Cold Shoulder Top

Cold Shoulder Top

Happy Thursday ladies. Do you wear cold shoulder tops? They seem to come in and out of fashion on a semi-regular basis and since they say our shoulders are one of the last things to go, they’re popular with many women over 50.

Growing up, I always sensitive about my wide shoulders. They felt overpowering and looked masculine to me. Then in my 30s, I had a eureka moment. I heard a lady who was walking behind me, remark to her husband, “look at her great shoulders, I wish I had them”. I was totally shocked. The body part I hated, she wished she had? That one comment made me reexamine my biases about my body and gave me the confidence to enjoy them.

Fast forward and exposed shoulders became the rage so I happily added some styles to my wardrobe.Jennifer Connolly wearing a cold shoulder top

I wore this top during a trip to Mexico and love it’s soft flowy knit with an asymmetrical hemline.Tie Sleeve Off the Shoulder Top from Nordstrom

Here’s an off the shoulder top I tried on during a dressing room diaries.striped off shoulder top

Here’s a cotton striped off-shoulder top that I loved but didn’t get a lot of wear out of. It turns out I’m more than ok wearing a strapless bra for a dress or dressy occasion but I’m not a fan of them for casual outfits.

Jennifer Connolly wearing Chico's cold shoulder top

I wore this cold shoulder top in 2017 and love it! Say what you will about wearing black, but there are very few things I find as chic and timeless as black and white stripes. Flattering or not I always feel great wearing them. Chico's cold shoulder top and white jeans

Here’s that top today, worn with white jeans and sandals. This top has survived 3 years of closet cleanouts, principally because of the color but also because it covers my bra straps…most of the time.

striped top and white jeans on Jennifer Connolly of A Well Styled Life

As I reflect on how one comment from a complete stranger changed how I feel about my shoulders, I wonder what you need to hear to change how you feel about your body? Do you have negative feelings about your body that you’d like to change?

I’m joined today by two of my favorite blogging friends who each have a “shoulder look” for you. Let’s go visit Cindy from Rough Luxe Lifestyle and Tanya from  50 Is Not Old to see what they’re wearing. These are greats gals so please tell them I sent you:)

If you liked this post I would love you to share it on your Pinterest board.  Sharing my posts and images helps to support my business.

Thanks for reading and remember to wear what makes you feel confident.

This post may contain affiliate links which won’t change your price but will share some commission.


  1. Yvonne
    July 25, 2020 / 5:51 am

    You look great in the off the shoulder and cold shoulder tops. I honestly have never tried the cold shoulder look – I like it on others, but I feel my shoulders are a bit too angular for it.
    However, a black & white striped top and white pants are to me the perfect summer outfit.

  2. Cheri
    July 24, 2020 / 5:55 pm

    I’ve decided I’m over the cold-shoulder! Even though people often tell me I don’t look my age (71), I just feel that I’m too old for this style. I really like to dress young (well, not TOO young), but I have begun to think more about what is appropriate for “my age.” Trying not too look old fogey, but also not look like I’m trying to be a teenager once again:)

  3. Kay
    July 24, 2020 / 12:45 pm

    I don’t dislike the look of the cold shoulder, but I can’t wear it because it irritates me to death. The feel of the fabric on my upper arm makes me think my bra strap has slipped. Makes me crazy.

  4. Julie Traxler
    July 24, 2020 / 7:12 am

    You are blessed to have wide shoulders and narrow hips! I love you in the black and blue one especially . I am going to try a cold shoulder top on. I have avoided them because I have a smaller frame on top and wider at the bottom. I am thinking the right top is out there.😁. I just love your posts. They have opened up my “style” world.

  5. Kim Vardas
    July 24, 2020 / 7:01 am

    I love cold shoulder and off the shoulder tops! You look amazing in all of these tops!❤️

  6. Eve
    July 23, 2020 / 7:02 pm

    Great looks. I wonder if we wil see these being worn over tee shirts. Only tacky if you see them. I see them on sale now and just think if I put a jacket over it who would know and my shoulders would be warm. Just a random thought since there are some great sales going on with them.

  7. Lynne
    July 23, 2020 / 5:15 pm

    I love the look on you, Jennifer! The image of you in the off the shoulder blue stripe is stunning!

  8. Tania Stephens
    July 23, 2020 / 1:46 pm

    You look great in all of these looks! I love off the shoulder styles, but I have a hard time with the cold shoulder looks. It is funny how we get stuck in a rut, and it is nice to venture out and try new things.

  9. Nancy
    July 23, 2020 / 11:30 am

    Jennifer, I envy your wide shoulders! I have narrow shoulders, and cold shoulder tops hit my shoulders wrong…not a good look. That said, strapless or off the shoulder tops are more flattering, but I’m also not a fan of strapless bras with a casual top. Tops with raglan sleeves also don’t work for me, just accentuating the narrow shoulders. I loved the 80’s when you could wear shoulder pads, ala the Lynda Evans look…makes me laugh now!

