off the shoulder ivory  dress cropped

Trends: Why off-the-shoulder may be the trend for you…

off the shoulder ivory dressMost trends are fleeting. They fade into obscurity just as quickly as they arrived, making you regret spending any money on them in the first place. 

I have been pretty honest about how much money I have wasted on what I feel is an ever repeating trend cycle – the fashion industry is really about regurgitating old trends to get you to buy more clothing (yes, I’m on my soap box). That said, every now and again I come across a trend that has me hooked. This season, it’s the off-the-shoulder top / dress.

In a recent article from The Washington Post, contributor Sarah Halzack called off-the-shoulder pieces the “it” look of the season, the trend’s popularity seems to have exploded overnight. She said: “In the first quarter of 2016, there was a 110 percent year-over-year increase in the number of off-the-shoulder tops and dresses arriving online, along with a 218 percent boom in arrivals of cold-shoulder tops and dresses. A dramatic spike in Google searches in recent months for ‘off the shoulder’ and ‘cold shoulder’ suggests shoppers are on the hunt.”

So, i’m not the only one.

In fact, the boom isn’t all that surprising considering the recent love for revitalising popular fashions from the 70’s, oh and of course the 90’s. In addition to cap sleeves and flared jeans, off-the-shoulder tops and dresses have become a fashionable choice for vintage lovers as well as those looking for modern wear. What’s more, it’s also a subtle enough look for those who aren’t as bold with their fashion choices.

I have a friend who lives in Australia and we had been chatting about current fashion trends over Skype, talking about the ones we are avoiding and those we are trying to resist (unsuccessfully) in an effort to curb our overspending. She sent me a link to some dresses she is checking out for an upcoming birthday party – yep you guessed it, off the shoulder all the way (literally all the way to the other side of the world!).

If you look through the dresses from Lyst’s collection, you can see the similarities between products from a lot of the designers favouring the look. Many of them embrace solid colours, letting the style’s unique shape speak for itself. But if there is a pattern, it’s common to find them in a floral or tribal print to enhance the boho chic vibe of looser fits, like tunic or peasant varieties.

In addition to being ultra feminine, I have seen quite a few shoulderless pieces that vary between formal and informal.

If you want to incorporate this trend into your wardrobe, a casual, relaxed vibe can be achieved using T-shirt material such as cotton and jersey knits. These styles are easy to throw on with a pair of jeans or shorts to complete an effortlessly fashionable look. Alternatively, a formal style can be achieved with fitted, solid coloured designs – I find this works better than an off the shoulder print option.

Off the shoulder can be for anyone really….and I think that’s why I like it. Take Duchess Kate’s dress for example. I am not really a fan of her style, but a post from USA Today covered the Duchess of Cambridge’s visit to London’s Natural History Museum, and her dress was a pretty spot on blend of classic and on trend. She wore an ivory gown with vertical stripe accents from designer Barbara Casasola that looked great. She completed the look with a modest pair of peach, suede heels and small, silver clutch. Not bad at all.

So, are you going to opt for this trend or fear buyers remorse?




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  1. Britanica

    I already own several off the shoulder tops and actually prefer them. I think women don’t realize this but men really love the shoulder of a woman! Something is very beautiful about them, and even sexy. I have some tops that will sit to one side as well and only show one shoulder. I think this is something that has never actually went out of fashion!


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