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How To Do The Off Shoulder Thingy

They look great don't they.

On other people.

I mean young people.

Off the shoulder tops aren't the easiest to pull off even though most of us have good shoulders. Go on have a look in the mirror. See, told you. 

Firstly there's the underwear issue. Most women post 30 will I'm sure welcome a little help in the liftage department. Which means finding a strapless bra that actually stays up. I've yet to find a decent one that doesn't end up around my waist when I reach up to the top cupboard for a wine glass. 

Then there's the volume problem. Many of the off the shoulder tops this year are wide at the bottom which means you lose any shape that you might have. So, we have to balance this out with our bottom half to at least give the illusion that we're not a total blob. 

And how do you actually keep the damn thing off the shoulder? We're after a boho look not milk maid.

Finally, ladies with wide shoulders may feel even wider in this style.

So, let's deal with these problems one by one.

1. If you really insist on wearing a strapless bra then I suggest you get the best you can afford. Go and get measured, I've always found John Lewis good and, they have a good selection. You could also consider those stick on thingys - not for me. Or a bra with the plastic straps. Minging when your fake tan rubs on them. Better still, find a bra with the thin straps and show them off (see the benefits of this in number 4 below).

Lauren Balconette Bra £25 

2. Volume Issues

This is particularly hard to deal with especially if the top you've chosen seems to resemble a tent. And, more often than not, made out of stiff fabric. The best advice I can offer here, is to keep the bottom half lean and tall. Yes, it could mean a heel I'm afraid. Have a look on Pinterest, even the gazelle-like girls wear theirs with heels. My choice would be skinnies (of course) and a mid-heel. You don't need to go skyscraper high.

3. Keeping It In Place

There's an easy hack here. Attach a hair bobble to two safety pins as per the photo.

Fasten each pin to the inside of your top roughly where your shoulders will be. Do this to both sides.

It should look like this.

courtesy of Refinery 29

Put the top on so that the hair bobbles are underneath your arm pit. And no matter how many wine glasses you reach up for, the sleeves will ping back to where they should be.

4. Wide Shoulders

First of all, this type of top is brilliant for ladies with narrow shoulders (so think pear shapes for example) because the neckline gives the appearance of width.

Not so good for women who already have wide shoulders though.  This is where we can use a little trick to make them look narrower. A strap over the shoulder makes the eye look inwards so it gives the illusion of a narrower frame. Something like this.

Mid Pink Fine Knit Crochet Cold Shoulder Gypsy Top £14.99 (winner of the longest title EVER)

So, you still get the bare shoulder look but with a correction option. And, how lovely is this? I'm particularly loving the soft, fluid fabric. Consider it ordered!!

Or you could opt to show your bra straps (see number 1 above).

Or you could go for the full-on cold shoulder look.

Cold Shoulder Top £26

And these also have the benefit of giving a little more structure at the neckline which in turn gives the illusion of shape further down (if you see what I mean).

So, there's a few tips. Here is my off the shoulder top that I've had a while now, I bought it towards the end of last year and it's been sitting patiently in my wardrobe. It's by Jovonna (now sold out).

I reckon I need to introduce some shoulder straps by way of a white bra which pleases me very much as I won't have to move my wine glasses to a lower shelf.

Anyway, here's a few more out there at the moment.

Black Lace Bardot Top £25

Can't vouch for the length of this one but to be honest if it's sitting on the belt line, it's probably a winner. Perfect dressed down with distressed jeans in the day or black pants and black mules in the evening.

Pale Blue Crochet Hem Bardot Neck Top £17.99

White shorts on holiday and the fact it isn't too voluminous means it will be fine with a pair of flat (tan) sandals.

Borderie Off The Shoulder Top £125

I like all the individual elements here but hate them together. This is probably a size 8-10 model (tops) and she looks shapeless. It needs a straighter bottom half.

Yellow Frill Trim Bardot Neck Top £8.99

One for the holidays. And a really cheap option if you're not sure but want to give this trend a go. Mango have similar here, even cheaper.

Off The Shoulder Top £29.99

Still haven't worked out how I'm styling my culotte jeans but love this idea.

Off The Shoulder Top £22.99

With straps! Will someone give this girl some blusher.

Bridget Top (currently) £37.12

Perfection! If you're going to Greece this year, you need this whole outfit. And that wall.

Off The Shoulder Top £12.99 (with 20% off)

This is a really pretty, non voluminous version. Culottes maybe???

Or the green?

Off The Shoulder Top £12.99 (with 20% off)

Stripe Cold Shoulder Top £95

We have to include stripes don't we. Really, really like this one. Slip a blazer on and it's just another breton. There's probably more longevity in this than all the others which I'm sure will be one season wonders.

There are loads out there. Happy shopping xx

Anyway, on another point, how are we already on Friday? Again! I've been thinking about holiday season this week. There's not a lot that I need to buy this year. A couple of bikinis and new flip flops. Can't actually believe I'm writing this but yes it's true. Donna needs nothing. I pulled out my kaftans earlier today and realised I've got more than beach days available. That's going to be a difficult decision because some of them hold lovely memories.

And yes, that is a full drawer of beach cover ups.

Anyway, I'm in full on training mode for a Race For Life event that my friends and I are doing. We met today to kick start the programme.

I fear some of us aren't taking this seriously!!!!!

Hope the sun shines wherever you are. Me? Well it appears it's the usual wet and warm stuff. Great!

8 comments on "How To Do The Off Shoulder Thingy"
  1. Another great post, Donna. You look fab in your top. I like the look on others but will be studying your tips and having another go at getting one to suit me. I've tried on one or two but not felt right. I'm a top heavy slightly apple shape. By the way my best strapless bra after much trial and error is the Charnos Multiway, but I went up one cup size to get a good fit. I agree they are a pain to get right.
    I feel inspired to give the off the shoulder look another try as they look great for the warm weather. We're going to have a hot summer according to some forecasts! Elaine x

  2. Correction - it was the Panache Multiway. Just checked the label!

    1. You're so right Elaine, they're a nightmare to get right but worth pursuing. I do think having straps helps focus the eye inwards particularly for top heavy or broad shouldered women as it focuses they eye inwards. I think we all need a lesson in the art of magic don't we!!!! Just had a look at the Panache and think I might have to give it a go - it looks super useful. Thanks for the tip and your lovely comments xx

  3. The hair bobble safety pin thing - I so need to try this!Genius!

    1. Can't take the credit for this Sue but agree it's genius. Sort of thing you'd come up with - lol x

  4. The hair bobble safety pin thing - I so need to try this!Genius!

  5. I'm with Sue - that bobble safety pin thing is brilliant. All I need now is to buy the top to try it with!!!

    1. I'm sticking with straps for my next purchase lol x