A few fashion trends from my childhood stand out as favourites, neon, chambray, white shoes, shirring, smocking and Off the Shoulder…these days known as ‘OTS’.
Lately I’ve been wearing OTS and so are a few of you. However, I had forgoten how annoying the OTS can be, sure they look all kinds of cute and the summer vibe is strong but damn those shoulders that like to ‘pop up’!
So, I’ve spent some time in my bedroom and on YouTube playing with several different styles and I reckon I’ve nailed it, so I’m passing on some essential “How to Wear Off the Shoulder” tips to you.
GET YOUR BRA RIGHT
If you’ve got boobs chances are they need some support which means a strapless bra is kinda essential when wearing ‘off the shoulder’. Now I’ve owned a couple of strapless bras but recently I was fitted for a new one and boy oh boy did it make a difference. HUGE difference!
My new boobs are reconstructed and lack fullness up top, they also spill over a bit at the sides. My previous bra fit ok (or so I thought) but it squashed and flattened my boobs a bit and after a few hours of wearing it my back would be aching. I kinda figured that’s how strapless bras were.
Turns out I was wearing the wrong style AND size. After being fitted by Sue from Buxom Envy I went from a D to an F cup. Shocking right? Well, whatever it takes ladies. My new bra is from Elomi and has a really full cup (no spillage) with underwires that reach right around to encase my whole breast.
I’m still a little empty at the top of one cup because, reconstructed boobs. The moral of the story ladies is get fitted by a professional, they know bras and they know boobs, they will also show you all the tips for putting a bra on correctly and how to care for your bra.
BEST ON SHOW WHEN WEARING OFF THE SHOULDER
If you’re getting your shoulders out then spend some time ensuring they look fabulous. Exfoliate and moisturise your shoulders and don’t forget the sunscreen. For a sun kissed look use a little fake tan, moisturiser with shimmer or some bronzer (be careful if wearing white though). For some good home tanning options try Vani-T.
I recently ordered an ‘off the shoulder’ top that was a firmer fit in the shoulders, I actually thought this would be great as it wouldn’t pop up. Wrong! Turns out it popped up quicker. Then I received a few tops and dresses in the next size up (same brand) and the shoulder was looser, turns out looser was actually better as half the job was already being done.
THE RUBBER BAND TRICK
I’d seen Robynna from The Mummy and the Minx talk about using rubber bands/hair ties and safety pins to keep the OTS in place, yesterday I googled the YouTube clip and gave it a go for myself. Ummm, freakin genius! Yes, it actually works ladies!
I looped two rubber bands together for each side but will be hitting up Target for ‘covered hair ties’ because the rubber band was a bit irritating. You can view the clip HERE.
HOW TO STYLE OFF THE SHOULDER
OTS is a nod to ‘prairie and boho’ so the tops tend to be looser and fuller, sometimes with large flowing sleeves, so style your OTS tops with streamlined bottoms for a more flattering silhouette.
Jeans, straight skirts and shorts all look great, you can even do a little half tuck or leave your top loose.
If you feel comfortable tuck your OTS top into your jeans, a tucked OTS top looks amazing tucked into an a line midi skirt…very vintage.
We may not be able to change the boobs we have but we can use styling tricks to create illusion.
Help out a smaller bust line with a ruffle or frill over the bust, this will give the illusion of a fuller bust. A ruffle or frill is also fantastic for ladies who may have had a mastectomy, I made use of this when I had my surgeries.
If you are conscious of a fuller bust then you might benefit from an OTS top that is patterned, this will keep the eye moving. Super sized boobs could benefit from a pendant or necklace that hangs longer inbetween your boobs ‘and creates the illusion of a cleavage and a faux neckline, drawing the eye ‘back in’ rather out and wide.
Ladies, I have very broad shoulders but surprisingly OTS suits me and I’m not at all conscious of my broad shoulders, having a longer sleeve and wearing a small pendant ( a focal feature) helps.
Of course the bra that’s underneath will also help .
If you’re keen to try ‘off the shoulder’ then I hope these tips help. Will you give OTS a go this season?
Til next time,
Some items in this post were sent to me for editorial consideration in accordance with my disclosure policy.
Updated September 2018