Making a Cold Shoulder Shirt Work in an Office Environment

open shoulder shirts for women in their 50's, 60's & 70's.

Making a Cold Shoulder Shirt Work in an Office Environment

Quote of the day: “I see life as like being attacked by a bear. You can run, you can pretend to be dead, or you can make yourself bigger.” Amy Poehler

As much as I like to shop, I also love the idea of wearing what we already have in our closets. So when I first saw these open shoulder shirts, I admit to thinking that they weren’t something I’d be interested in buying. But the more I saw the look, the more I thought how great they could be for us older women. You can read my article on Margaret Manning’s Sixty + Me (see the article here) for my take on the pros & cons. And some of you may even have other ideas I didn’t even consider!!

In the last post about these cold shoulder shirts, I concentrated on styling them for a casual day. This post is all about the smart version, or could we really wear it to work? So I tried to get creative. With my shirt, I just threw a jacket over it which is really the easiest way to create a more modest look. For Nancy, I had her wrap a scarf over her shoulders to cover up the cutouts. As for my mom, I figure by her age, retirement is the theme, so I spruced it up, but didn’t cover it up!

cold shoulder shirts for women in their 50's open shoulder shirts for women in their 50's, 60's & 70's. open shoulder shirts for women in their 50's, 60's & 70's.

Jodie’s (50’s) Outfit: Since I’ve tackled this theme in our Covered Perfectly shirt series already, I decided to add a little spunk this time and pair my jacket with the fringe skirt that I DIYed . I absolutely love the idea of this skirt—to me it’s still modest, yet adds interest and flair.

But let me tell you what I did wrong on this one. This black skirt material is polyester and thus you can see it’s starting to fray. The example I did in the DIY post was suede, and suede will not fray. Although the lining on the suede skirt did fray a little. I’m not sure how much this will bother me, but since I only paid $6 for it, it’s fine. If I plan to do it again, I’d certainly get a leather or suede skirt!

Skirt: Dressbarn-thrifted (similar here here’s one way to keep it covered yet have fringe)~~Blazer: White House Black Market-thrifted (similar here they call this neon, so it could be quite bright, but it’s the only thing I could find in a decent price range)~~Top: Covered Perfectly (here right now in black, white & violet)~~Shoes: Chinese Laundry (similar here )~~Necklace: (similar here more of a bib necklace but a great deal)~~Earrings: (similar here)~~Bracelet: (similar here)

cold shoulder shirts for women over 60 open shoulder shirts for women in their 50's, 60's & 70's. open shoulder shirts for women in their 50's, 60's & 70's.

Nancy’s (60’s) Outfit: One of the things I really like about Nancy’s cold shoulder shirt is that it’s not a t-shirt knit. It’s a shiny material and thus appears more upscale and maybe more adultish! Now because it’s silkier, the scarf wouldn’t really stay like this without some help. I really consider double stick tape a necessity in any woman’s arsenal!!

Pants: Dockers (similar here the best I could do)~~Top: Romwe (similar here)~~Shoes: Crown Vintage (similar here only in a size 6)~~Scarf: (similar here)~~Necklace: (similar here)~~Earrings: (similar here)

cold shoulder shirts for women in their 70's. open shoulder shirts for women in their 50's, 60's & 70's. open shoulder shirts for women in their 50's, 60's & 70's.

Charlotte’s (70’s) Outfit: The plan for this outfit was really to have mom wear a knitted vest (that I knitted for her) over the shirt, but in the frenzy of changing outfits, it got left out! But I think the outfit looks just fine as is? The necklace adds the required amount of bling and the bracelets contribute a tiny bit of color.

Jeans: XOXO (similar here more of a trouser than jean)~~Top: Romwe (here under $10)~~Shoes: Aerosoles (similar here same brand, almost exact)~~Necklace: (similar here longer)~~Earrings: (similar here)~~Bracelet: (similar here more fabric but fun!)

I really think this cold shoulder shirt could be the perfect element for taking an outfit from work to play. They are easy to cover up with a work appropriate jacket. Then when it’s time to go out on the town, you just remove the jacket! The other thing that I think about with this style is the changeability. When this cold shoulder style is not fun anymore, most shirts you could remove the bottom portion. This will leave you with a standard tank top for future wear.

I really appreciate any comments and discussions! Thanks for reading!

Charlotte’s photography by Kari Strand Photography

The Facts

Even if you wouldn’t consider purchasing your clothing online, it can be helpful to look through my links to see what is available! It certainly doesn’t hurt my feelings, if you click on them but don’t like them. Just so you know, one of the ways I make money from this blog is through these linked items.

