Whether they're discreetly exposed through cool cutouts or on full display via an off-the-shoulder dress, there is something inherently sexy about bare shoulders. That reason alone--not to mention the fact that loads of notable fall collections feature this stunning silhouette--should explain why we're seeing so many style stars showing off their shoulders on the red carpet as of late. From bohemian-inspired embroidered blouses to chic cocktail dresses, today's Trend Report shows you exactly why these ladies' looks are head and shoulders above the rest!
On The Runway
For his final Jil Sander collection, designer Raf Simons created the Techno Double Crepe Dress ($5157), a decidedly feminine take on today's shoulder-centered look. The soignee, full-skirted frock with a keyhole cutout has plenty of modern charm and an Elizabeth Taylor vibe we love! While the Jil Sander low-shoulder dress has a wonderfully prim and retro feel, the look can be quite dramatic and romantically modern too. Take, for example, the futuristic, flower-adorned frock from Look 26 at the Alexander McQueen F/W 12 show, or the dark green, floor-grazing gown from Look 38 at Gucci, which looks like something Stevie Nicks might wear to a midnight gala. Either way, the results are consistently chic and interesting.
On The Red Carpet/At Events
WHO: Chloe Moretz
WHAT: Arriving at the Women in Film Crystal + Lucy Awards in Beverly Hills early last month.
WEAR: Max Mara Fiandra Off-The-Shoulder Cocktail Dress ($1150, 212.879.6100); Rupert Sanderson heels.
WHY: Ruffled sleeves lend an element of playfulness to a sophisticated, low-shoulder dress.
WHO: Leighton Meester
WHAT: Feting the Salvatore Ferragamo Resort 13 collection in Paris last month.
WEAR: Salvatore Ferragamo Red Silk Beaded Off The Shoulder Blouse ($2270, 800.628.8916) and Red Silk Beaded Skirt ($8200, 800.628.8916).
WHY: A sleek updo keeps the focus on your shoulders for a chic and polished result.
WHO: January Jones
WHAT: Hosting a special screening of La Revolution Bleue for the Christie's art auction in New York two months ago.
WEAR: Mary Katrantzou Dress ($5950); Sergio Rossi heels.
WHY: The combination of a shoulder-baring neckline with modern cuts and an abstract print makes for a visually-intriguing, fashion-forward result.
WHO: Hanneli Mustaparta
WHAT: Celebrating the Owen New York boutique opening last month.
WEAR: Jen Kao Kara Darama Dress ($1325, 212.524.9770); Valentino bag; 3.1 Phillip Lim shoes.
WHY: A summer-ready white hue and above-the-knee hemline make this skater dress with shoulder cutouts perfectly flirtatious.
WHO: Karolina Kurkova
WHAT: Spotted before the Salvatore Ferragamo Resort 13 show in Paris last month.
WEAR: Salvatore Ferragamo Black Silk Woven Off The Shoulder Blouse ($4950, 800.628.8916) and Black Velvet Skirt ($570, 800.628.8916).
WHY: An off-the-shoulder blouse in a sheer fabric offers a modern update to a romantic gypsy look.
Get The Look/Dresses
If you're suddenly eager to try this trend, you'll be happy to know we've taken a huge weight off your shoulders by rounding up some of the market's best items. Dress-wise, you have a couple of options. You can go for something on the ladylike side a la Jil Sander with Vivienne Westwood's Anglomania Pannier Cotton Dress ($490), or reach for a more bohemian-inspired version, like French Connection's Off Shoulder Silk Smock Dress ($57). There is also Nicole Miller's Pleated Jersey Off Shoulder Dress ($216), which is a flattering choice for a cocktail soiree, and Forever 21's Ruffled Off-The Shoulder Dress ($24), a fitting frock for a summery daytime fete.
Get The Look/Tops
There are plenty of stylish off-the-shoulder tops too! Right now, we love the look of a fitted style, especially Pins and Needles' Lace Off the Shoulder Tee ($34), which is the perfect blend of sweet and sultry. Additionally, Miss Selfridge's Floral Bardot Top ($32) is in perfect keeping with this season's bold botanical trend, while Red Valentino's Off-The-Shoulder Stretch-Jersey Bow Top ($225) would look killer with a bright pencil skirt. As for the shoulder-baring peasant blouses we saw at the Ferragamo Resort 13 show, we think Patterson J. Kincaid's Off-The-Shoulder Blouse ($128) is a must-have alternative, along with Alexander McQueen's investment-worthy Off-The-Shoulder Printed Silk Chiffon Blouse ($1520). However you decide to address this trend, we assure you that giving your shoulders the bare treatment has never been more stylish!--Jessica Baker
Photos of Leighton Meester and Karolina Kurkova, courtesy of Billy Farrell Agency; Photos of Hanneli Mustaparta and Chloe Moretz, courtesy of Getty Images.