Give the cold shoulder to modest midis – it's time to vamp it up…

Go glam in a goddess dress: Give the cold shoulder to modest midis — it’s time to vamp it up…

  • Not since the 1980s have so many single bare shoulders been on display  
  • The one-shouldered dress is a firm red-carpet favourite with Hollywood stars 
  • Shoulder barers include Cate Blanchett and Jennifer Lopez both in their 50s

Feel like everyone’s giving you the cold shoulder right now? Don’t fret — it’s the fashion, darling.

Not since the glamorous years of the 1980s have so many single bare shoulders been on display at parties, bars and restaurants.

From cocktail and maxi dresses to jumpsuits and dressy tops, the ultimate accessory for your New Year’s Eve party look is a shoulder. Just the one, though.

It’s a trend that started on the Paris catwalk. In 2016, Hedi Slimane showed a multitude of black and glitzy one-shouldered cocktail dresses in his final collection for Saint Laurent.

Left: Dress, £139,; shoes, £230,; earrings, £12.99, Middle: Dress, £95,; shoes, £30,; earrings, £12.99, Right: Dress, £99,; shoes, £79.99, and earrings, £12.99,

His successor, Anthony Vaccarello, has continued to make this one of Saint Laurent’s sexy signature styles. And now other designers — and the High Street — have joined the asymmetric party. At the last count, Next had 92 one-shoulder dresses, including a number from Abbey Clancy’s Lipsy range (, from £38). Or, head to John Lewis for a floral Adrianna Papell design (£145,

If you want to snap up a last-minute, on-trend party look, Net-a-Porter has more than 200 styles by designer labels including Versace, many up to half price in the sale.

And before you worry about it, no, it’s not too ‘young’ for you. The one-shouldered dress is a firm red-carpet favourite with Hollywood stars Cate Blanchett, Jennifer Lopez and Gillian Anderson, all in their 50s. Closer to home, Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman have shown the potential of a clavicle-revealing dress on Strictly.

Left: Dress, £35,; shoes, £29.99 and earrings, £12.99, Right: Dress, £245, Adrianna Papell at; shoes, £49.99, and earrings, £12.99,

Still not convinced? My friend, Cheshire-based stylist Emma Blakemore, suggests you stay open-minded. Revealing a flash of skin and collarbone isn’t just on-trend — it could be just the styling trick you need.

‘Asymmetric tops and dresses work for nearly every body shape and age,’ she says. ‘And that’s down to the neckline. While off-the-shoulder Bardot tops can broaden your shoulders, a top or dress with an asymmetric neckline can do the opposite, drawing the eye downwards, which is more flattering.’

Still nervous? Simple styles in a block colour rather than prints or too many frills are a great choice for first-timers. There’s no shame in opting for black — with the strong, asymmetric line you’ll look striking but chic. Or try teal and purple, or metallics to add another level of glitz.

Left: Dress, £39.99, shoes, £29.99, earrings, £12.99, all Right: Dress, £65,; shoes, £39.99,; earrings, £4.80,


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