Decolletage, derived from the French word “décolleté,” refers to the upper part of a woman’s torso, comprising the neck, shoulders, back, and chest that are exposed by the neckline of her clothing. The term particularly focuses on the cleavage and the neckline that reveals it. Decolletage is not just about revealing skin; it’s about the way garments are designed to gracefully display and accentuate this area of the body.
The style and cut of the neckline determine the extent and shape of the decolletage exposed. Different types of necklines, such as scoop, V-neck, off-the-shoulder, or sweetheart, create varied decolletage shapes and effects. A well-designed decolletage can enhance the elegance and femininity of a garment, adding allure and aesthetic appeal.
Decolletage has played a significant role in fashion history, with varying degrees of emphasis depending on the era, cultural norms, and fashion trends. In contemporary fashion, the decolletage is often highlighted in evening wear, wedding dresses, and casual tops, showcasing the area with designs that range from subtly elegant to boldly dramatic.
While the decolletage is a focal point, the balance between skin exposure, fabric, and the garment’s overall style is key to achieving a look that’s sophisticated and tastefully accentuates the body’s natural lines.