That's the smarmy look I get on my face when I try-on something that has been deemed The Hottest Trend of the Season, convinced I'm going to dislike it, and then end up kinda liking it... it's not quite a concession of wrongness per se…
Okay, yes it is.
I was wrong. I admit it; I was wrong about off-the-shoulder tops.
I tend to shun anything that's fussy and needs to be actively "managed" in a garment. That includes stuff like sheer things that you need to find just the right shirt to wear underneath (but you never do), things with awkward straps that make wearing a bra a challenge, and things that you find yourself constantly pulling-at, or even just thinking about. Off-the-shoulder tops tick at least two of those boxes, if not all three, yet I still like them well enough to soldier-on.
Here's the thing about off-the-shoulder tops; they have a sense of innate freedom in them, they act as an accessory unto themselves, and…well...they're cute. If done correctly, that is. Sure, they're a bit fussy, at first. But if you find one that fits well, you'll get used to wearing it and soon you won't even notice. I think the tradeoff, that kind of carefree, bohemian 70s vibe, is worth it.
I encourage you to try one. I think that off-shoulder looks are a great summer option for those of us who are…um…not 23 anymore, but still want something a bit fun and flirty. The shoulders are a part of the body that are sexy, but not in as obvious a way as say, the décolletage, so if you are a person who wants to branch-out, but isn't comfortable in things like shorts or tops that show a bit of cleavage or your upper arms, give this one a shot. Still not sure? Do what I did and start small. This top is from H&M and was only about £14 all-in. That's a perfectly acceptable price point for dabbling with a trend that may or may not still be around in three months.
"But wait", you say. "Isn't that top kind of fussy!? I mean, you need to buy a special bra, for God's sake! And how am I supposed to keep it where it is supposed to be? What keeps it from riding-up or down during the course of my day? I have questions!"
I'm glad you asked. Yes, unless you're one of those women who can comfortably go without "Otto's tit-sling", you need a special bra. You need a strapless bra, to be exact. Yes, you do. Do not be that person who wears the off-shoulder look with her normal bra straps hanging out. I saw one of those the other day, and quite frankly, that's just lazy. If you really don't think you can go without a normal bra, try one of those cut-out, cold-shoulder tops. The effect is very similar, and you can wear your normal bra.
Personally, I prefer those stick-on tape-style bra cups that you can get in lingerie departments. I have never met a strapless bra that stays in place, and the stick-on kind really work for me. They're also great for formal dressing and halter and backless tops too, but I digress. Personally, I'm hoping that this off-shoulder trend will be the catalyst for a new crop of performance fabric-crafted, light-as-a-feather, comfortable-as-all-getout strapless bras that actually do what it is a bra is supposed to do. That would be fantastic. Are you listening lingerie designers!? I challenge thee. This is your mission, should you choose to accept it.
And to answer your other question, yes, off-shoulder tops can ride-up. Some more than others. If you've found one you love but the riding-up thing is annoying you, I have an answer for that too. Check out the nifty video included below that I discovered on the net while
I prefer to pair an off-shoulder top with more coverage on the bottom, for balance (unless you're in a seriously hot tropical climate, then all bets are off). I chose a pair of slim, bootleg flares to this effect. You also don't need a lot in the way of accessories due to all the skin peeking out; I like a pair of long, "duster"-style earrings that lightly graze the shoulders and add to the boho vibe. In keeping with the carefree 70s appeal.
Shared with: Not Dead Yet Style, Elegantly Dressed and Stylish, Not Dressed As Lamb, High Latitude Style