We try On All The Off-The-Shoulder Tops On The High Street So You Don’t Have To
The Debrief: Ok not all of them, more like 5, and one off-the-shoulder dress for good measure
I’m old enough to remember the last off-the-shoulder top trend - back in the early noughties when a black off-the-shoulder top, a pair of bootcut jeans and some ankle boots was a perfectly acceptable outfit for dinner with your mum, going out out, and a performance Top Of The Pops if you happened to be a pregnant Atomic Kitten.
Those were simpler times. And even though both TOTP and Atomic Kitten are no longer with us, the off-the-shoulder top (OTST from now on, for brevity) is BACK. We know this because approximately 86 magazine articles have told me that shoulders are the new-old erogenous zone. I’m not sure how I feel about getting my shoulders out on the reg, mainly because I’ve never worked out what you’re meant to do with you bra straps (fashion ed. Charlie reckons you’re means to wear a strapless bra, but who has time for a strapless bra, amirite?).
So in summary, the fact that I’ve never gotten on with off-the-shoulder tops, makes me either the best or the worst person to do this week’s Changing Room Selfie. But which one is it? Lets find out…
I was massively dubious about this top, because it was more cropped than I’d normally go for (a recurring theme when it comes to OTSTs, as I discovered). However, I was pleasantly surprised - it was way more flattering than I was anticipating, and the blue trousers made me feel like I was the cabin boy on an olde worlde ship. Which was fun.
Actually I stand corrected, if anything was going to make me look like ye olde cabin boy it’s this striped top. I love the colour though, despite (or because of?) all the Pirates of Penzance vibes. I also tried this with a pair of navy palazzo pants, which looked pretty cool - it was just impossible to demonstrate that via the medium of selfies.
3. Urban Outfitters
I’d totally forgotten about a brief period in my late teens when all I wore was cream cheesecloth tops from a gross-but-cool vintage shop in Camden and some insanely massive corduroy flares. This Urban Outfitters top gave me some serious nostalgic flashbacks, with the added bonus of making me feel a little bit Scandinavian. And don’t we all strive to feel 10% more Scandi at any given point?
A lace off-the-shoulder top could easily look a bit dodge (on me), but these red wide-legged trousers basically make everything look cool. The vibe I was going for was Frida Kahlo if Frida Kahlo had been given a £100 Topshop gift card for her birthday and decided to go nuts.
5. & Other Stories
I tend to steer clear of massive sleeves because I’m very spilly and also because I like soup. But I love the boho art teacher vibe off this long chiffon top from & Other Stories. It’s actually quite long and flowy all over so I tucked it into a pair of cropped kick flares so it wouldn’t get all caught up in my pottery wheel. Which is a common art teacher problem, you know.
6. Topshop bonus round…
…and I just chucked this in as a bonus round despite it not being an actual top. If you really want to nail the off-the-shoulder thing this summer, just wear this dress, all the time, with everything. Especially when you’re being romanced by Richard Gere in 1980s Hollywood.
Satin frill Bardot dress, £55 - Topshop
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