  10. Linda Henderson
    July 23, 2020 / 11:20 am

    The cold shoulder style looks so attractive on you. And the black and white stripes and black pants I like very much.

  11. Kathy
    July 23, 2020 / 8:45 am

    I love all of those tops, especially that cute striped one. I own several cold shoulder tops but they are designed to cover my bra straps. I don’t give a darn if fashion dictates that this style is done. I will continue to wear them because they look good on me, and they sure look good on you, too. Maybe I’ll buy one In camo since that seems to be a “ fashion statement” where I live!

  12. MJN
    July 23, 2020 / 8:33 am


  13. cindy
    July 23, 2020 / 8:21 am

    Oh boy this one was a challenge for us!! Love all the comments! That cute blue and white stripe I own only in Chambray and planned to show it but it is at the lake! These are so much fun, and I so enjoy the engagement of our readers!

    • Jennifer
      July 23, 2020 / 8:42 am

      This was fun. You look great in all of yours. I need that poncho !! Xx

  14. Linda
    July 23, 2020 / 8:05 am

    I do like the look of cold shoulder tops; yours are especially fetching. I bought a dress recently from Soft Surroundings that has the cold shoulders, and I like the looks of it. Like you, my shoulders are somewhat broader than I like, but I have finally figured out that I bashed my body when I had a young, beautiful figure, so it’s time to stop. We emphasize our best features and let it go.

    • Jennifer
      July 23, 2020 / 8:43 am

      It’s so true. I didn’t like so much about my body when I was younger and now I’d give my eye teeth to have it back

  15. Anne UK
    July 23, 2020 / 7:40 am

    Not for me,but I think it’s Pretty unanimous that on you they look jolly good.

  16. Joanna
    July 23, 2020 / 7:29 am

    I’m not a fan of the cold shoulder look. I do I like your little striped number though. I’ve tried on off the shoulder tops and dresses but the thoughts of wearing that uncomfortable bra for any length of time stops me from buying. They are cute, cool and a touch sexy though so go for it!
    I thought cold shoulder tops were out of style this year. 🤔

  17. Sue
    July 23, 2020 / 7:20 am

    I think the black and white top works because it’s more structured. The cold shoulder tops I have tried have been the “cutout” style, and they definitely don’t work for me. They look frumpy. Would love to find one to try like this.

  18. Bea
    July 23, 2020 / 6:53 am

    I have never liked the cold shoulder look and think I would look silly wearing a top like that. But you happen to look terrific in these looks! My favorite is the black and white stripe – so glad you did not get rid of it when you began adding more color to your wardrobe. Perhaps one reason it works for you is it is not solid black near your face. Black pants seem fine and the classic black and white stripe on top is perfection. Enjoy!

  19. Mary Lou S
    July 23, 2020 / 6:32 am

    While I love the look of the cold shoulder tops I somehow feel more exposed in them than I do in sleeveless. On a beach vacation I wouldn’t care though. I would definitely wear the black and white striped one if I could find one like it. I also love the blue stripe off the shoulder top. I haven’t been shopping much but I haven’t seen many this year.

    • Jennifer
      July 23, 2020 / 8:45 am

      Do you know, I totally agree about feeling barer in cold shoulder than sleeveless. I hadn’t thought about it but you are absolutely right!

  20. Violet
    July 23, 2020 / 6:25 am

    You look terrific in the cold shoulder tops. I think I’ll give it a try. Like you I would rather not have to wear a strapless bra for casual days. Your hair is looking great too. Keep that beautiful smile, it brightens our day!!

    • Jennifer
      July 23, 2020 / 8:46 am

      Have a great day Violet

  21. Cheryl Tucker
    July 23, 2020 / 6:15 am

    I’m a big fan of cold shoulder tops. You look so pretty in them too! They are so nice for summer when the weather is warm and they can really dress a look up.

  22. Francesca B.
    July 23, 2020 / 6:05 am

    Exciting, something new to try …..I need to have a go at the cold shoulder! You look great in them Jennifer. My mom made me a pretty pink cotton one when I was seventeen for a summer party which we both thought was really daring, with a flowy matching skirt and i felt fantastic in it but since then I have not tried one. I think because I do need a bra, and the negative comment I always got was “you’re a small one but you’re got a lot up top!” and that made me super conscious of my barmaid features! Shy girl from the country. My son too, especailly when he was teenager,seemed super aware of my upper body (hugging) so I dressed quite modestly. Now at 56 I am learning to love my clevage and be me. Funny how long the journey can take!
    By the way I bought the geranium Talbots sleeveless top you had on the other day Jennifer and I love it! Thanks for the post. Hope things are going better for you and your family.

    • Jennifer
      July 23, 2020 / 9:05 am

      It does take us a long time to get there. I’m so happy you’re embracing you!! Bravo Francesca.

      • Holly Luciano
        July 23, 2020 / 10:41 am

        Jennifer, I think you look great in the cold shoulder top.
        That said, I’m not a fan of cold shoulder tops, yet I love off shoulder tops. Go figure!
        I have several off the shoulder tops and my favorites are from Soft Surroundings (a few years ago) because they have built in bras.

