Around this time each year when we get a teaser of warmer weather only for it to disappear as quickly as it arrived, I make the rash decision to start applying fake tan. I then send a text to my friend Cesca telling her of my intentions. I have no idea why I do this, I don’t share this rather dull information with anyone else, but then it is also Cesca who gets to hear about when I go to work with only one earring in, or god help my colleagues, no mascara on. Cesca’s husband Aaron once inadvertently ripped open his boiler suit (way before boiler suits were cool, Aaron wore his for the purpose for which they were created) exposing his bare chest whilst tinkering with something under the bath, so really we have no secrets.
Back to the fake tan. In return for my most uninspiring of texts, Cesca responds by telling me that in order to avoid strap marks she has already been out in the sun in a halterneck dress. She now has halterneck strap marks. Every year this happens. And every year I say in a clever clogs fashion (because I’m slightly jealous that she has kick started her tan) “You’re going to have those strap marks all summer now”.
Well ladies and gentlemen, this year it’s all going to get a bit complicated where straps are concerned because I don’t know if you’ve noticed but suddenly the shoulder is The Thing. Shoulders are the new cleavage. Now I know that in light of her white marks, as soon as the sun re-emerges Cesca will be out in regular straps to counter the halterneck shaped ones but there are so many options for your shoulders this season, by July you could have a striped upper body on your hands. Unless you stick with the off the shoulder or strapless look for the entire summer in which case you’re laughing and/or very good with a strapless bra. Personally I can’t afford the luxury of actual laughter whilst wearing a strapless bra. Quite apart from the fact that strapless bras are no laughing matter anyway.
These two strapless dresses are completely contrasting styles. The French Connection one is lovely for hourglass shapes while the Zara version will be ideal for boyish or apple shaped figures. The beautiful top by Reiss is a softer take on the halter neck style and ties with a lovely bow at the back. You can go for a cross back bra with this one and it’s perfect for day to evening looks.
One shoulder styles are tricky and I think it’s almost impossible to avoid looking lopsided of boob unless you’re less well endowed. However I think even I would break my ‘no one shoulders’ rule for this ASOS dress because it’s so gorgeous. You’d have to be very cautious wearing it in the sun though – perhaps if you turned it around halfway through the day and wore it back to front so the one shoulder is on the other side, you could actually end up with an even tan.
Female shoulders are great. They don’t age as much as other parts of the body, they’re effortlessly sexy and it’s not rude to stare at them. Yes, shoulders are the new black. Don’t forget the sun screen.