Keeping in Touch

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The link up parties I participate in can be found here!
If you don’t yet have one of these types of shirts, I collected some for you to consider. I narrowed it down to the ones you could actually wear your bra underneath without it showing along with the fact that they were under $50!

  • Kathleen McDermott

    I like these outfits since the shoulder holes (that I hate!) are covered – Charlotte looks elegant as usual, but I’d put a cardi on to hide the hole! Your skirt is gorgeous. Love Nancy’s wrap and Charlotte’s jewelry.

    • Jodie Filogomo

      Again, I’m chuckling on the shoulder holes that you hate!!
      But I do love seeing you back commenting—I missed you!!!

  • Love Charlotte’s shirt! Very creative and fun post.

    • Jodie Filogomo

      Thanks so much Heather!!

  • Dawn Lucy

    Wow, Charlotte looks fabulous, as do all three of you, of course! Love your fringe skirt! I can’t believe I don’t have an open shoulder shirt! Geez, time to shop! ;P

    Thanks for linking up with Fun Fashion Friday!


    Dawn Lucy

    • Jodie Filogomo

      Thanks so much Dawn!!
      I’m thinking that now that you’re in the better age group (ha ha), you should represent us with some of these shirts—then maybe more older women will think they are for the older generations!!!

  • Versatilestylebytracey

    this really shows the versatility of the shirt used as a layering piece. I love your jacket with the fun zipper detail and the peplum bottom. I am drooling over Nancy’s scarf and your fringe skirt.

    • Jodie Filogomo

      Thanks Tracey!!

  • PetiteOver40

    So so so fun, Jodie! I love your skirt! You can probably see the fraying of the fringe better than I can but from where I sit, those little threads seem to be part of the look. If I hadn’t already read your DIY for a fringed skirt, I would have thought you bought it like that! You’re a rockstar, lady!

    All three of you look fabulous! Your bold colors and fringed skirt are exciting and playful. Nancy’s look is classic and “adult-ish” without looking “old.” In fact, the geometric pattern with the pop of yellow on her scarf makes the outfit feel quite contemporary. And, finally, your mom’s outfit sort of took my breath away. Her accessories elevate this outfit from casual to Wowsa! I love that necklace!

    – Sherry

    • Jodie Filogomo

      I really like mom’s & Nancy’s outfits in this set also!
      I was bummed we forgot to have mom put on the vest—but in the long run, I think it turned out so much better without it (she really doesn’t love the vest anyways). This is one of those cases where less is more, I bet?
      It’s almost the same with Nancy’s scarf. Usually I’m trying to figure out an interesting way to tie it—and here we just draped it over the shoulders, and it did the trick nicely!!

      • PetiteOver40

        I bet the vest is beautiful and would have changed the outfit to be completely different from what you presented here. The outfit as it is stands boldly and beautifully on its own. It’s so elegant with just the jewelry as the grounding pieces. And that’s kind of cool to know — you can have these total different looks by adding or taking away one piece.

  • Perfect styling of all three looks! Your fringe skirt is so fun and I love your coral blazer!

    Doused In Pink

    • Jodie Filogomo

      Thanks so much Jill!

  • More great looks, Jodie! That fringe DIY skirt is adorable. You can’t see frays from the photos! Thanks for linking up with me this week. I hope to see you again next week.

    • Jodie Filogomo

      I’m really not sure most people noticed the fraying Shelbee—-but let me tell you how much of it ended up on the floor at home—it was like a trail around the house–ha ha!!

  • Laura

    You’ve definitely succeeded in dressing this up for the workplace! I love the colors in Nancy’s shawl with her top!

    • Jodie Filogomo

      Thanks Laura!

  • ADA

    Your most amazing outfits yet. I love the fringe skirt, gorgeous peplum coral blazer and that olive cold-shoulder tee. You all look beautiful, Jodie. =)

    Happy 4th weekend!

    • Jodie Filogomo

      Thanks Ada!!
      Enjoy the holiday weekend!!

  • Amy D. Christensen

    I don’t know, Jodie. We have distressed jeans, why not a distressed skirt? Ha, ha. I love the look, but I understand if it is something your are wearing to work you wouldn’t want little threads hanging all over the place. That aside, I love what you did with these outfits! Such great ideas.

    • Jodie Filogomo

      Thanks Amy!!
      These threads didn’t just hang down—I’d find them all over the house too (kinda like shedding—ha ha), but I still really like the skirt.
      Happy 4th!

  • Love the yellow on black look you have in the photo. I never think of those two colors together, my favorite is navy and yellow. Happy Fourth of July and good to see you today.

