The Skin-Baring Trend Even Subtle Girls Will Love

Unless you're Nora Ephron, most women are fine with showing off their necks — and shoulders, and décolletage, for that matter. And the good news is, regardless of how you feel about dressing for your body come summer, getting creative with your neckline is something we can all agree on. Why? For one, many people consider it the most flattering part of their bodies (designer Donna Karan had some choice words about this). Two: They're super-sexy, as evidenced by the photos below. And with the endless variety styles and silhouettes, even if you feel like an off-the-shoulder top isn't for you, a midsection cutout or super-weird-in-a-good-way sleeve just might be.
Special thanks to The Nomad Hotel.
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Photographed by Michael James Fox.
Calvin Klein dress; Double Disco Heart of Glass Earring, $130, available at Double Disco.
Lingerie Straps
Consider this Level 1: The most simple, approachable, low-maintence way to show a little something — without feeling over exposed. Since your summer wardrobe is likely already filled with an array of tank tops (be it of the spaghetti-strap, athletic-style, or racer-back variety), there's no excuse to not embrace the undergarment-style iteration as well. With underwear-as-outerwear being very much a thing (see: the current influx of slip dresses, silk camisoles, bra tops that aren't actually bras, etc.), allow lingerie dressing to guide your skinny-strapped pieces come summer.
Photographed by Michael James Fox.
Erdem top and skirt; Mizuki ring.
Cookie Cutter Cutouts
The best thing about cutouts is that you won't find them in one specific form. Unlike the off-the-shoulder or one-shouldered silhouettes, these little peek-a-boo holes can pop up in just about any area — your chest, shoulders, arms, midsection, even belly button. Depending on what you're looking to bare, the options are endless: bandage slits that look like they've been cut with a straight razor, a side hem that's held together by cut-up pieces of fabric, an illusion waist that has a one-piece looking like it's two...you get the picture.
Photographed by Michael James Fox.
Etro top; MaxMara pants and shoes; Sara Robertsson Enfold Ring, $295.39, available at Sara Robertsson.
Off-The-Shoulder
You already know: This is the silhouette of summer, and it's been designed, produced, and worn by pretty much everyone. Typically, trends tend to emerge one season, and totally disappear the next. But the off-the-shoulder style has staying power: Partly because it's so easy to wear, partly because it's universally flattering, and partly because, well, it looks so damn good. We'll leave it at that.
Photographed by Michael James Fox.
AREA top.
Deconstructed Sleeves
As much as we love billowy, ruffled statement sleeves, let's be real: Who wants to wear that much fabric in 80 degree weather? That's where this deconstructed silhouette comes into play. A mix between a long-sleeved shirt and a one-shouldered top, this detached sleeve kind-of acts like a fingerless glove. Sure, that may sound strange, but the contrast of fabric is actually an ideal way to make being bare feel more conservative.
Photographed by Michael James Fox.
Marques Almeida top; Marques Almeida Floral-brocade Boyfriend Trousers, $473, available at MatchesFashion; Mizuki earrings.
One-Sided
We're going to be honest: The first thing that typically comes to mind when we think of a one-shouldered piece of clothing is a prom dress — like, a neon-colored, super-shiny, faux-silk kind of prom dress. Well, this isn't that. This variation is edgy, it's cool, and, most importantly, way more wearable for every day life. Look for an accessible fabric (think cotton or denim) and an interesting pattern (florals, tie-dye, gingham) for a summer-ready top that's unexpected.
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Photographed by Michael James Fox.
Prabal Gurung top; Double Disco rings: Sara Robertsson Enfold Ring, $295.39, available at Sara Robertsson; Sara Robertsson Orbit Bracelet, $184.62, available at Sara Robertsson.
Spaghetti Strap Halter
Halter tops are back, and they're all grown up. With noodle-thin straps, an elegant flair, and a luxe fabric, these have ditched the around-the-neck ties in favor for a softer neckline. The focus is still on the neck, shoulders, and décolletage, but the aesthetic is way more evening-ready than 2000s Sarah Michelle Gellar.
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