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Off-shoulder is the new cleavage!

By Tista Sengupta
Last updated on: May 16, 2016 18:53 IST
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Here's how you can make the most of your shoulders.

Jennifer Garner

IMAGE: Jennifer Garner is a total knockout in this asymmetrical one-shoulder gown at the Oscars, 2016. Photograph: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

It's not just a trend. It is every woman's wardrobe essential now.

If there's one style that is dominating the fashion scenes off late, it is off-shoulder silhouette.

This yesteryear fashion trend of the 60s and 70s -- that made a huge comeback -- is all about 'sexy meets sweet'.

Flirty, flattering and fashionable in design, it also comes with a dash of bohemian touch to it.

"It's a cool trend that enhances your collar bones. And it looks glamourous on women of any age," says designer Gauri Karan Singh of the label Gauri & Nainika. According to Gauri, British actor Audrey Hepburn looked best in it.

So flash some flesh in the most elegant way.

Tista Sengupta/Rediff.com chats up with designers and stylists who give us few basic rules that one should follow to nail this perfect chic look in summer.

Size matters

Fashion-forward alpha females don't shy away from baring their shoulders.

Unlike the slender ones, can plus size women with fuller arms and rounder shoulders sport this trend?

Well, this is what movie stylist Rick Roy has to say, "If you are too bony, off-shoulders might not look too nice. For women who have a bit of curves, this trend works perfectly for them. After all, it's like you are not showing anything, but you are showing everything."

Then how can women on the heavier size sport this trend?

IMAGE: Hailey Baldwin toughens up her rock, chic look in a leather off-shoulder top with a pair of shimmery pants. Photograph: Kind Courtesy Hailey Baldwin/Instagram

According to Indian designer Payal Singhal, "off-shoulder is for everyone. If you are on the heavier side and not confident of wearing this trend, try a loose top instead of a fitted one.

"An A-line off-shoulder top with a pair of jeans or a shift dress will work best.

"But make sure that you buy an off-shoulder outfit of your size, or else you may have a wardrobe malfunction. If it's not your size, there lies the fear of it falling off."

Payal's off-shoulder designed outfits have been worn by actors Mouni Roy, Kiara Advani and Shriya Saran, to name a few.

Patterns and colours

Off-shoulder trend has become sexier and more tailored now.

They now come with big balloon sleeves, cascading ruffles, sensuous X-necks, and so on.

"There are various kinds of off-shoulders. One is which people refer to as the basic tube top with no sleeves. But this style does have sleeves from the arms.

"It's a very classy way of showing skin. You feel glamourous. It's not a low neck that makes you feel conscious and you keep pulling the top up all the time," Gauri adds.

Kanishtha Dhankar

IMAGE: Model Kanishtha Dhankar struts her stuff in a Manish Malhotra off-shoulder peplum top with bandage sleeves at Lakme Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2016 curtain raiser.Photograph: Hitesh Harisinghani/Rediff.com

Lending an interesting twist to your look, this trend had actually hit the runways a few seasons back.

In India, designers like Neeta Lulla, Manish Malhotra and Swati Kalsi are few designers who have already incorporated this trend into their ensembles.

"Internationally everyone has done it. This is an old trend that has trickled into the market here. Even high-street brands like Zara sell off-shoulder outfits. In fact, I had also started work on it a couple of years back.

"In India too, the cold shoulder style was seen. It's now that eventually the patterns are changing.

"Of course it's a revival of an old trend and most importantly it even works well with Indian clothes.

"You can work your jewellery well with it. And somehow conservative parents are even okay with it. It has become a socially accepted silhouette in the Indian market," Payal says.

With summer in full swing, designers prefer to go with white or pastels as it looks fresh. But if you are planning to head out in the evening, try your hand on metallics.

How to dress up?

If you are up for some fun dressing, off-shoulder can be your best pick.

Be it for a casual outing or an evening party, this trend is so hip and easy to wear.

And it looks like celebrities like Jacqueline Fernandez, Chrissy Teigen, Deepika Padukone, Olivia Palermo and Kerry Washington are pretty much loyalists to this trend.

 Olivia Palermo

IMAGE: Get inspired by American socialite Olivia Palermo who flaunts her clavicle in an off-shoulder puffed sleeve cotton top over a pair of denims. Photograph: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for People StyleWatch

Style Guide: The DON’Ts

  • Avoid wearing big prints. Always wear small prints.
  • Never over-accessorise. Try keeping the neckline clean as much possible.
  • Do not opt for a neckline with a lot of embroidery on it.
  • Remember that off-shoulder trend is occasion based. You can't wear it everywhere.

"It's such a versatile trend. You can team an off-shoulder top with a pair of denims, pallazos or even shorts," Rick suggests.

Now if your company doesn't have a strict dress code, you can perhaps add it to your workwear closet. But remember, your arm movement might just get restricted a bit.

For those who want to don a jacket over it at work, Gauri thinks it would defeat the purpose of wearing it.

Instead accessorise it; after all it's a neckline that gives a lot of scope for accessorisation.

"In the last couple of trends, we have seen different kinds of necklines. But none of them have been too much giving to neckpieces. So here's a trend where you can play with a lot of interesting neckpieces," Rick says.

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Tista Sengupta / Rediff.com Mumbai
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