Must-Haves: Cold Shoulders

The off the shoulder, peak-a-boo shoulder, bare shoulder, whatever you want to call it, trend, is certainly one of the biggest of the summer. Shoulders are taking center stage this season, and I, for one, am all about it. A hint of a shoulder can be a subtly sexy way to show a little skin and stay cool, and with the midriff, cleavage, and back already having their moments, it’s certainly time for something new. Right?

A common misconception with the off-the-shoulder trend is that it’s not versatile enough. Sure, the look isn’t your typical 9-5 trend. Plus, cold shoulder pieces aren’t necessarily as accommodating when it comes to undergarments (strapless bra or sans-bra may really be your only option). However, with a little creativity and attention to styling, the must-have picks below show that the cold shoulder trend can definitely provide a wide range of stylish flexibility.

 1.  Stripped Off The Shoulder Topshoulders

With its simplistic stripe pattern, this off-the-shoulder top from The Loft has serious beachy and warm weather vibes. Pair it with frayed denim shorts and boating shoes for a relaxed lakeside look, or throw on a pair of sleek skinny denim jeans and wedge sandals for a night on the town.

2. Let It V Wrap Dress


Bringing your emoji fantasies to life, this wrap dress from Nasty Gal screams old-school sexy with its off-the-shoulder sleeves, lace trim, and slit. This dress is perfect for those scorching outdoor summer weddings (you know the ones), and is guaranteed to be a go-to piece for  special occasions. Yet the addition of a leather jacket and combat boots can be an edgy way to tone it down for everyday wear.

3. Cold Shoulder Blouse


This sleek blouse from H&M sister brand & Other Stories features peek-a-boo slits in its shoulders and elbows. With just a hint of skin actually showing, this top can be appropriate for a casual drink with friends or even the office when paired with tailored trousers and block heels.

4. Flowy Print Dress


This easy going dress from Mango is quirky and unique. Featuring a cool nature-inspired striped print, this piece can easily be worn throughout the summer and into the fall by adding thick wool tights, a large floppy hat, and booties.

5.  Stitch & Pieces Cold Shoulder Festival Smock Top


As its name implies, this top from Asos is perfect for those bohemian-inspired festival looks. However, apart from that, the top can also be integrated into your everyday wardrobe to create an outfit with vintage vibes just by adding a few pieces of delicate jewelry, high-waisted shorts or flared pants, and platform shoes.

6. Crinkle Trim Bardot Playsuit


If you’re still searching for that summer 2016 piece that you can practically live in, here it is. This Topshop romper is simple, versatile, and fashion-forward without being too over the top trendy. Plus, with a little styling, the look can easily be dressed up or dressed down.

7.  Madigan Sheath Dress


This dress from Black Halo is one of those “wow” pieces. Featuring a fitted bodice, ruffles at the half sleeves, and, of course, an off-the-shoulder silhouette, this dress screams modern femininity and subtle sex appeal that is appropriate for a cocktail party, engagement party (if you’re, ya know, the bride), and date night.

8. Ecote Mara Off-The-Shoulder Top


 If this post has proven anything, its that cold shoulder looks can be as versatile as other clothing options. Naturally, adding a basic off-the-shoulder top, like this one from Ecote, to your wardrobe, is sure to prove useful as you mix and match pieces in the coming months.

Header image: Mango 

What do you think of our cold shoulder picks? Could you see yourself rocking any of them? Let us know in the comment section! 

Emma Klug started The Style Note in the fall of 2012. Her writing has been featured in DBusiness Magazine, Chicago Sun-Times, Nothing Major, The Working Wardrobe, Chicago Talks, Inexpensive Chic, and The Wayne State University student paper: The South End. When she’s not writing you can find her eating pizza, binge-watching Netflix and working her day job as a magazine editor.


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