Off the Shoulder 1

Taking Off-the-Shoulder into Autumn

The off-the-shoulder look has been a pervasive one. It was first embraced and favoured by bloggers such as Nicole Warne and has gone from strength to strength. The style has appeared and sold-out on online retailers from Zara to Net-a-Porter. Rather than dying down, the off-the-shoulder style is going strong and looks set to stay with us for the foreseeable future.

So why is off-the-shoulder so popular, what style will suit you best and how can you take it into Autumn?

Off the Shoulder 2 why off-the-shoulder?

Earlier in the year, I attended a discussion as part of the Vogue Festival in which Caroline de Maigret and Isabel Marant considered the allure of “Parisian cool”. One of the key tricks to mastering that nonchalant sexy Parisian look is not to bare too much flesh. Rather than put obvious cleavage on display (tres tacky), the key is to show just a glimpse that is a little unexpected. The back of the neck, or the shoulders.

Cue the off-the-shoulder top or dress. Showing a bit of shoulder plays with the imagination in such an elegant way.

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which off-the-shoulder style suits your body type?

Off-the-shoulder is also a style which can suit most body shapes:

Broad shoulders: if, like me, you have been “blessed” with swimmers’ shoulders, asymmetric cuts will look fab on you. The asymmetry breaks up the breadth of your shoulders, giving the illusion of a narrower frame.

Petite/narrow frame: lucky you, you can go for the completely off-the-shoulder, straight-across style and look elegant and just a little bit sexy!

Fuller bust: shoulder cut-outs are extremely flattering for those of you with a fuller bust. The cut-outs at the shoulder draw the attention from the bust upwards.

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taking off-the-shoulder into autumn

During the summer, beautiful, bronzed shoulders were on display in gorgeous cotton, short-sleeve and strappy off-the-shoulder tops and dresses.

To take this style into the chillier autumn months and beyond, think about the fabric and sleeve length. Here, I’m wearing a gorgeous wool off-the-shoulder top from one of my favourite Australian designers, Scanlan Theodore.

The wool fabric and longer sleeves are warmer. The stretch enables you to style it in a variety of ways – asymmetically (for a more office-appropriate look), straight across, or even as a cowl neck if it gets really cold. Wear a tonal vest with wide straps underneath to create a shoulder cut-out look. What’s not to love about it?!