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How to make a neck appear shorter or longer

Updated February 21, 2017

The length of your neck plays a large role in your overall appearance. A short neck can make shoulders look broad and your stature appear short, while a long neck can make a tall person seem long and lengthy. However, there are methods to shorten or lengthen the appearance of a person's neck. Make a neck appear shorter or longer by selecting the right shirt, hairstyle and accessories.

Making a short neck seem longer

Wear blouses and shirts that expose the bottom of the neckline, which creates the illusion of a longer neck. Select V-neck and scoop neck shirts or blouses.

Undo the first two buttons on polo and button-up shirts to expose the neckline and elongate the neck.

Cut your hair short to reveal the jaw line and make the neck appear longer. For instance, a pixie haircut uncovers a woman's ear lobes and jaw line, extending the appearance of the neck. A short bob cut also exposes the neck, as the hair sits just below the jaw line. Men may find that short hairstyles, such as crew cuts and fades, work in their favour.

Wear dangling earrings that fall 12mm (1/2 inch) below the ear lobe to show the jaw line and neck. For men or women, a thinly cut or single strand necklace that falls down to the centre of the chest also makes the neck appear longer.

Shortening a long neck

Wear crew neck or round neck tops that are close to the neckline to create the illusion of a shorter neck. Turtleneck, polo and high collar shirts also go above the neckline, making the neck look shorter.

Grow out your hair. Hair that is at or below the shoulders makes a woman's long neck seem shorter, as the hair weighs down over the shoulders. For men, cut hair into a shag, business or layered style.

Accessorise outfits with thick jewellery. Choose stud earrings that are 6mm (1/4 inch) in diameter or are more than 5 cm (2 inches) long. A layered necklace measuring up to 50 cm (20 inches) in length also shortens a woman's neck. If you're a man, choose a necklace that is 10mm (3/8-inch) thick and 40 cm (16 inches) long.

Things You'll Need

  • V-neck shirt
  • Scoop neck shirt
  • Crew neck shirt
  • Round neck shirt
  • Earrings
  • Necklace
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About the Author

Anya Meave is a freelance writer from San Diego, Calif. She began writing in 2009 for various websites. Majoring in telemedia, she has written scripts for student projects and has been chosen to submit a spec script for the 2011 Nickelodeon Writers Fellowship. Meave has an associate degree in photography from Southwestern College.