Trend Commentary: The Cold Shoulder

Alright, ladies and gentlemen, today we’re going to talk about a certain trend that I’ve been seeing everywhere: the cold shoulder. So sit back, buckle your seat belts, and keep your hands and feet in the car at all times, because this may be a wild ride.

Just so we’re clear, this post is not about the lovely, beach-ready off the shoulder tops and dresses. I don’t have a problem with these pieces! I actually quite like the Bardot-style top. No, this problem is between me and the cold shoulder. The peek-a-boo shoulder, if you will.

Trend Commentary: The Cold Shoulder

The cold shoulder is a trend that started to emerge in the mass market during the last Fall/Winter season. Back then, I wasn’t mad at it. I didn’t buy into the trend, but I respected it. Thought it was even kind of cute! Now it haunts my nightmares.

You might be wondering why I have such a vendetta against these cold shoulder tops, and I’ll tell you why. They just don’t make any sense. What is the point of snipping holes where the shoulder fabric should be? For ~FaShIoN~? I’ll tell you what’s fashionable: shoulders that are the same temperature as the rest of your body!

Cold shoulder styles come in a variety of different species, but there are TWO styles that I’m here to talk about today.

Trend Commentary: The Cold Shoulder

A. Classic cold weather garb sans shoulders

If y’all want your t-shirts to be without shoulders, then fine. Do what you want to do! But it’s a total different thing when it’s the dead of winter and you’re choosing to reveal a portion of your body to the elements. Perhaps this distaste comes from my body running cold, but I would like to hear people’s defense of the following garments:

Trend Commentary: The Cold Shoulder

1. Sweater

Imagine it’s a brisk fall day. You look at the temperature before you get dressed: 49 degrees and partly cloudy. Rad! You’re going to go without a jacket today. You pull on your new cold shoulder sweater, skinny jeans, and boots. You head out the door and after a couple minutes of walking, you feel a chill. You forgot to check the wind speed, and it’s hella windy. Like open-an-umbrella-and-make-like-Mary-Poppins windy. the large holes in your sweater exposing your shoulders are letting in all sorts of cold air, and you deeply regret this decision.

2. Cardigan

You have a tank top with the cutest print ever! The only bad part is that your manager values modesty in the workplace. You respect your manager, but don’t have time to change, so you quickly grab a cardigan out of your closet and run out the door. You pull into the parking lot at work and go to put on the cardigan, only to realize you grabbed the wrong one. Now you have to hide from your boss until you have time to go home and change on your lunch break. Best of luck to you!

3. Jacket

Fact: The main function of a jacket is to keep someone warm. After that, it’s up to the designer to make it fashionable. If the designer chooses to, I don’t know, take away the shoulders, it totally renders the function of the garment useless.

The only way I can see a cold shoulder jacket work is for the times when your mom tells you to put on a coat. You say, “Nah, Mom. I’m fine without one!” She won’t take no for an answer, even though you tell her you’re an adult and willing to take the risk of getting a cold. After a mild stare down, you give in and fetch your cold shoulder jacket. Your mom sputters because your shoulders are still uncovered, but, “Hey, it’s a jacket.”

Okay, now I kind of want one.

B. The one that doesn’t quite meet dress code

Trend Commentary: The Cold Shoulder

This is the take on the trend that inspired this post, to be completely honest. I’ve been on the look out for nice tops that I can wear to work, and the dress code advises against bare shoulders. Almost every shirt that isn’t a plain old button up has the cold shoulder cut outs. Can you see why I’m a bit frustrated? All I’m asking for is to be able to shop for business casual clothes without battling the trend of the season.

I hope everyone knows that this is 95% satire! I’m all for people buying into whatever trends they like, and I’m at no place to judge. Just know that you won’t ever see me walking around showing my shoulders to the world. Unless I’m wearing a regular tank top, that is.

What are your opinions on the cold shoulder trend? Are you sick of it? Are you all for it? I want to hear your opinions!

