How to Wear the Asymmetric Cold Shoulder Top

Woman wearing sunglasses and pinstriped, asymmetrical top

Tired of both your shoulders being cold? Then I’ve got good news for you — there’s a new shoulder game in town and it’s only exposing one of your shoulders. It’s called the asymmetric cold shoulder top, and the style is popping up in all your favorite stores. 

The one-sided cold shoulder is a nice change of pace. Frankly, I’m bored with the traditional cold-shoulder. Even with heavy knits or bell sleeves or ruffles, the bare-shoulder trend is starting to feel stale. 

So let’s welcome the asymmetrical alternative and its deconstructed, runway feel. It’s an advantage too that baring one shoulder is twice as practical in the winter months. When it’s cold outside, there’s a limit to what I can handle for the sake of style. Right now, one shoulder seems to be a nice place to draw that line. Finally, it’s nice to see this cut in many flavors, from the menswear-inspired work top to the upgraded tee shirt. Read on for my fav picks and tips on how to wear them. 

Styling the Asymmetric Cold Shoulder Top

Choosing the right companion pieces for your one-shoulder blouse will depend on the fabric, pattern and vibe of the top itself. A stiffer, striped top, for example, gets paired with straight-legged work trousers and loafers. While the flowy cotton top teams up with ankle booties to dress up your dark-wash denim.

What Bra to Wear

The more challenging question though, is what the heck does a girl wear underneath a one-shoulder top? A bra or cami strap running up and over your exposed shoulder doesn’t work. Even if the top style you choose has a partial shoulder, it’s tough to keep your bra tucked underneath the top. Personally, I’m not a fan of exposed undergarments — it just looks unfinished.

So that leaves us with some form of a strapless bra. I’ve never found a strapless option I absolutely love, but recommends the Maidenform Women’s Comfort Devotion Natural Boost Strapless Multi-Way. 

A second option is a one-shoulder sports bra. Note that the piece below sits close to the neck on one side, and will only work with a top that’s equally high-necked on the same side.

White one-shoulder sports bra

One Shoulder Solid Sports Bra, $13, Walmart

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Catherine Brock

Catherine Brock is a writer, editor and marketer who's been sharing wisdom online since 2002. She's been featured on, and ABC7 Chicago, FOX2News St. Louis and KCAL9 Los Angeles. Connect with Catherine on LinkedIn, Instagram, or Twitter. Learn more about Catherine.
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