Off the shoulder tops are a trend that is showing no sign of going away.   A really big trend that started to emerge in 2014/15 and has just got bigger and stronger for 2017.

While I’m not into following trends for the sake of it, fashion does to some extent govern buyers choices.  Therefore it’s useful to look at what’s available to buy and think about how to wear it.

Nordstrom Off The Shoulder Top

Nordstrom Off The Shoulder Top


A hint of hedonistic summer fun and a slightly hippie vibe is one picture that off the shoulder tops conjure up.  They suggest festivals or summer holidays with sun-kissed shoulders!   Off the shoulder tops can be a great way to show off some skin, without feeling over-exposed.

However, despite reading a few blog posts suggesting this style is for everyone I am yet to be convinced and this week’s post gives the reasons why.

I’m also going to give you a quick trip round the shops and some styling ideas for off the shoulder tops.


Top Tips For Off The Shoulder Tops

strapless bra house of fraser

House of Fraser – Ultimo

Strapless Bra

You need to feel comfortable wearing a strapless bra. For women with large bust wearing a strapless bra is simply not comfortable. Equally women with a very small bust may struggle to find a strapless bra that works.   One option is to look at a bra with clear straps but personally I’m not convinced this looks good!

Skin Tone

Good skin tone is helpful self-confidence is even better! If your shoulders and neck area are toned then an off the shoulder top will look great. But if you’re self-conscious about your neck and décolletage then off the shoulder styles are not for you!

Keeping Your Cool

If you do feel comfortable wearing sleeveless tops or showing off your upper arms then off the shoulder tops are a fabulous option for warmer weather.  They will help you to feel cool as your shoulders are exposed and avoid you feeling self-conscious about your arms.

Go Cold Shoulder

Coast Cold Shoulder Top

Coast Cold Shoulder Top

If off the shoulder tops are not comfortable, because you can’t find a strapless bra that feels good or you’re too self-conscious, why not consider cold shoulder?   Cold-shoulder tops, depending on the style, will allow you to wear a bra with straps.   They are also not as revealing as an off-the-shoulder top.

Stop Your Top From Moving

So how do you keep an off the shoulder top in place?   Off the shoulder tops are great for standing around and not using your arms! But do something with your arms and the top rides up around your ears. Not a good look! This tip with hair ties is a tried and tested method.


So Are Off The Shoulder Tops Just For A Medium Sized Bust?

Oasis Off The Shoulder Top

Oasis Off The Shoulder Top

No, providing you are comfortable that your bust is supported and that you have the confidence to wear an off the shoulder top, just bear in mind these basic points:

If you have a large bust

An off the shoulder top with added ruffles really isn’t going to be a great look. This may be stating the obvious but I make no apologies for that. Instead look for off the shoulder tops that flatter your lovely curves with more shape. Alternatively cold shoulder tops are a good option.

If you have a small bust

More detail around the top will look good. Detail will add volume to your top half. It will also balance your shape, if you have larger hips.   If your shoulders are narrow also look for puffed sleeves, as these will broaden your top half. Just be careful if you are petite that the details around the neck are not so big, as to overwhelm your frame.

Can You Wear Off The Shoulder Tops For Everyday Wear?

If you want to wear off-the-shoulder tops they can work for most occasions.   It’s a case of pairing them with the right clothes to complete an outfit and following a few basic styling principles.

At the end of the day, though, it’s still down to your confidence and if off the shoulder tops make you feel fabulous.

Off The Shoulder Top - Office

Office Suggestion – Buying Guide Below

For The Office

Not recommended if you work in a bank or a professional office. If you are going to feel remotely self-conscious wearing an off the shoulder top in the work place simply don’t do it!

However, if you are a in a relaxed office environment then off the shoulder is fine, unless you have an HR policy stating differently.

My recommendation for styling an off the shoulder top in a work environment would be to pair with tailored skirt or trousers and smart footwear.

Looks For Weekends

Off the shoulder tops look fabulous with jeans.

If you are wearing a full off the shoulder top then this will look best with skinny jeans. They give jeans an instant glamorous look. Add a pair of ankle boots or fun sneakers and this is a great look.

An off the shoulder top can also look amazing with an A line or full skirt to give it a real vintage rockabilly look!

Team with a straight maxi skirt for the ultimate festival or holiday vibe.

Off The Shoulder Weekend Look

Weekend Look – Buying Guide Below

Evening And Occasions

Wearing a plain off the shoulder top with the same colour trousers will create a jumpsuit effect. Try this look for a summer party.

For a glamorous look wear an off the shoulder top with culottes or ankle grazers and heels.

Palazzo trousers and an off the shoulder top is a really relaxed look for a summer evening.

The best way to create a really glamorous look for an off the shoulder top for the evening is to wear a statement necklace to really finish off the look.


I’d love to hear from you.

If you like to wear off the shoulder looks, what styles and outfit combinations do you go for?

Do you prefer cold shoulder tops? If so what’s your best look?

Do you dare to bare your shoulders this summer?


Buying Guide

Office Suggestion
Off The Shoulder Top – Nordstrom  , Culottes – Warehouse Shoes – Karen Millen , Handbag – Karen Millen Necklace –  Nordstrom
Weekend Look
Off The Shoulder Top – Mint Velvet, Jeggings – River Island, Ankle Boots – Elia BBag – Oasis   Necklace – John Lewis