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29 Replies to “Trend Commentary: The Cold Shoulder”

  1. I resonate with this so much… I cannot tell you how much time I spent looking for spring clothes this year and didn’t buy ANYTHING because everything is cold shoulder or off the shoulder. I love off the shoulder, but I can’t wear it to work or church and I hate buying things I can only wear on a night out because we hardly do that anyway. And my husband doesn’t really like cold shoulder tops and while I am of the opinion that women don’t dress for men, I do take his opinion into account and stay away from things he doesn’t like… hes my husband and I want my appearance to respect him. And the cold shoulder was cute when it first started with flowy floral tops and cute maxi dresses. But now it’s on LITERALLY EVERYTHING and I can’t wear anything because it’s impractical and just kind of looks silly. #rantover

    1. I totally get the struggle, girl!

  2. I love cold shoulder tops! Seems like you can never have too many!

    1. Haha glad you love them! I don’t so much lol

  3. I think it’s fun to poke fun at trends…even if you end up wearing them! I used to make digs at cropped sweaters because HELLO what the heck is the point of a sweater if it doesn’t even cover your stomach? Brr! I honestly haven’t bought into the cold shoulder trend yet, I mean obviously it’s going full force but I prefer the off the shoulder look for myself. To each their own right? Love your sense of humor (:

    1. Thanks Jordyn!

  4. While I’m not a fan of the cold shoulder trend, I did come across the cutest blouse the other day that happened to be cold shoulder. So I guess it depends on the style or the top itself! I definitely don’t see the point in having a cold shoulder sweater and cardigan haha.

    1. When I first saw a CS cardigan I was like “WHAT”! It just doesn’t make any sense!

  5. I looove the cold shoulder trend! It’s so cute and so many ways to style it – I can’t get enough! Love your picks!

  6. Haha i loved this post Anna! You should do satire more often!! I think you said every thought I’ve had at some point with this trend lol

    1. Thank you Rachel!

  7. I do think the cold shoulder jacket is funny when the purpose is to keep you warm! But its also cute and i love the statement! lol

    1. Haha I just don’t get the jacket!

  8. I actually find they look terrible on me, I have larger but delicate shoulders so I look awkward. I also had shirts like this years before it became a trend, so I am kinda done with it now.

    1. that’s totally understandable!

  9. I’ve been shopping for a trip where the country doesn’t like it when people show shoulders and knees. I’ve been having the hardest time finding things to wear since everything is OTS right now! I love some cold-shoulder OTS pieces but it feels like it’s everywhere right now!

    Greta |

    1. So true Greta! Good luck finding pieces that are modest enough!

  10. Ok, LOVED this post!! I am actually so over the cold shoulder trend. I don’t mind the pieces that are tank top style and have a cold shoulder, but the sweater ones make no sense to me! Sweaters are suppose to keep you warm!
    Amy | Pastel N Pink

    1. Haha, thanks Amy! They are supposed to keep you warm!

  11. I am so with you– I was never a fan and honestly never really ‘got it’. Absolutely loved your post and this take on the trend (that should now DIE) 😛

    1. Haha thanks Amanda!

    2. Hahaha thanks Amanda!

  12. I don’t get the cold shoulder – I haven’t bought any because it’s just not me.

    1. Same here Maegan!

  13. I love cold shoulder, It’s perfect especially during spring/early summer when am hot outside but when I go inside everywhere has the AC on so I freezing with cold shoulder it keeps me comfortable in both conditions.

    Oby Grace

    1. I can see that, but it still doesn’t do much for me. Thanks for reading!

  14. I absolutely love the cold shoulder trend! I prefer over off the shoulder.

    1. To each their own!

  15. […] everyone has the right to their own opinions on them. Personally, I was not a huge fan of cold shoulder tops, but I know a lot of people lived for them, and that’s totally fine! Honestly, I’m […]

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