The 90s had the halter; 2016 has off shoulders. It's a bit of a fashion epidemic, really. Almost everyone who's anyone – social media fashionistas, Bollywood stars, street style stars, bloggers, models and stylists – is flaunting their clavicles in off shoulders tops, dresses and even T shirts (Don't believe us? Check out Alia Bhat's pictures at the launch of the Udta Punjab trailer).
The trend in itself is not a millennium discovery. Parisian couturier French Frederick Worth gave birth to it in the mid 1800s and glimpses of it were seen much later, in the 1939 Hollywood classic Gone With The Wind, in which Vivian Leigh's Scarlet O' Hara carries off voluminous off shoulder gowns effortlessly.
The Instagram generation has revisited the style in its own, unique way. The trending styles in off shoulders are now in the form of a pin striped shirt, a flirty monotone dress in chambray or chiffon or a slouchy off shoulder top.
Stylist to stars such as Alia Bhat, Priyanka Chopra, Kangana Ranaut and Madhuri Dixit, Ami Patel says, "A few years ago, the mid riff was a big thing. Now it's the shoulder. The best thing about the trend is that some of the tops are super loose, so you don't need to be in great shape to wear it. It's bohemian and easy and will certainly rule fashion in the coming year."
According to Google trends, there's been a steep surge in the search volume of the off shoulder trends. And there are more people googling off shoulder dresses than off shoulder tops. Now that you have some essential statistics on the trend, here are nine reasons why it's unmissable.
1) Bollywood's most stylish women are ODing on the trend. Plough through Instagram feeds of Sonam Kapoor, Kangana Ranaut, Deepika Padukone, Priyanka Chopra, Alia Bhat and Jacqueline Fernandes and there's no missing the off shoulder. From high street brands to Deepika's white lace Celine number worn at Cannes this year, Bollywood is sold on off shoulders. If it's good enough for them, it is good enough for you.
2) The peek-a-boo nature of the trend lets you show a sliver of skin and be sexy without trying too hard. It's anti boring; fashion currently needs anti-boring.
3) All those shoulder shrugs at the gym in the hope of Jolie-esque collar bones ought to pay dividends. Supermodel collar bones need to be flaunted. Off shoulders let you do that.
4) This style is the ultimate in French chic. The gorgeous Brigitte Bardot was one of the biggest patrons of this style, after all. That's also how the neckline came to be known as the Bardot neckline.
5) The off shoulder trend lets you show off a major jewellery trend – the 90s choker neckpiece that's back with vengeance. An off shoulder top, a statement choker neckpiece and a neat low bun - now that's fashion va va vroom.
6) It takes you from morning to day without much fuss. The playful yet sensuous demeanour of the style makes it a multi tasking, AM to PM piece. In other words, a great wardrobe investment.
7) An off shoulder top can be teamed up with everything from relaxed culottes to pencil skirts and structured trousers. Versatility is its middle name.
8) It brings with it some serious social media cred. A offshoulder search on Instagram throws up over 1.6 lakh results! No reason why you shouldn't join the conversation.
9) It's age agnostic. Julia Roberts loves it as much as Katy Perry. Here's to that offshoulder selfie with your mom.Suggest a correction