The History of the Off-The-Shoulder Blouse

Off-the-shoulder blouses, also known as off-shoulder or bardot tops, have a fascinating history that spans centuries and is closely tied to changing social and fashion trends. These blouses are characterized by their design, which exposes the shoulders and often extends down the upper arms, leaving them bare.

Woman wearing an off-the-shoulder blouse from the 18th century, featuring a corset and puffy sleeves, standing in a classical garden setting with or

18th and 19th Centuries

The origins of off-the-shoulder styles can be traced back to the late 18th century, particularly during the Regency era (1811-1820), when women’s fashion began to evolve away from the restrictive and structured garments of previous centuries. During this period, loose-fitting, flowing gowns with lower necklines that exposed the shoulders and collarbones became fashionable. These styles were often inspired by classical Greek and Roman art.

A woman in a 1950s style off-the-shoulder blouse with a flared skirt, in a retro diner setting with bright colors and neon lights. She has a classic 1

Mid-20th Century

Off-the-shoulder styles experienced a resurgence in popularity during the mid-20th century. The most notable influence during this time was the actress Brigitte Bardot, whose iconic off-the-shoulder dresses and tops in the 1950s and 1960s helped popularize the trend and led to the term “bardot neckline” being coined. Bardot’s effortless and sensual style captured the imagination of many women and became synonymous with the off-the-shoulder look.

A woman wearing a bohemian off-the-shoulder blouse from the 1970s, with bell-bottom jeans and long, flowing hair, standing at a music festival with a

1970s and 1980s

The 1970s brought a revival of bohemian and peasant-inspired fashion, leading to the continued popularity of off-the-shoulder blouses. These tops often featured billowing sleeves, floral patterns, and relaxed silhouettes. The 1980s saw a continuation of this trend, often paired with high-waisted jeans or skirts, as part of the decade’s eclectic and vibrant fashion scene.

A woman wearing a modern off-the-shoulder blouse in a contemporary urban setting. The blouse has sleek lines and a minimalist design, paired with high

Recent Trends

Off-the-shoulder blouses have continued to cycle in and out of fashion throughout the late 20th and early 21st centuries. They have appeared in various forms in both casual and formal settings. Designers and brands have incorporated off-the-shoulder styles into their collections, adapting them to modern aesthetics and preferences.

Today, off-the-shoulder blouses are worn by people of all genders and have become a staple in many wardrobes. They are often associated with a sense of femininity, elegance, and a hint of romanticism. The style continues to evolve, with variations ranging from subtle shoulder exposure to more dramatic, oversized designs.

In summary, the history of off-the-shoulder blouses spans centuries and has been influenced by changing cultural norms, historical periods, and fashion icons. The style has endured through various iterations and remains a symbol of self-expression and individuality in fashion.

Birdie Bailey profile photo

Birdie Bailey

of Birdyberry.

Share the Post:

Related Posts

Join Our Newsletter

Scroll to Top