Off The Shoulder vs. Cold Shoulder - A Pros and Cons List

It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of off-the-shoulder tops. But I've recently been dabbling in the cold-shoulder trend as well. Cold shoulder, a design that leaves skin showing between strap and sleeve, has been popular since 2016, but continues to become increasingly popular. Because these styles are so similar and yet so different, I thought I'd do a little pros/cons comparison to see which design comes out the winner. To demonstrate, I'll be using two pieces -- the gorgeous Hadley Off The Shoulder Top and the Marley Cold Shoulder Dress -- from the lovely Chicory Lane Boutique, a new trendy shop that has a large variety of both off-the-shoulder and cold-shoulder designs. 


Off The Shoulder Pros

1. Shows off the shoulders: This style is very flattering because it shows off just the right amount of skin, which is part of what makes these tops so striking.

2. Keep cool in the summer: These tops leave both your shoulders and neckline uncovered which is popular in regards to both summer fashion and summer weather trends. As you can imagine, the less material weighing you down, the cooler you'll feel in the summer heat!

3. Look amazing with chokers: Because there's no fabric anywhere near the neck, chokers look amazing with these tops. Although I'm not wearing one with the Hadley Off The Shoulder Top, I know that a thin black choker would have made the top's black trim and tassels pop!


Off The Shoulder Cons

1. Strapless bras needed: because these tops have no straps, you need a strapless bra to match and we all now that strapless bra's are not the most comfortable or supportive. However, with this Hadley Off The Shoulder Top, I find that I can get away with wearing no bra -- the ruffle layer makes going bra-less more discrete.

2. Restricted arm movement: While wearing these tops, it's not easy to lift your arms. Whether you're grabbing something from the top shelf or trying to put up your hair, the elastic band gets pushed upwards and needs to be pulled back down when you're done. 

Outfit Details: Top // Jeans (similar) // Sandals // Bracelets // Sunglasses 


Cold Shoulder Pros

1. Shows off the shoulders: These designs also show off some skin, although less so than off-the-shoulder tops. And some people may find this less-revealing nature to be an added bonus.

2. Keep cool in the summer: Similar to off-the-shoulder tops, these pieces feature minimal fabric around the shoulders and neckline which is great for the summer heat!

3. No arm restrictions: Because these tops are basically tank tops with loose decorative fabric hanging off the sides, they don't lift up when you raise your arms like the horizontal elastic bands on off-the-shoulder tops might.

4. V-neck cut: Unlike, off-the-shoulder blouses, cold-shoulders can feature v-shaped necklines, like we see on this Marley Cold Shoulder Dress, which is very flattering!


Cold Shoulder Cons

1. Strapless bra needed: This really only applies to cold-shoulder tops that have thin straps. But if it features a ruffle layer, like this Marley Cold Shoulder Dress does, you can get away with going bra-less!

2. Don't look as good with chokers: I have to be honest, I don't think cold-shoulder tops pair with chokers we well as off-the-should tops do. But because the design is already so striking, I don't think a necklace is even necessary!

Outfit Details: Dress // Sandals // Bracelets // Sunglasses 



Off The Shoulder: Pros | Cons = 3 | 2

Cold Shoulder: Pros | Cons = 4 | 2

While both styles have the same number of cons, it looks like cold-shoulder wins with one extra pro! Looks like I'll be adding more cold-shoulder designs to my wardrobe. But don't be mistaken, my love for off-the-shoulder tops isn't going anywhere! Share you thoughts on which design you prefer by commenting on one of my Instagram photos. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts! And remember to check out the variety of quality pieces that Chicory Lane Boutique has to offer! If you're curious about sizing, my suggestion is to go with whatever size you usually are -- I went with smalls (my usual size) for both the blouse and the dress and it worked out perfectly. Lastly, regarding quality, both pieces are made with soft fabric with durable stitching, so they'll be around for the long haul!


Photographer # 1

Bill McGuiness (AKA "the boyf")


Stylist, Model, Photographer # 2, and Writer