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 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 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.
Off shoulder dressing still looks modern, and Donna Karan (the brand) still does the same design every season, even though Donna Karan (the lady) left the building several 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 around for another one, something a little more summery than my grey flannel number. Here are the ones currently catching my eye:
Rosie Assoulin at Browns
Rosie Assoulin at Net A Porter
Proenza Schouler at Net A Porter
Cream 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 one too many margaritas. I hate ruffles on just about anything, but having a ruffle on an off the shoulder piece is an especially big NO for me. It veers way too close to mariachi band territory… but I can think of plenty of people who could pull it off beautifully.
What about you? Do you dare to bare your shoulders this season, or like Donna Karan, are you a regular barer already?
If you like The Sequinist spin on fashion…