How to Wear One Shoulder Dresses

Great both for the day and the night, one-shoulder dresses are great for showing off your body this season. Here some fashion tips you need to always look stylish!

Great both for the day and the night, one-shoulder dresses are great for showing off your body this season. Here some fashion tips you need to always look stylish and how to wear them.

What is more sensual than showing your shoulders how in a provocative yet not excessive way? Well, let’s just say that all the boys seem to be thrilled to notice that the one-shoulder dress is back in trend!

Great for the day and perfect for the night, these sexy and classy dresses are a great tool for showing off your body this Spring/Summer, but I have to warn you that they are quite tricky to wear. Before thinking about wearing them this season there are a few things you need to know about accessorizing and styling them in order to pull them off glamorously.

One-shoulder dresses

Here are some essential fashion tips you need to consider to always look impeccable and stylish.

1. Try it before you buy it

These types of dresses have a beautiful neckline that unfortunately does not suit every body shape. It’s particularly tricky if you have big breasts, so when you try it on make sure that it fits you and flatters your body. You don’t want to look like a wrapped candy when you walk around!

2. Be careful with your underwear

Wear these dresses with a strapless bra underneath. Even though your regular bra has fancy and particular straps, with sequins or pearls, it will simply look awful under a gorgeous one-shoulder dress. Make also sure when trying it on that the bra does not show in the back. It’s an unforgivable fashion mistake that will detroy your look!

3. Don’t cover it up

An absolute no to layers! The whole point of this type of dress is to show off your gorgeous shoulders so there is no reasons at all for you to cover them up with blazers or cardigans. This is also why these dresses are particularly suitable for the warmer seasons, like Spring and Summer.

4. Wear it in a solid color

If you don’t feel particularly comfortable with this trend, maybe because you have never worn it before or you don’t think it really suits your style, don’t go for a patterned dress but one in a solid color. To spice it up you can then play a bit with accessories (continue reading this article for more information on how to accessorize it).

5. Belt it!

The secret weapon of every stylist is a belt that accentuates the waist and really flatters your body. It’s particularly indicated for one-shoulder dresses as it will give you a sexy hour-glass shape and no one will be able to resist you.

For the day

One-shoulder dresses are perfect for day ceremonies but also for a casual day out.

Get them in bright summery colors and go for either very short or maxi. Wear them with a pair of flat sandals or some colorful strappy wedges. You can also follow the asymmetric trend and have not only the asymmetric shoulders, but also an asymmetric length.

One-shoulder day dresses

For the evening

How to wear one-shoulder dresses for the evening? For a glamorous grand soirée you cannot go wrong with a full gown, but if you think that it’s too much, go instead for a short dress embellished by sequins.

One-shoulder evening dresses in chiffon are great if you want to have a sweeter look and high heels are a must in any case. Use precious jewels to complete the outfit and you will shine like a star throughout the evening.

One-shoulder evening dresses

The Right Jewelry

The best solution is to go for simple accessories. Absolutely no necklaces as they would interfere with the beautiful neckline of the one-shoulder dress, which is already a fashion statement by itself. They would totally destroy the look, but if you really fancy a necklace, go for a choker, which lays close to the neck without interfering with the dress.

If the dress is already embellished by sequins or gems, just go with few small accessories so to not overdo it. If on the contrary the dress is very simple, you can choose a pair of statement pendant earrings, especially if your hair is styled in a bun.

Go for rings and bracelets, but don’t exaggerate. One elegant bracelet will be more than enough. If you want to go for a more exotic look, try to style it with a metal arm cuff.

The Right Hairstyle

Hairstyles and one-shoulder dresses combinations

Any updo will complete an outfit with a one-shoulder dress perfectly. Choose a tight chignon for an elegant and sophisticated look or a soft bun for a sweeter touch.

If you would like to keep your hair down, make sure that they lay behind your exposed shoulder and in front of your shoulder with the strap.

Follow these simple fashion tips and you will learn to wear one-shoulder dresses and rock this trend both during an elegant evening or a casual day. But just remember, don’t force this trend onto your body. If it doesn’t suit you, just leave it and try with something else!

