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Open Shoulder Shirts and Summer Fashion for Women Over 60

Shoulders are having their day in the fashion world right now. If you’ve been shopping recently, I’m sure you’ve seen many off the shoulder shirts and dresses. Let’s talk about how this trend relates to summer fashion for women over 60.

As this may not be the easiest style to wear for most of us, there is another option that fits the bill. Open shoulder shirts, sometimes referred to as cold shoulder shirts, are a wonderful blouse for women of any age.

Of course, you’ve probably been seeing these types of shirts on the younger girls, but I came to the conclusion that this is truly an ageless fashion item.

What Are Open Shoulder Shirts?

Open shoulder shirts have a cut-out along the top portion of the shoulder. It is not a full “off the shoulder” style, but almost like it. It’s also more than a tank top because there is a sleeve portion to these blouses.

What Variations and Styles Are Available?

There is a large variety of materials used for these open shoulder shirts. The most popular right now is the knit type which is basically a T-shirt. However, I’ve seen them in sweater material, a silky polyester and even rayon and spandex version.

Of course, you can find these in any color solids or prints. I’ve seen the open shoulder shirts designed to look like your ordinary button down blouse and some even have lace, ruffles or many other types of embellishments.

Like any shirts and blouses, there are a multitude of lengths available. This means you could get a long one and consider it a tunic. There are styles that have the hi-lo hem, which means the front hem of the shirt is shorter than the back hem.

If you’re thinking of wearing this style shirt with your normal pants and jeans, I would suggest that the front hem be no longer than the crotch area.

Another option to consider with these shirts is the width of the straps. For the majority of us, the inch wide band or larger will be the most functional, since we can hide our bra straps under it.

How Does the Open Shoulder Shirt Feel?

The first time you encounter this type of shirt you may think “this is for the younger kids.” In my opinion, this is only because the stores and advertisements have shown them on the younger than 60 age group. We definitely need more older models, but, that’s another article!

In any case, I would ask that you be open to this new style and try it before you rule it out.

One of the reasons I’m so sure that this look can be great for us older females is because I bought one for my mother. My mom is in her late 70s and she thought that I was being ridiculous. As soon as she wore it, she loved it. She is the modeling the olive green shirt!

The first time I wore my open shoulder shirt, I was surprised at how nice it was to have my shoulders exposed. I rarely wear strapless dresses or shirts, so this was an unexpected positive feeling for me. It reminded me that an exposed shoulder could be a little sexy!

Why Do I Love This Look?

I know I’ve said it before, but let me say it again.

I think it behooves us to look modern and contemporary. I do not believe every trend that comes along is great for us older women, but I do consider this open shoulder shirt to be superb for any age! It certainly adds pizzazz to your ordinary t-shirt!

Are you still hesitant that this is right for you? Then let’s examine the pros and cons of wearing an open shoulder shirt.

Pros of the Open Shoulder Shirt

The absolute best reason that 60+ women can wear this style is the fact that you can still wear your supportive bra with these shirts.

As any woman knows, the foundation of a building may not be visible, but it’s the most important component for the building to be secure. It is no different with our undergarments. So any shirt or dress that you put on, will look 100% better with a proper fitting brassiere. And, the fact, that you can still wear your bra with this shirt, makes the shirt quite functional in my thinking.

The next benefit is many 60+ women are ashamed and embarrassed by the under portion of their upper arms. They constantly feel the need to cover their upper arms so the underarm skin is not exposed.

While I believe in body love and wish we could embrace all of the changes that our bodies go through with contentment, I understand that this will not be the case for everyone. Thus, these open shoulder shirts will cover the portion that many older women do not like, yet leave the shoulders bare. And, since the shoulder area still looks fabulous at every age, most of us should feel comfortable showing them off.

This shirt is a perfect way to keep cooler in the warmer weather. A little shoulder exposure feels great when a breeze comes along! It also seems more summery than being completly covered up.

It’s a perfect look to transition from modest to sexy. One can easily cover the shoulders with a cardigan or jacket for the reserved occasion and then remove it to be more lively. You wouldn’t even know it wasn’t a normal blouse.

Cons of the Open Shoulder Shirt

Since most of us don’t usually go bare shouldered, it is important to remember you will need sunscreen on this body part when you wear this type of shirt.

As I stated in one of the pros about this shirt – it does keep you cooler. I was amazed that I was downright cold at times, just because my shoulders were exposed!

Some of the placement of the straps of this shirt do not coincide with your bra straps perfectly. If you find this to be the case, you could sew a bra strap holder to the underneath side of the shirt bands.

Do It Yourself Opportunity

Do you want to try this out before you invest any money into another shirt? You could certainly take an old or thrifted shirt and cut out the shoulders with scissors. Of course, unless you are a sewer, the seams will be unfinished, but you could certainly wear it around the house to see if you’d like it!

Do you own an open shoulder shirt? Do you like wearing it? How would you describe your summer look? What do you think is the essence of summer fashion for women over 60? Please join the conversation.

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This trend is over!


Yes, I have a few and wear them. They show the best part of the arm!


This type of top is out of style for 2022…. stupid looking and very trendy

Jane Parkhurst

I have a number of open shoulder / cold shoulder tops. For me it depends on how much the “sleeve” section hangs. I wear them with jeans, capris, or even regular slacks.
Always get compliments.

The Author

Jodie Filogomo is a retired cosmetic dentist turned style consultant. After over 20 years as a successful dental practitioner, she enhanced her styling talents by taking fashion, interior decorating and design classes. Jodie loves to share with others her passion for putting together outfits for women of all ages. Visit her blog Jodie’s Touch of Style and connect with her on social media.

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