The Flattering Top Style That Totally Ruled In 2016

Off-the-shoulder tops were official best-sellers this year. Here's how to wear them...

Say hello to the biggest top trend of 2016. Yep, searches for off-the-shoulder tops peaked back in June, with Lyst seeing a whopping 3,000 searches an hour for the flirty bardot style.


Instagram was full of them, with OTS pieces by Tibi, Theory, Johanna Ortiz and Zara flying off the shelves in the following months, with off-the-shoulder dresses, off-the-shoulder tops and off-the-shoulder playsuits flooding our fave shopping haunts.

And guess what? Even though it’s winter, they’d still look ace at your Christmas party teamed with leather trews and heels, or skinnies and Converse. But we know they can be daunting.

Love the look but not sure how to pull it off? We’ve styled up some killer outfits to show you just how to show your shoulders in style, whatever your shape…


Bardot Neck Top, £32, Topshop

Peekaboo Playsuit

If you’re all up for showing off your shoulders but not a fan of your arms we’ve got a solution for that: Enter the shoulder-sloping batwing sleeve. Not only will it cover the body parts you don’t want to reveal, the floaty fabric and breezy side slit will keep you cool no matter how high the mercury rises this summer.

Orange cut sleeve playsuit, £45, River Island, Silver Cross wedge platforms, £29.99, Pull and Bear, Green Block Bracelet, £8, Oliver Bonas, Black Leather Belt Bag, £25, Asos

Not So Mellow Yellow

Fashion addicts want to trial every trend that’s going but are often more certain on some than others. Thanks to clever layering you can still work the cold-shoulder look without flashing too much flesh. Try wearing yours with a 90s style dungaree dress or silky slip on top for extra SS’16 style points.

Yellow top, £32, Topshop, White dungaree dress, £19.99, New Look, Orange suede wedge heels, £29.99, Zara, Green reflective sunglasses, £30, Quay, Crocodile Print Bag with Tassel Strap, £30, River Island

Check Out: Off-The-Shoulder Tops: Summer’s Most Wanted Buy


White Bow Top, £14.99, Bershka

, Black Bardot Top, £39, Monsoon

All Tied Up

If you’re fully showing off your shoulders in all their bare skin sexiness then give yourself a pat on the back. What may have been daunting at first now seems totally wearable and your statement necklaces have never looked so good. Bravo!

White Bardot bow sleeve top, £14.99, Bershka, Checkered trousers, £22, Miss Selfridge, Coloured Block Necklace, £28, Oliver Bonas, Silver Chunky heel shoes, £65, Office, Blue leather strap bag, £79, Autograph at M&S

Bardot Basics

Bardot tops like this goes-with-everything black number are ideal if want to achieve just a subtle shoulder-skimming look.

Black top, £39, Monsoon (sizes 8-22), Embroidered Skirt, £69, Monsoon, Red shoulder bag, £25,, Gold bangle, £12.50, Next, Red suede open toe heels, £49.99, Mango


Striped Dress, £110, Oasis

Half & Half

Sitting on the shoulder-baring fence? Get the best of both worlds with an asymmetric neckline. Plus when Stella McCartney features them heavily in her SS16 show you know you’ve got yourself a sure winner.

Striped off the shoulder dress, £110, Oasis, Gold hoop bar earrings, £8, ASOS, Blue clutch bag, £30, Paul’s Boutique, Open toe heels, £12, Primark

Faux Bardot

The idea of going strapless may leave the big busted amongst us in a cold sweat but don’t panic; you can still totally work this trend. Just opt for an off-the-shoulder style with extra spaghetti straps (a.k.a the perfect bra strap concealer!)

White Bardot Frill Top, £28, M&S, Green flared shorts, £35, M&S (Sizes 8-20), Brown cross sliders, £15.99, New Look, Gold hoop earrings, £4.99, New Look, Large Straw Cactus Bag, £39.99, Mango

Styling: Sarah Barlow