Dare to bare the shoulder this season with some risky fashion choices

Jonathan Simkhai, €1,045 from Brown Thomas.

Shrug off any inhibitions, and embrace the cold-shoulder, writes Paula Burns

You may have heard people in the fashion know commenting on your ‘cold shoulder’ this season.

Fear not, it doesn’t mean your resting ‘bitch face’ is at play again. No, instead you are obviously embracing the season’s must-have trend, the off-the-shoulder top.

Yes those tops or dresses that highlight the sexiness of the shoulder have been branded many a name including the ‘cold shoulder’.

Josette pink lace trim crop top @ Pretty Little Things €30.80
Josette pink lace trim crop top @ Pretty Little Things €30.80

 

My favourite title is the ‘Bardot’ top that is aptly named after French Style icon Brigitte Bardot.

This may cause confusion, but to be fair to the style gurus out there, there is a slight difference between the two, so here goes the fashion science bit.

The Bardot encapsulates the freethinking 70s boho trend. it conjures hazy fashion fantasies of languid summer days spent on the beach turning into twilight at the chiringuito as you show off your sun- kissed shoulders.

Cream embroidered Bardot top, €44 from River Island.
Cream embroidered Bardot top, €44 from River Island.

The 70s boho vibe was all about shrugging off restrictions and the Bardot does just that. Shrugging off those sleeves allows for unadulterated versatile fashion that will be your best friend this summer season.

While the Bardot fulfils designers’ nostalgia for the 70s, the cold shoulder does the same for the catwalks reminiscences of the 90s.

Bare shoulder gingham dress,€64, Warehouse.
Bare shoulder gingham dress,€64, Warehouse.

It was Donna Karan’s design that put the trend on the style map. The dress worn famously by Hilary Clinton at a White House event back in 1993 caused a bit of a stir.

Who knew that showing off a bit of shoulder could be so controversial? Considering that the cold shoulder-look is the epitome of decent exposure, allowing woman of any age to bare a little skin.

Peter Pilotto off-the-shoulder top, Brown Thomas €650
Peter Pilotto off-the-shoulder top, Brown Thomas €650

“Donna [Karan] always says that no matter your age, your size, your shoulders always look good,” Clinton told Lena Dunham recently in an interview for the feminist newsletter Lenny.

“It’s in the Clinton library, if anybody ever wants to see it.” The cold shoulder has been creeping its way into the style stakes over the past few seasons. It’s the grown-up sister of the abs cut-outs. What makes the style more exciting than the rest is its utter adaptability.

Bare shoulder dress, Debut,€190, Debenhams.
Bare shoulder dress, Debut,€190, Debenhams.

 

It features on everything from jumpers to shirts to dresses to jumpsuits.

From the red carpet to the Starbucks run, celebs have embraced the trend in all its glory. The ever fashion-forward Olivia Palermo has been sporting the look since last summer.

New York’s finest fashionista looked effortless as always by matching a Bardot top with skinny jeans and floral ballet pumps. Caroline Flack brought some originality by mixing a Breton stripe off-the-shoulder top with dungarees.

Olivia off the shoulder denim ruffle top, €24, boohoo.com
Olivia off the shoulder denim ruffle top, €24, boohoo.com

 

A style moment Alexa Chung would be envious of. Of course a style trend wouldn’t be one without the model squad getting in on the act. It seems Kendall Jenner may be the queen of the off-the-shoulder style.

Her obsession goes from the off-the shoulder jumper, to Bardot crop top for festivals to plain black for a Victoria Secrets event.

The off-the-shoulder trend is one of the easiest to incorporate into your spring/summer wardrobe.

Self Portrait Bardot A-Line Dress Brown Thomas, €340
Self Portrait Bardot A-Line Dress Brown Thomas, €340

This look expects a less-is-more approach, so with little skin on show we can embrace the bare shoulder with open arms — even if the temperatures aren’t soaring.

Bare shoulders are all about creating a feminine silhouette for the warmer season.

Bringing two trends to become one, Penneys have a delightful orange shirt Bardot-style top that can be worn with jeans or for those steamy summer nights, cut-off shorts.

[timgcap=]Black floral dress, New Look, €29.99]zzzFashionFeatureFloralDress050416_large.jpg[/timgcap]

Channel your inner 70s folkster vibe with a New Looks floral dress. For a more formal take on the cold shoulder, a Debut dress at Debenhams is ideal for a day at the races.

While the off-the-shoulder style exudes that easy-going approach to fashion it raises one concern, what bra to wear?

 

 Penney’s orange off the should top, €11
Penney’s orange off the should top, €11

The simple answer is this is the time to invest in that failsafe strapless bra.

Once the underwear is taken care of, the world of bare shoulder fashion is endless.


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