The Cold Shoulder

When the going gets hot, the hot get to stripping — layers that is. No one likes to be buttoned up once sweltering temps hit and the mode du jour turns all things easy breezy. Nothing lets you feel the wind beneath your wings quite like a little off-the-shoulder action. And, your favorite brands are set on making it happen with senorita-esque silhouettes at every turn.

A subtle way to go a little sultry, the flash of the shoulders could easily fall into the classy category of how to show some skin. Where plunging, retro necklines and bras as crop tops are on every young style enthusiast from here to Timbuktu, a slip of the shoulder seems like the elegant — and grown-up — way to show off your summer tan.

When you say off-shoulder, you’re immediately taken to Brigitte Bardot’s flirty je ne sais quois, French grace and the easygoing spirit of the ’60s and ’70s. Breton stripes, lace and ruffles have all had their moment, and there’s a reason they keep coming back with a vengeance. Frankly speaking, they’re flattering. You don’t have to have the best arms to relax in off the shoulder tops…most versions feature some flounce or fabric to be ultra-forgiving.

For nearly any event over the course of the summer–Casual Friday, Labor Day Weekend, sunset nuptials — give ’em the cold shoulder and shine day or night.

Off the Shoulder Swimwear

Arizona Off-the-Shoulder Swim Crop Top & Hipster Bottoms, JCPenney

Black Sunflower Print Off Shoulder Top & High Waist Bottom, Choices

White Black Off Shoulder Ruffle Two Tone One Piece Swimsuit, Lolli Couture

Bare it on the beach with bikinis and one-piece stunners that eliminate tan lines around the neck. These retro-tinged suits from Arizona and sexy little ruffle numbers of Lolli Couture allows any beach bunny to go tieless.

Off the Shoulder Wedding Attire

Silence + Noise Off-the-Shoulder Dress, Urban Outfitters

Bardot Floral Midi Prom Dress, ASOS

Gianni Bini Heidi Crochet Off-the-Shoulder Maxi Dress, Dillard’s

Whether you’re the leading lady, the bridesmaid or a well-dressed guest, off-the-shoulder is the casual, cocktail and black tie solution for every special day. Morning, noon or night, these breezy formalwear options fit every dress code.

Off the Shoulder Casual Wear

Striped Off-the-Shoulder Top, H&M

O’Neill Women’s Astrid Woven Off Shoulder Top, Sport Chalet

White Off-Shoulder Lace Club Crop Top, OASAP

Trade traditional tees for a little more breathing room courtesy of lace crop tops, soft stretch silhouettes and fluttering cotton iterations. Paired with a cool boyfriend jean, high-waisted skirts and more, these simple switches let you partake effortlessly in the cold shoulder trend on even the most relaxed days.


Melissa is creative communication professional with 9+ years of experience writing for the beauty and fashion industries.