From halternecks to the Bardot it's time to show off your shoulders

From halternecks to the Bardot, it’s time to show off your shoulders: Plunging cleavage is so last year

  • Jess Wood shared her advice for wearing outfits that expose your shoulders
  • British style expert suggests embracing sleeveless designs if you’re courageous
  • She picked out the best cold shoulder items from High Street stores and online 

When the ‘cold shoulder’ trend resulted in exposed arms and banished sleeves a few seasons ago, I was in two minds. I love the look of toned shoulders and collarbones on display — more sophisticated than cleavage, and with an appealingly athletic twist.

But what if, like me, you’re not, umm, at all athletic? When I’m feeling brave and tanned, I’ll show off my arms, but the bingo-wing worry means I’m happier revealing a subtle flash of flesh. Luckily, the focus this summer is on long, loose silhouettes that frame bare brown shoulders beautifully. 

Whether you go for a halterneck or one-shoulder depends on how much time you’ve spent doing workouts by Tracy Anderson (the sculptor of Gwyneth Paltrow’s arms). 

British style expert Jess Wood, shared her advice for wearing outfits that expose your shoulders. Pictured: Jumpsuit, £119, ted; and shoes, £86, Ted Baker at

As my own Anderson score is zero, top of my shopping list is this gorgeous ruffled number from & Other Stories (second from right). 

It gets top marks for the slim straps, which mean there’s no need for constant tugging to keep the neckline in the right position — a common problem with off-the-shoulder gypsy styles.

I also adore the one-sleeve dress from Hush (far right). It reveals one whole arm, sure, but the leg-covering length makes it feel less exposing — and the asymmetric bow tie draws all the attention up to the collarbone.

Jumpsuit, £79.99; and sandals, £69.99,

Jumpsuit, £34, great; and shoes, £47, french

If you’re feeling courageous, try a sleeveless design, such as Mango’s orange jumpsuit (middle). The roomy cut is great for covering up your middle, so it’s ideal if you’ve been overindulging on the lockdown front but still want to show some skin.  

The buttercup all-in-one by Great Plains (third from right) is a more fitted, less forgiving option — I’ll wear it with a denim jacket so I feel less exposed.

And when it comes to tops, Mango’s fuchsia high-neck style (third from left) is perfect paired with summery white wide-leg trousers.

Right, I’m off for a quick press-up or two. I’ll get those Anderson arms yet…

Pictured left: Maxi dress, £89; and sandals, £65, Pictured right: Dress, £65; shoes, £69; and earrings, £34, hushuk. com

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