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As a choice for the design of formal ladies wear, the sweetheart neckline has been around for a very long time. The curved neckline of the sweetheart design features two curves over the bustline, which drop and meet at a point in the middle of the bust area. The result is a heart-shaped neckline that helps to provide modest coverage for the bust, while still drawing attention to the figure. The low cut nature of the design offers more in the way of graceful curves than a plunging neckline or a box neckline application.
No one is exactly sure of the origins of the sweetheart neckline. There are those who claim the scalloped trip necklines of the Renaissance age in Italy were the first true sweetheart necklines. Others credit 18th century French designers with creating the attractive contours of the design. A third school of thought places the first ones as appearing in the court of Isabella in 15th century Spain. Whatever the origins, the design has made a powerful impact on ladies' formal wear for quite a long time.
Traditionally, many of the more formal and intricately designed wedding dresses will employ a scalloped neckline in the general contours of the sweetheart. Typically, this design will be one of the several elements that separate the bridal gown from the gowns or dresses worn by the other members of the bride's party. Considered as a wonderful way to invoke both a sense of beauty and attractiveness in the appearance of the bride, the sweetheart neckline both covers and displays in a combination that many people find very appealing.
The sweetheart neckline is not just limited to wedding apparel; many formal gowns utilize this neckline. In addition, stage costuming will often make good use of this neckline. During the middle of the 20th century, it became possible to obtain blouses that were cut with a sweetheart neckline. While the place of this particular design comes and goes when it comes to street wear, the sweetheart neckline remains a perennial favorite in ladies formal wear. As an option that combines visual appeal with practical coverage, few other designs can create the same effect.