One year after the craze began, fashionistas everywhere are still all about a stylish off-the-shoulder top. It’s summer couture’s perfect answer to the fashion world’s 80s obsession, a trendy skin-exposing phenomenon that allows for a richer tan without toying with the line between comfy and risqué. Refined springtime belles can wear off-the-shoulder dresses to parties and fine dinners, yet hipsters and other alt-fashion aficionados can reinvent the idea to fit their niche fancies. Rarely does haute couture produce a look that so readily lends itself to hundreds of diverse genres of clothing. Despite the freedom with which you can wear your chic off-the-shoulder attire, there are still a few key styling elements to keep in mind as you set out to update your wardrobe. Vintage lover, punk enthusiast, or runway obsessive, here are the tricks that will help you steer clear from embarrassment while donning your favorite shoulder-exposing top.
BUTTON UP FOR BUSINESS
They say off-the-shoulder blouses aren’t a good choice for the office, but we beg to differ. A simple striped button-down paired with designer jeans and heels will slay at your desk. Give it a try quick before the warm summer sun fades away.
KEEP IT CASUAL
A loose-fitting t-shirt is everything when it comes to your casual look. Find a design with a wide neck or fashion your own out of a favorite top. When the final product cascades down your figure in tasteful folds, you’ll know you’ve done it right.
TOP OFF YOUR DRESS
You can’t pull off a frilly off-the-shoulder in the corporate world very easily, but when it comes to sophisticated fashion a lacy blouse will enhance your summery skirt beautifully. Even after fall hits, save this look to showcase your skin on special festive occasions.
GET FANCY WITH A FEW FRILLS
Off-the-shoulder tops have a casual reputation, but their summery ease can fancy up the right outfit. If you’re headed to the beach or a backyard BBQ, throw on a top with plentiful bows and folds. You’d be surprised how big a difference decorative layers of fabric can make.
STRAPS TO THE RESCUE
Cold shoulder tops were an unfortunate fashion fad that mercifully died with 2016. Yet, the aesthetic remains. If you feel the need to evoke shoulder slits in your wardrobe this August, invest in an off-the-shoulder blouse with shoulder straps.
WRAPPED IN A V-NECK
This subtle look will accent the curve of your figure, refine even the grungiest jeans, and even give lookers a flash of cleavage if you wish it. Off-the-shoulder V-necks aren’t deep, but they give off an air of luxury we’re only used to seeing on gowns. If prettying up is important to you, find a blouse like this.
OFF THE SHOULDER, ON THE TOP
When the weather gets cold and nippy, exposing your skin becomes far less alluring. Yet, chilly winds are no reason for your collection of off-the-shoulder tops to go to waste. Be bold this season and slip on an open knit top over your dressy button-down. Street style fans will love it.
Wear your off-the-shoulder top with confidence this season. You may not want your shoulders exposed for much longer, but it can’t hurt to enjoy the trend while the warm weather lasts. After all, your shimmering skin deserves one last chance to shine before winter arrives, don’t you think?
— Timothy Vest