    • Jodie Filogomo

      Thanks Michelle!! Since I am a yellow lover, I could see the draw to navy & yellow!!
      Happy 4th!!

  • I think the open shoulders are really fun, and I love that your fringe skirt is making another appearance!
    Chic on the Cheap

    • Jodie Filogomo

      Thanks Lydia!!

  • A+ on your thrifted pieces!! That fringe skirt is uh-mazing! Love your shoes too! Love the colors in Nancy’s look and your mom looks very classy. Love her hair!

    • Jodie Filogomo

      Thanks Darlene!!
      I do love thrifting since I love a good deal, but I still don’t get the bargains that you do—you get all of those extra discounts & coupons that I seem to miss out on!

  • You all look so gorgeous and inspiring ! Beautiful, ladies !
    Liza Corner o Instagram o Facebook

    • Jodie Filogomo

      Thanks so much Liza!!

  • Judy Gramith

    You all look darling.
    Your jacket is so cute Jodie. Love the feminine peplum. A suede version of this skirt would be great with some “enhanced ” cowboy boots! 🙂
    Nancy’s outfit is a standout because the colors are unique for summer and she loops greattachment in them. They enhance her hair color.
    Charlotte is right in trend. I love her necklace especially. Looks like Carlo the has gotten into some fun and funky Eyewear lately!

    • Jodie Filogomo

      Thanks Judy!!
      You have the greatest ideas for our outfits–the fringe skirt & enhanced cowboy boots are brilliant—keep up the creativity—I love it!

  • Your Mom looks so chic here.

    I love your DIY’d skirt but understand about the fraying.


    • Jodie Filogomo

      I thought the same thing about mom…I’m glad we forgot the vest. I like to accessorize so much that sometimes I think I overdo it. Simplicity can be better!!
      If I keep seeing these skirts, I’m definitely making another out of suede of leather. I like how I can control where the fringe starts!!

  • I have been seeing these open-shoulder shirts a lot. Thanks for providing different options how to wear them! I like how classy and feminine (and also modest!) each of the options where!

    • Jodie Filogomo

      Thanks for letting me know your thoughts Elle!! There will be one more styling option on Saturday—I hope you check back then too and see if you like the dressy versions!!

  • That skirt is fantastic! And you did that yourself! What a great idea, you create an hole different and new look to it. I am not a fan of cold and of shoulder, simply because it does not look good on me. But I just found today a perfect of shoulder dress! Yeah🙌🙌 I will show it when the Sun is going to shine here, not in two weeks!

    • Jodie Filogomo

      I can’t wait to see your new dress!! I haven’t succumbed yet…but at least I’m more willing to try than I was a couple months ago!!

  • Lorena Lorena

    I was having this same train of thought last week – I like the trend but also think that its almost a uniform, I see it on every other blog. I love your take on it, work with what you have and then some. In my case I unbuttoned my shirt and let is slide off my shoulders.

    • Jodie Filogomo

      Ahhh…now that’s a great trick Lorena!! Thanks for your insight—I feel like I get in a rut at times, and it’s so nice to have other “eyes” on it!!

  • Debbie Stinedurf

    I always loved the cold soulder/off the shoulder look, but hesitated because I didn’t have the right bra. Once I found the most perfect strapless bra ever, all bets were off and now I own a gazillion…more fuel for the UPS/mailman setup by law enforcement…lol! At the end of the school year I decided I was going to figure out a way to wear them to work so I threw my denim vest on over top. That gave me coverage and still let some of the off the shoulder look to peek out. I do love your fringe diy by the way.

    • Jodie Filogomo

      So please share Debbie—-what kind is that bra? And it stays up and doesn’t kill you? Inquiring minds need to know!!
      I do need to try the off the shoulder —just because I keep thinking I won’t like it—and that’s silly until I actually try it!
      (At least you helping out the UPS/mailman with job security!!)

      • Debbie Stinedurf

        I found it on Amazon. Here’s the link:
        I really need to share it on the blog too. It stays up beautifully; I wore it all day at work as a test and I didn’t have to fidget with it once and the girls are pretty large, so that’s saying something. It’s no more uncomfortable then a regular bra really. The one and only downside is it isn’t lined….so you just have to be careful if you get chilly…lol!

        • Jodie Filogomo

          Thanks—I’ll have to try it out because mine is just annoying the heck out of me!!

  • You did a great job styling the open shoulder tops for work! By adding a jacket or scarf, an open shoulder becomes very versatile! Nancy’s scarf is beautiful!

    Andrea’s Wellness Notes

    • Jodie Filogomo

      Thanks Andrea! No need keep the shirts for only one occasion, right?