For Wedding

The popularity of one-shoulder wedding dresses may come and go, but it’s inevitable that they will return. Choose a dress with a classic, one-shoulder silhouette rather than one that combines several different trends

Explore the best one-shoulder wedding dresses ideas.

Explore also top hairstyles for one-shoulder wedding dress.

Do you like one-shoulder dresses? Are you planning to wear one for a special occasion? What sort of hairdo and makeup are you thinking about wearing with it?

Share with us more ideas on how to wear one-shoulder dresses.

About the author

Stephanie Reed

Stephanie has written for many online and printed magazines and she is now working as the editor of So Vain, which she founded, but also as a fashion consultant and stylist.


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  • I loooove one-shoulder dresses. I want to wear one for my prom next year. I think I’ll do an updo and black smokey eyes. xx

    • Great choice! An updo is absolutely perfect for these types of dresses and smokey eyes are always elegant and sexy! You will look great at your prom!

  • I just got a lavender Jessica Simpson one shoulder short dress and can’t wait to wear it! Just trying to figure out what shoes to wear. I’m tall and am afraid I’ll look like a h*oker if I wear high heels. Flats probably wouldn’t look very good though. What kind of shoes would be best?

    • Actually flats could look great with this type of dress! If you feel uncomfortable with heels because of your height you can totally go for flats or, even better, as the summer is here I would choose a pair of flat sandals embellished by jewels or gems, so sparkle up the look for the evening!

  • I’m wearing one for a day event on the river – diagonal stripes in bold multicolour (navy blue, red, pink, goldfish yellow etc). Looks fab but I may need a coverup for a possibly windy day, and not sure what colour to go for for those moments when it does get breezy. Any ideas? Also a belt? I’ll be wearing flat strappy sandals in a neutral gold with minor embellishment

    • Because, as you tell me, the dress is already multicolor, I wouldn’t wear any colorful coverup. I would stick to something neutral, maybe in the same color as the shoes! As fot the belt I would go for one that is very thin and in one of the colors of your dress at your choice! Hope this helps!

  • Great tips!!! Just bought the Grecian one shoulder in pink from H&M n was looking for tips!! Very helpful xx

  • Hi,
    I’m going to wear a short tight navy blue one shoulder dress for my friends birthday party, its at this sort of night club and I’m not sure on what type of shoes I should wear or lipstick. I want to do a smokey eye make up look with nude pumps but I dont walk very well in heels.. and cant wear flats because I’m short :( help!

  • I bought a purple one shoulder silky long dress. It’s very plain and simple with a little beading of stones on the shoulder. I’m thinking smokey eyes and a silver clutch… Or should I go with a black clutch? Any tips?

  • I’m wearing a red one sleeved tight dress for my winter ball next month. I would like to wear black heels of some sort but I’m not sure what style I should go for (chunky, strappy, simple) since it is a tight bodycon dress I’m scared the wrong shoes will make it slutty

  • Hi! I’m going to be wearing a white one sleeved tight dress, it has silver glitter on it and a rhinestone circle on the strap. I have black heels to wear with it but I’m not sure about what jewelry to wear with with or how I should do my make up, I dont want to look like a h*oker.

  • Hi. I plan on wearing a floor-length one-shoulder for my sister’s wedding. I was wondering if my cane should be something exotic, such as a hand-carved one, or something neutral or plane?

  • Hi. I picked out a white one shoulder knee high dress and it also has white fabric flowers on the one shoulder strap for my graduation. I want to accessorize it a bit more but I don’t know how, other than picking a nice pair of heels, an updo, and dangling earrings. How can I accessorize it more or will that do?

  • Hi!
    I bought a one shoulder blue dress for my formal and I was wondering what shoes would I pair with it! I was thinking of a nude-pinkish heel? Oh! and I’m not sure about the updo!
    Any suggestions?
    Thanks! x

  • I have a dark purple one shoulder dress with a light silverish hematite buckle on the strap. Would a three layered single simple chain look good on it with my hair left loose on one shoulder look good. Peep toe pumps