Cold Shoulder Tops are the latest fashion trend for the southern hemisphere summer and the northern hemisphere autumn.
Early this week I was listening in to a Webinar for TAIC Image Consultants. Cold shoulder tops and off the shoulder tops were a current trend discussed in more detail. I decided that I would research to see if this was a viable option for stylish Baby Boomer women.
I believe that ‘yes’, with a few simple tips from me, you can wear bare shoulder tops with style. I’ve even included some ‘cheat’ options for being stylishly modern without going overboard.
Here’s my comprehensive take on cold shoulder and off the shoulder tops. Pick what suits you – your work and your lifestyle – and wear these with confidence. Suitability and confidence are key essentials in looking, feeling and projecting the aura of a stylish baby boomer woman.
Cold Shoulder Tops vs Off the Shoulder Tops
First – ‘Cold shoulder’ is today’s fashion name for open, bare or cut-out shoulder tops, tunics and dresses. Now you can use the word as a modern style expert, even if you don’t choose to wear it yourself. (Use the words ‘cold shoulder’ when complimenting someone else, especially a younger woman, and you will be considered very ‘with it’.)
What is the difference between a cold shoulder top and an off the shoulder top?
A cold shoulder top bares part of your upper arm and a small section of your shoulder. An off the shoulder top bares your upper arm and right across your shoulder area.
To keep it simple I have concentrated on tops only in this article. These versatile tops are excellent for those of you contemplating a river cruise or bus trip or any travelling. You get modern design without too much fussiness. The three-quarter sleeve designs are very good trans-seasonal tops.
Cold Shoulder Tops
Cold shoulder tops allow you to expose a little bit of skin without worrying about it being too revealing. They also expose a part of your body that is generally wrinkle free, whatever your age.
As you can see in the above examples, cold shoulder tops come with a variety of necklines and sleeves. The two on the left have looser sleeves in structured fabrics while the two on the right are fitted sleeves in stretch fabrics. You have to decide which type suits you as stretch fabrics give you more flexibility in your arm movements.
These are styles that suit all women – whether you have a sloped or a straight shoulder line.
The summer style on the left with short sleeves is from Jacqui E. The second on the left is a Plus size in chambray denim from David Jones. It creates a halter style of neckline. The second from the right is from Chicos. It has an interesting twist top cold shoulder. It also comes in blue, brown and sun canyon orange. The model is wearing it tucked in. This gives it a more formal and sensual look. The style on the far right is also from Jacqui E and comes in guava (above), black and a blue and white stripe. As it is worn out, it presents a more casual look.
Cold Shoulder Tops – Cheat Styles
If you do not want to expose the top of your shoulder, here are some alternative ‘relaxed cold shoulder tops’ (the websites’ words not mine), otherwise previously known as sleeve splits. These generally have splits from your shoulder to your elbow.
The fitted white top on the left from Chicos has a high-low hem (not clear on the website illustrations). It has lots of very good reviews. The Ezibuy navy sequinned top on the left has more flowing sleeves. Ezibuy has a number of cold shoulder top styles including a cold shoulder button up shirt.
The other cold shoulder cheat style is totally my interpretation. A halter neckline exposes part of your shoulder. Feel free to call this your ‘cold shoulder sleeveless style’ top. (There’s no point being modern if you can’t have some fun with fashion terms.)
Both tops are from David Jones. The one on the left better suits a straight-shouldered woman while the one on the right with its wider shoulder material better suits a sloped-shoulder woman. This top has a gathered band at the waist so that you can tie it to create a more fitted top.
Off the Shoulder Tops
These expose both your shoulders and generally have a straight neckline. Like the cold shoulder tops, tuck them into your waist for a more formal look.
The challenge with this style is to stave off the urge to keep pulling it up so that you do not reveal more bustline than you are comfortable exposing.
Off the shoulder tops come in two basic styles.
The Jacqui E style on the left has an elastic gathered sleeve top with a straight edge across the front and back. Depending on how tight the top elastic is, you may find that it leaves a mark on your arm or is too tight or even too loose. This style comes in different colours and patterns as well as slightly different sleeve variations.
The centre and right tops have a fold-down collar which extends over the sleeves. Depending on the fit and your personality, you may love it or find it annoying. The nylon cheetah patterned top is from Chicos. You will notice that this top has a higher neckline which comes to the tip of your shoulder blade. The soft pink viscose/nylon top on the right from Jacqui E has a lower collar that is more restricting than the Cheetah top.
Off the Shoulder Tops – Cheat Styles
If you would like to show a bit of shoulder without constant hitching up, try a wide boat neck style.
The Jane Lamerton tee from Myers is a perfect example of this cheat style. It’s a cross between the two but is marketed as an off the shoulder top.
The Jacqui E top on the right comes in both this stripe and a solid black colour. You can pull it higher or pull it down lower to suit yourself. The collar is sewn into the top. This allows you freer arm movements.
Cold Shoulder Tops – A Bit Each Way
Why not cheat and have a bit both ways. These two styles on the left are off the shoulder with an added cold shoulder piece to keep them always in place.
The black stretch lace top on the left is from Chicos and has a top and bottom scalloped hem.
The sultry red top on the right is also from Chicos and has a contrasting black cold shoulder piece. It also comes in azurite (a cool purple colour) with a similar contrasting black cold shoulder piece. This design is a Chicos traveller top which means that it comes in a wrinkle-resistant fabric.
On the right is a black Diana Ferrari top from Polyvore which combines a cheat off the shoulder (diagonal one shoulder) style with a cold shoulder single sleeve that splits from the top of the shoulder.
There are many variations of these bare shoulder styles. If you keep one cold shoulder top or one off the shoulder top in your wardrobe, you can it them for many seasons to come. They are on-trend now. When they go off-trend, wear them occasionally. You will always be stylish in them as they always look a little bit different.
Increase your dressing knowledge with this FREE download. This Really Simple Image Tip works whatever style you are wearing.