  23. Sue
    July 23, 2020 / 5:56 am

    I think you great in the cold shoulder look. My shoulders are narrow and bony so I don’t feel comfortable in them. I do think they add a dress-up look to many outfits. More power to those who can wear them.

  24. Mary
    July 23, 2020 / 5:56 am

    You look nice in all the pics. I don’t follow fads. I’m old enough to know what works for me. I don’t wear cold shoulder, animal prints, leggings and ripped jeans among other things. Happy Thursday!

    • Jennifer
      July 23, 2020 / 9:17 am

      It’s wonderful to know what works for you that you’re confident wearing Mary. Animal print however is not a fad. It’s a timeless pattern that has been around for many years. That said, you either love it or hate it.

      • sue
        July 23, 2020 / 9:30 am

        hate it!!!!

  25. Linda
    July 23, 2020 / 5:56 am

    Love the cold shoulder look and the off the shoulder look. I prefer the ones that are off the shoulder. They all look good on you.

  26. Rose
    July 23, 2020 / 5:53 am

    Your off shoulder tops look really great on you. I’ve not tried that look yet. Need try some on for sure!

  27. Jan
    July 23, 2020 / 5:31 am

    Well, you definitely need to keep the black and white striped, off shoulder shirt in your summer rotation! It’s a great look on you!
    Random comments from strangers can have a positive or regretfully, a negative impact on the victim. Our words carry a lot of power.
    I don’t have any off shoulder tops. Why not? I am not a trendsetter and prefer to blend in and not standout. Maybe the bottom line is that I am not a risk taker. Am I trying to avoid a negative comment?
    A positive comment built up your confidence but a negative comment can have the opposite result.

    • Jennifer
      July 23, 2020 / 9:15 am

      You’re so right Jan. Negative comments cut like a knife and can hurt even the most confident among us.

  28. Joi
    July 23, 2020 / 5:12 am

    You look fabulous in all these tops! I have a petite frame with skinny neck chest and shoulders so I haven’t tried this style. But I think I might now. Hoping you and your husband are still recovering nicely.

    • Jennifer
      July 23, 2020 / 9:13 am

      Thank you Joi. He’s doing well and walking a bit each day to get his stamina back…but it will take time.

  29. Gloria
    July 23, 2020 / 5:02 am

    Love cold shoulder tops! It is very true that the shoulders are the last thing to go! You can still feel a little bit sexy but still covered up.
    I work in retail and sell a lot of mother of the bride dresses. I can not tell you how many mothers come in asking for long sleeves because they hate their arms. Once I show them an off the shoulder dress, they love it! It does three things. First, it cuts them arm, second , it balances them out if they are pear shaped, and third it adds a little of elegant sexiness. You are not so covered up as you would be in long sleeves.
    Cold shoulders ROCK!

    • Kay
      July 23, 2020 / 5:58 am

      Great advice about off the shoulder elegance. But we need to be clear — cold shoulder is something else.

      • Gloria
        July 23, 2020 / 11:17 am

        True. I guess I should have been more specific. Formal wear carries both looks, off the shoulder and cold shoulder, where there is a beaded spaghetti strap and then an off the shoulder sleeve. Both are very elegant and visibly cut the arm.

  30. Cynthia Brown
    July 23, 2020 / 4:27 am

    Two things: those pictures of outfits where you accentuated your shoulders are the best looks I’ve seen you in…..it’s so flattering to your shape. Second…why is everyone puttin the hate on black these days? 😆 you look amazing in it and, if I could steal that stripped top out of your closet, I would!

    • Jennifer
      July 23, 2020 / 9:11 am

      Thank you Cynthia. Many are steering away from black because the contrast is harder against some aging complexions.
      I will never give it up because it’s always chic, easy to wear and hides a multitude of sins :). I just amp up my makeup which is fine with me!

  31. Elsie Lumka
    July 23, 2020 / 4:16 am

    I would like to purchase but where in SA ? I also wear a size 34-36 ,inch,SA. Please help me purchase ?

    • Jennifer
      July 23, 2020 / 9:08 am

      My top is no longer available but the ones in the shopping widget should be.

  32. Cindy D.
    July 23, 2020 / 4:11 am

    I like cold shoulder tops for two reasons. One, I too feel that our shoulders are the last thing to go. Plus, the sleeve covers the upper arms which have already “gone” !!!!

    • Jennifer
      July 23, 2020 / 9:07 am

      Lol, you’re right! Thanks for the morning chuckle 🙂

  33. JMod
    July 23, 2020 / 3:08 am

    Thank you! I ordered the leopard and flower print from Macy’s.

  34. Paulette Levy
    July 23, 2020 / 1:38 am

    I’m one who does embrace the cold shoulder look on occasion. I have two tops only, but do wear them during spring and early summer. Like you it’s a “bra” thing that keeps me from wearing these tops more often.
    I like them on me, and I usually admire them on other women too.
    Your shoulders are actually really beautiful. It’s a youthful look.

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