Shoulders Are the New Cleavage: "Bardot" Tops Are My Favorite Trend Right Now

Please help me justify my inevitable shopping spree in which I buy all these tops and dresses.
Publish date:
July 1, 2014
shoppables, Brigitte Bardot, summer trends, Bardot tops

Anytime we discuss trends, there’s an inevitable amount of eye rolling accompanied by the sighs of, “Really? We’re back to this?” Even the worst of trends are bound to rear their ugly, bedazzled heads again from time to time. The 90s resurgence is keen proof of this but I’ve given into nearly all of it because my main goal in this life is to be as cool as the girls who babysat me as a kid. (Gimme all the faux-tattoo chokers and tiny backpacks, please)

The Bardot top is yet another reiteration of an oft-occuring trend -- the off the shoulder top. This neckline was major in the 50s and 60s. I clearly envision black, white and red versions of this top paired with poodle skirts or Hepburn-esque cigarette pants. In the 60s and 70s, hippie style gave this trend a less fitted look and many a peasant top was made with an off-the-shoulder neckline. Babies of the 80s had some strange inclination to cut and slash all their tops so that they could proudly display their bra straps and clavicles with wild, new-wave abandon.

These days, the trend is revived with a nod back to its beginnings in a Bye Bye Birdie heyday, but with slightly modern touches. Off-the-shoulder tops, dresses and bodysuits can be found in nearly every color and pattern, and I cannot get enough of them. I’m still on a self-imposed shopping ban, but I want to buy ALL THE BARDOT TOPS. Please encourage me.

These tops are mega-flattering, but more than that, they actually encourage me to keep my shoulders back way more than my mom’s nagging ever did. Shoulders and necks are VERY sexy. Just think about getting kissed all over your neck and shoulders while listening to "The Big Chill" soundtrack.

My shoulders and collarbone are some of my favorite body parts. I used to have terrible posture, which left my shoulders looking rounded. In the past couple of years, I’ve started doing yoga almost daily and it’s totally changed the shape of my body thanks to my newly improved posture. So, okay, I guess I should have listened to my mom from the start. (Don't tell her I said that.) Anyway, these tops perfectly frame my shoulders and collarbone and neck, which I love. Stand up straight, y’all!

You can rep this neckline in so many ways. It can be formal or casual, sexy or demure.

Obviously, some of my favorite versions are cropped tops. Peep these sweet, sexy crop tops.

Clockwise from top left: Miss Guided Sirinda White Bardot Frill Crop Top, $23.38; TopShop Rib Stripe Bardot Top, $12; ASOS Bardot Crop Top, $15.24; Free People Trumpet Cami, $78; ASOS Bardot Bandage Crop Top, $53.35; TopShop Crinkle Bardot Bandeau Top, $22

I’m especially obsessed with that lace top from Free People. I wanna pair it with a pale pink full skirt and some pointy toe flats for a night at the ballet. Paired with high-waisted shorts or a skirt, these tops are super cute for day or night.

Speaking of tops, I love the way this neckline looks when it’s part of a two-piece ensemble. This outfit from Reformation needs to find its way to my closet ASAP. It’s black and white striped, which is my constant. Also, it shows off my shoulders and belly which are my favorite body parts while hiding my upper arms and thighs, which are my least favorite body parts! Come to me, magic outfit!

Chaya Two Piece, $148

This neckline looks especially amazing on dresses, whether they’re flared, A-line or body-con. These dresses can be dressed up or down as much as you want. Let’s look at some adorable off-the-shoulder dresses, shall we?

Clockwise from top left: ModCloth Ready to Be Adorned Dress, $75; Revolve Ethereal Bardot Mini Dress, $209; Pixie Market Pineapple Cactus Off Shoulder Dress, $102; ASOS Curve Skater Dress with Bardot Neckline, $48; ASOS Floral Bardot Full Midi Prom Dress, $181; ASOS Petite Mini Bardot Dress in Bow Print, $20

First of all, I need someone in my life to buy that pineapple/cactus dress. It isn’t exactly my style, but I can acknowledge how amazing it is in a quirky art teacher sort of way. Also, that floral midi-dress just got bumped to the top of my wish list. Come to me, floral dress, I will love you and wear you every day.

You can also take this trend to total Grace Kelly/prom queen levels of formal with a dress like this, which I will buy in the nude, pale pink shade and pair with an updo for my next black tie charity event. (Full disclosure: I’ve never been invited to a black tie anything, but I feel like it will happen once I own this dress.)

ASOS Satin Bardot Mini Prom, $181

If you’re more into loose-fitting apparel, you can still work this trend. Here’s some breezier, hippie dippie vibes for you.

Clockwise from top left: Pixie Market Nina Crochet Off Shoulder Dress, $72; Painted Threads Print Off Shoulder Top, $38; Free People Hopelessly Bardot Top, $198; Flynn Syke Bardot Floral Maxi Dress, $184; Free People Embroidered Cotton Slip Dress, $98; This Love Organza Dress, $59

Do you ever find a thing that you know you would NEVER wear but you also know you NEED to own it? That’s how I feel about this dress from Kate Moss’s most recent line for TopShop, which I’ve been drooling over for months. It’s very Carrie Bradshaw and I would never ever deem any event worthy of it and I cannot afford it but OH MAN, I want it. Hey, if you just realized you forgot my birthday, here’s a not-so-subtle hint about how you can make it up to me. I’m a size 6. Thanks.

Kate Moss for TopShop Feather Off Shoulder Cocktail Dress, $260

Are y’all as into this trend as I am? Will you join me in the naked shoulder revolution? How else can I convince you to stand up straight? Do you wish this trend wasn’t associated with Brigitte Bardot because she sort of became a racist? Yeah...