20 In Style

Hips don’t lie. Shoulders don’t age.

Hips don’t lie… at least mine don’t. One week of holiday excess or a week or two off from the gym, and my hips tell the truthful story of my indulgences to anyone. Shoulders, however… well, shoulders are a different matter entirely. Shoulders lie. Regularly. They are generally smooth and toned and youthful no matter what everything else looks like. Mine have quite a few freckles from days where I should have been wearing sunscreen, but that is about the only thing they reveal about me. I’m just grateful that they’re free of cellulite, spider veins, wrinkles, flab, and any other body blights that I’m trying to keep at bay elsewhere!

If you are my age or older, you will remember when Donna Karan made her name as a champion for elegant, working women’s clothing in the late 1980’s. (I can remember being a young girl, straight out of university and working on Wall Street, and saving every single penny I could to buy a Donna Karan gold “slice” belt from her collaboration with Robert Lee Morris. When I finally scraped all the money together, they were sold out. Now it is considered a vintage piece; I’ve found one online and I STILL love it!)

Donna Karan gold beltDonna Karan gold necklace and belt

Anyway, back to shoulders… Donna Karan cleverly pioneered and perfected the ‘cold shoulder’ top back in the 80’s and created lots of off-the-shoulder pieces as well. She did them casually as cashmere knits and dressed up as cocktail/evening dresses. She often wears that look herself (see below) along with her signature statement necklaces. She knows that baring shoulder is sexy, but not overtly sexual like baring cleavage.

donna-karan-off the shoulderPhoto: ecouterre
donna-karan-steps-down-preen-e1435714111471Photo: Preen

It still looks current, and Donna Karan (the brand) still does the same design every season, even though Donna Karan (the lady) left the building a few years ago. Lucky for us ladies ‘of a certain age’ this is a trend that flatters nearly everyone, and it is certainly EVERYWHERE for spring and summer. I love the Tibi off-shoulder tunic I bought last summer. So much so, that I’ve been snooping for another one, something a little more summery than my grey flannel number. Here are the ones currently catching my eye:

Brown's Rosie Red Rosie Assoulin at Browns
Rosie Assouline off the shoulder black Rosie Assoulin at Net A Porter
Proenza Schouler bow tie off shoulder Proenza Schouler at Net A Porter
cable sweater off shoulder Cream cable sweater from ASOS

Most of what I can currently find in the cold-shoulder/off-the-shoulder category is either white, black, or cream. I’d love to have something a little punchier like the red one. There are a lot of tops in this category which frankly, are just a bit naff, like you bought them in a street market to match your sombrero after having too many margaritas. I hate ruffles on just about anything, but having a ruffle on an off the shoulder piece is just a big NO for me. It veers too close to mariachi band territory, but I can think of plenty of people who could pull it off.

What about you? Do you dare to bare your shoulders this season, or like Donna Karan, are you a regular barer already?

(Apologies to those who commented on this post on the Stylopedia; your feedback isn’t visible because the migration to The Sequinist happened just before this post :-/ Β Thanks for sticking with me!)

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20 Comments

  • Reply
    Jonathan
    March 9, 2016 at 5:40 PM

    Such a great post! I think the off the shoulder look is going to be so popular this Spring & Summer, I recently blogged about this trend as well. How are you on the ‘cold shoulder’ trend? I’ve seen a few sweaters with the cutouts and I’m still forming my opinion from a stylist’s perspective.

    xo

    Jonathan

    • Reply
      Lisa
      March 9, 2016 at 8:03 PM

      Thanks Jonathan! I think the cold shoulder sweaters can work, but they really have to be done well. I saw a gorgeous one on Net A Porter a few weeks ago that had a lace insert in the cold shoulder part; it was amazing, but sold out immediately πŸ™
      These off the shoulder tops can also look awful (like a bad curtain pelmet!) if you’re not careful. That’s why I stay away from ruffles… I’m anti-ruffle by default! xx

  • Reply
    Nikki Garnett, Midlifechic
    March 11, 2016 at 2:36 PM

    Lovely post (and lovely looking site Lisa). I’m going to be rubbing my Skinceuticals all over my shoulders now to get them prepped and ready x

    • Reply
      Lisa
      March 11, 2016 at 6:10 PM

      Thank you, Nikki! Hahaha, I should do the same. xx

  • Reply
    Elizabeth @ Rosalilium
    March 11, 2016 at 11:11 PM

    I never thought of it that way but you’re right. I’m off to find myself some shoulder revealing tops!

