Ways To Style An Off-The-Shoulder Top For An Effortless Look

Is there anything cuter than an off-the-shoulder top? The short answer here is definitely "no"; it's universally flattering and works well all year round. Admittedly, though, we sometimes get into a bit of a rut with our shoulder-baring looks — and wear that same (safe) top we've had for years. But we're here with oodles of off-the-shoulder inspiration to help shake things up. Most importantly, this collection is meant to be a loving reminder that even ultra-chic looks can be effortless to put together.

In a very intentional power move, we're kicking it off with this gorgeous off-the-shoulder crochet moment from artist @mayalunacorazon. Her handmade creations prove that one of the easiest ways to create a standout style is to search for unique pieces. That might be handmade goods like this or items from a thrift or consignment store. For example, a few of our inclusions use standard tops — in larger sizes — to achieve the off-the-shoulder look. So, it's easy to add more swagger by shopping in places with unique or vintage pieces. In the end, you can have a cool collection of shoulder-skimming tops by being open to various shopping experiences and applying these styling tips.

You can't go wrong with classic black

If your storage space or closets are limited and you're only going to buy one off-the-shoulder top, a jet-black look will never fail you. For this classic take on the bare-shoulder look, model @eliserae_bu wears a simple cable knit top with an oversized cut, allowing it to slide off the shoulder for a cute moment. Definitely a contender for your go-to off-the-shoulder style, a black top pairs well with everything from leggings to skirts.

Pair an off-the-shoulder sweatshirt and tank

Not only is it giving low-key '80s throwback vibes, but this off-the-shoulder sweatshirt look is as effortless as it is cute. Pro-aging style influencer @fwortytude_style built this look with a simple black and purple color scheme but made it pop with a graphic sweatshirt and a bold sneaker. In addition, she layered a thick-strap tank under the off-the-shoulder top, giving it a chic athletic edge. To replicate this look, search for a sweatshirt with a wide neck opening or buy up a few sizes.

Invest in a versatile, peplum-waist off-the-shoulder top

You gotta love a peplum waist top of any kind, but when you find an off-the-shoulder version, buy two. Here, @boutiquerougebr pairs a smocked-waist peplum top with raw hemmed denim shorts in bright white. The fully elasticized neckline is designed to be worn off both shoulders, and the stretchy material is ultra-flattering. This sunny-shoulders look is cute for summer because the smocking around the waist creates a leveled-up look, but the distressed denim keeps it easy and casual.

Mix it up with complementary angles

This fit, posted by @asbydf, is checking all the boxes. It's a chic look that starts with a white, deeply cut-off shoulder bodysuit-style top. From there, a lightweight chambray coat is layered on top, but the collar's sharp angles create the real magic. Although the white top is minimalist, its clean lines are such a sharp contrast to the angles of the coat, so the ultimate impact has the "wow" effect. And as gorgeous as it is, it's a breeze to style and looks incredibly comfortable.

Turn that V-neck into an off-the-shoulder top

Here's how we imagine the off-the-shoulder look was invented. Someone wore a V-neck, which accidentally slipped off the shoulder — and voilà! Well, it's still one of the easiest ways to rock the feminine look, so inventory your closet as a first step. Of course, specific cuts and materials work better than others. For example, a slim-fit V-neck might not have enough give in the fabric to wear it off the shoulder. Instead, look for a roomier shape and somewhat slouchy fabric, like this @giatrends inspiration.

Wear a contrasting bra for a pop of color

Minimalists, unite! In a sea of monochromatic spice-inspired looks in hues of cinnamon and matcha, stand out with a riff on an almond latte. This @talia.evans look is giving ease and zen but also just a hint of sass with that contrasting bra strap. There are endless ways to replicate this chill fit — just start with a clean, monochromatic look, and avoid distracting details like zippers or accents. Then, choose a colorful bra — a classic color or even something a little wild.

Choose a billowy balloon shape for added drama

We love everything about this off-the-shoulder look, especially the drama. But, of course, the exaggerated balloon-style ruffle dominates the outfit in the best possible way. You can keep the outfit simple in this scenario since the top makes such a bold statement. Taking a cue from @thekemiststore, mix and match a unique off-the-shoulder top with pleated pants in a similar color. Keep in mind, though, that part of what elevates this look is its reliance on simplicity. So keep it to two complementary hues.

Style your overalls with a slim-fit off-the-shoulder top

Overalls — and their cutie cousin, shortalls — have an undeniable appeal. They're comfy and cute and have a chameleon-like quality that — with the right accessories — makes them fit right just about anywhere. In this simple-to-create summer look, Instagram influencer @fashionjunkie0212 offers some easy-to-implement off-the-shoulder inspiration. Her fitted tan shortalls have a sleek, tailored look, so pairing them with a slim fit off-the-shoulder top creates continuity. Plus, the bare shoulders and cute shortall straps create a pretty neckline.

Elevate a shoulder-revealing athleisure set with accessories

We're just over here, creating plans that vibe with this outfit posted by @natalieequinniee. It'll be a jammed-packed weekend meandering the farmer's market, going to a wine tasting, and catching an outdoor concert. We love the idea of this black one-shoulder athleisure set being the basis for this chic, casual look. The crop-top style is on-trend, and the set can be styled for a boho fit, paired with your favorite cowboy hat or a cute denim jacket. Most importantly, it's easygoing and comfortable!

This bubble sleeve off the shoulder is perfect with denim

We would all have at least three off-the-shoulder tops in a perfect world. Our top picks would be a versatile black option, a dramatic statement-making look, and then one flowy AF version in an elegant material, like this one posted by digital creator @thenuriarose. The fact that this one is a neutral blush shade of pink makes it easy to style and instantly dresses up a pair of jeans. She kept the accessories simple, which lets the sheer puff sleeves and scarf-like details have the entire spotlight.

Looking for Emily in Paris vibes?

French women — and beloved part-time Parisians like those in "Emily in Paris" — are famous for their simple, chic style. As part of this fashion lore, they often pair classic patterns, like stripes, with solid colors. In this fit, @nancy.dee.clothing also exemplifies the subtle femininity of an off-the-shoulder short-sleeve top. It's not overly revealing but gives a decisive nod to understated beauty. To echo this vibe, look for an off-the-shoulder top with thin stripes in a fitted style. That will achieve this effortless-yet-refined look.