One Style, 6 Ways: The One Shoulder Top

During most of my beginning years as a teacher, I had to make sure that all of my wardrobe choices could work in more than one way AND be work appropriate. Now that I have a few years of teaching under my belt, I can sometimes indulge in a few other styles that I can wear all summer long and pull out on the weekends. The one shoulder top has been one style that I keep purchasing this summer. They can be solid or printed, sleeveless or long-sleeved. It is NOT a style that you can wear to work, unless you have a lenient workplace and you find a structured one-shoulder oxford shirt.  However, it is a style that works well for daytime fun or going out on a date or with your friends at night. In this post, I’m going to show you 6 different ways that you can style one-shoulder tops.

Let’s talk about the appeal of one-shoulder tops first. They can be very feminine, very structured, or very sleek, and so can fit a variety of personal styles. In a previous post called “Feeling Retro:Midi Skirts”, I styled a black one shoulder top with my favorite Eva Mendes Midi Skirt for a retro 1950s feel. One reason that I like one shoulder tops is that I very rarely hear women complaining that they hate their shoulders, and this can be a comfortable way to show a little skin in your outfit. You CAN wear your bra with this style of top. I am not tiny up on top, and I am also not a fan of strapless bras. I typically wear a normal bra with detachable straps with a one shoulder top.  Then I detach the strap (that does not have a sleeve) and tuck the strap into the cup.

Look #1: Jeans & Heels


Look #1 is very pretty simple, but the beauty is in the details. I typically don’t like to do blue on top of a similar color denim, so I added a cognac colored purse and heels to the outfit to punch it up a little. Regardless what color or print your shirt is, you can wear it with jeans. Remember that balance is everything. For example, you can wear a voluminous or ruffled one shoulder top with skinny jeans or boyfriend jeans (more volume on top, less on bottom).  You could also wear sleeker one shoulder top or bodysuit with flared jeans for a 70s vibe. And if you’re feeling really bold, wear a long-sleeved, puffy sleeve one shoulder top with flared jeans. I really like this look when it’s belted, so that my waist doesn’t get lost in all that volume.

Look #2: High Waist Shorts

Picture_20170808_150239597.jpgRegardless of the style of your one shoulder top, you can tuck it into a pair of high waist shorts and look pretty fabulous. I would also wear this top with high waist printed shorts or white shorts. I can see brown, gold, red, or yellow coordinating very well with this color also, so just think about what colors are complimentary to your top. I’m honestly not wearing any shoes in this picture, which goes to show that you can look equally great wearing sandals or wedges. I also like these retro-feeling shorts with cat eye sunnies.

Look #3: Pencil Skirt

The previous 2 looks that we’ve seen are much more casual than this pencil skirt look. I would wear this look on a date or out with my friends. I usually tuck my top into my pencil skirt, as I did with the high waist shorts. I’m also wearing black peep-toe booties with a tasseled zipper and accessorized with a gray crossbody bag (also with a tasseled zipper). The accessories really helped the one shoulder top to be edgier and less bohemian.

Look #4: Statement Earrings

With the emphasis on your shoulders, you can make your accessories stand out. These sphere drop earrings are very on trend right now (I’ve been calling them ball drop earrings, but I guess that doesn’t sound as pretty). I bought the earrings first at New York & Company, and was searching for fashion inspiration to pair them with something. Lucky for me, I went to a different New York & Company store and found this beautiful top that coordinated wonderfully. You could wear neutral sphere drop earrings with a colorful top, vibrant earrings with a neutral top (lime green and black), or a coordinating color (such as hot pink and navy).

Look #5: Choker or Scarf

Another way to accessorize a one-shoulder top is to showcase a choker or handkerchief. Remember that the accessories can change the whole feel of the outfit. The picture on the left is much edgier with this choker from Premier Designs Jewelry. Meanwhile, with the handkerchief, my outfit felt more complete with a tan studded belt and tasseled boots. I can see a denim jacket being layered over top of either one of these looks for when it gets chilly.

Look #6: Long Necklace

The last idea is to wear a long necklace (or even multiple layered necklaces, if you’re feeling adventurous) with your one shoulder top. Because the neckline comes up a bit higher, a long necklace seems to lay just right over this top. This antique silver beauty also comes from Premier Designs Jewelry, and has a Western feel to it. Also seen in this picture is my favorite pair of cropped white jeans. The white looks so complimentary to the bright blue top.

Put it to the test!

Please let me know how you like to style your one shoulder tops! I’d love to see some reader photos for more style inspiration. Which style from my list do you like the most? Is there another style that you’d like to see me style multiple ways? 

Until Next Time…


Song Obsession of the Moment: “Feels Like Summer” (Acoustic) by Weezer

30 thoughts on “One Style, 6 Ways: The One Shoulder Top

Add yours

  1. My first thought was “I don’t like strapless bras” but what you’ve recommended for detachable straps is genius! I love one shoulder style but the bra thing was always an issue. Might rethink it now! Thanks for sharing, Leanne x

    Liked by 1 person

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