One-Shoulder Tops Are the New Off-the-Shoulder Tops: Here’s Why

A one-shoulder look at Jacquemus Spring/Summer 2016.

A one-shoulder look at Jacquemus Spring/Summer 2016; Image: Imaxtree

We didn’t invent one-shoulder dressing simply because we’re desperate for an alternative to the now supersaturated off-the-shoulder trend. It was there waiting for us all along on the Spring 2016 runways of Jacquemus, Rosie Assoulin, Versace, Tibi and more.

The cool, clavicle-baring, single-strap or single-sleeve cousins of our once beloved, carefree summer toppers are here to walk us through the painful process that is the return to fabric-clad shoulders. While off-the-shoulder blouses will continue to hold a special place in our hearts (and closets) for all their infinite iterations, they, like the Stan Smith, no longer ooze the individuality that we so value. We, the fashion set, binged and now must wait for our collective stomachache to subside before we once again indulge our shoulder habit.

A stunning shoulder-baring ensemble at Rosie Assoulin Spring/Summer 2016.

A stunning shoulder-baring ensemble at Rosie Assoulin Spring/Summer 2016; Image: Imaxtree

Thankfully, we needn’t go cold turkey. Streamlined, side-swooping looks make for eye-catching, one-off ensembles that slake our thirst for shoulders and can be either casual, cocktail hour- or work-appropriate thanks to that added coverage. With fall on the horizon, one of the things we like most about this updated take on the off-the-shoulder trend is how well it lends itself to layering (hello, 90s-inspired white-tee-under-tank look or, you know, jackets).


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Unlike their flirtier predecessors, which were relegated to the realms of casual and evening wear due to their go-hard-or-go-home, skin-exposing attitude, one-shoulder tops offer us the best of all worlds. At night, opt for a metallic, embellished single-strap tank. During work hours, look to the king and queen of clavicle flaunting, Marques ‘ Almeida and Johanna Ortiz, respectively, for more conservative knit and button-down offerings that were born to be paired with flatteringly-cut trousers.

For those of you still preoccupied with images of Jennifer Beals circa Flashdance, stop and instead recall Carrie Bradshaw’s vintage Zandra Rhodes dress that she wore to the quite literally staged Marina Abramović show (where she first met Aleksandr Petrovsky).

One-shoulder tops: chic, unique, versatile and ready to be shopped in the slideshow below.