    • Reply
      Lisa
      March 12, 2016 at 8:30 AM

      Let me know what you turn up, Elizabeth! I’m sure you’ll be smashing in one. xx

  • Reply
    Laurie
    March 13, 2016 at 10:35 PM

    You have chosen a few beauties here, I love the Rosie Assoulin black number

    • Reply
      Lisa
      March 14, 2016 at 9:15 AM

      I love that one too; it looks wearable long after this trend dies, which is something I look for! There have been so many other nice ones, but they all keep selling out! I found a gorgeous chiffon one with tiny white stars on it, but it also sold out before I could post it. xx

  • Reply
    Annette
    March 14, 2016 at 1:08 PM

    Although I wouldn’t dare showing my midriff nor do I wear miniskirts any longer, I do like my shoulders!
    I love neckholder tops and can’t wait for spring to get a little suntan and wear them again.

    xx
    Annette | Lady of Style

    • Reply
      Lisa
      March 15, 2016 at 8:56 PM

      I’m wishing you spring in your part of the world asap, if for no other reason than to bare your shoulders! xx

  • Reply
    Michelle
    March 16, 2016 at 2:37 PM

    Loving the new look site Lisa! And I agree with Annette – I also like my shoulders. I feel a shopping trip coming on πŸ™‚
    Michelle xx

    • Reply
      Lisa
      March 18, 2016 at 8:38 PM

      Thank you so much, Michelle. Maybe we should all go shopping for off the shoulder pieces soon when you’re in London?! xx

  • Reply
    Catherine @ Not Dressed As Lamb
    March 18, 2016 at 4:08 PM

    Lisa I’ve never really thought about the fact that shoulders don’t age… You’re absolutely right, they don’t!! I like my shoulders a lot so it’s nice to think I’ll still want to show them off as I get older. BTW that Proenza Schouler black and white blouse and white pants outfit is to DIE for – I want to look like that every day!!

    Great post sweetie, it’s made me rather happy…! #ShouldersRock

    Catherine x

    • Reply
      Lisa
      March 18, 2016 at 8:40 PM

      Here’s to us wearing fantastic off the shoulder looks WELL into our twilight years, Catherine! xx

  • Reply
    Michelle
    March 19, 2016 at 12:28 PM

    I love bearing my shoulders & back because I get to show off my tattoo! Although it hadn’t occurred to me that my shoulders belie my age, bonus πŸ˜‰

    • Reply
      Lisa
      March 19, 2016 at 1:07 PM

      You’d best get shopping, lady, unless you have off-shoulder pieces in your closet already! xx

  • Reply
    Stella Asteria
    March 24, 2016 at 12:25 PM

    Totally agree with you! Even an extra slice of bread would sit on my hips hehe πŸ™‚ These DKNY gold slices are a fab find!!! I love the Proenza Schouler look!
    Stella
    http://www.stellaasteria.com

    • Reply
      Lisa
      March 24, 2016 at 2:16 PM

      More than 20 years later, I STILL love the slice belt! Maybe I should just get it already. I adore everything Proenza, but especially this! Thanks Stella xx

  • Reply
    Anastasia Nicole
    April 11, 2016 at 1:04 AM

    “Shoulders lie. Regularly.” LMAO!!!! That’s so true. No matter how old you get or how many sweets you eat, your shoulder always look killer. Reason #1 I’m investing in off the shoulder tops this spring too!
    xo
    A

    • Reply
      Lisa
      April 11, 2016 at 9:29 AM

      It IS true, isn’t it?! I think I’m going to adopt off shoulder looks forever, just like Donna Karan has in her life! xx

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