Nothing says summer like an off-the-shoulder dress. Perfect for strap-free sun-tanning (ideal if you’re lucky enough to be exploring the windy roads of a sleepy village in Greece or Italy), it’s a neckline that’s also chic enough to see you through an English country wedding in style. It also doesn’t discriminate when it comes to age; anyone can flash a bit of shoulder without feeling self-conscious.
The Bardot-style silhouette has become so prolific that we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to cuts and finishes this season. There’re the unapologetically beach-worthy mini dresses in crisp white-and-blue cotton, embellished with a hint of embroidery and a must for every summer suitcase. Then there’re the dressier printed versions designed to straddle city heatwaves and more formal gatherings closer to home. And let’s not forget the generously ruffled offerings that, when imagined in red, evoke the glamour of Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman. In short, there’s an off-the-shoulder frock to suit every personality.
Shop your ultimate off-the-shoulder dress in our edit of the best below.
We doubt this dress will hang around stores for long.
A utilitarian take on this season's must-have neckline.
We love the ditsy print on this floral frock.
Zara has stolen our sartorial hearts with these playful parrots.
We feel a splurge coming on…
Topshop serves up a combination of gingham and a Bardot neckline with an edge.
This style is crying out for a summer wedding in the countryside.
Your weekend brunch-date attire sorted.
An effortless, wear-everywhere style.
We're still mad for Cecilie Copenhagen's wicked way with keffiyeh scarves.
This earthy colour promises plenty of wearability.
Your summer occasionwear sorted.
Jetting off to a wedding abroad? This is your outfit.
Every summer, we have a love affair with linen.
The formal dress of dreams.
The vital ingredient for your summer sojourn.
Dress up or down as you desire.
Sleeves are great for balancing out an exposed collarbone.
This style was made for the beach.
The right balance of ladylike and totally tropical.
Cut a dramatic silhouette in this vibrant style.