunning palmetto tiara. Both women looked stunning.

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