The Must-Have Spring Top

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 looking at cat videos online doing some serious online scientific research.

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.


  1. Wow! You look fabulous in this top!

  2. Loving the off the shoulder trend.


  3. You go, girl! You look fabulous.

    Me? I didn't wear this look in the 60s, or 70s, or 80s, or 90s, or 00s -- so am unlikely to take up the style at this late date. My Ma might have put me in such a thing in 1959 ... I don't remember that far back, and there is no photographic evidence still extant. I certainly went topless in 1959, at least in the summer.

  4. Very cute look! My F-cup girls are still searching for the Mr. Right of strapless bras, so will probably miss out on the off-the-shoulder trend. I'm not a fan of "cold shoulder" tops, unfortunately.

  5. I've been wondering how you keep them off the shoulders! Thanks for the tip. Now I'm gonna find me one.

  6. Love your white top.. as pretty as a picture.


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