With a rise in Y2K fashion and skin-baring silhouettes it was only a matter of time before one-shoulder tank tops made their way back into the zeitgeist. And so we find ourselves scrolling through tons of one-shoulder styles—solid black, bright colors, funky patterns, bodysuits—searching for the perfect way to bring back this old favorite from years ago. But, of course, the 2021 version isn’t quite the same as those you rocked ten, 20 or even 30 years ago. The style du jour is minimalistic, with a slim fit and no extra adornments. The strap can be thick enough to cover a one-shoulder bra or spaghetti thin, but you won’t find many short- or long-sleeve styles anymore. Read on to see how six fashionable women style one-shoulder tank tops for a fresh, modern look, plus two options that are better left in the past for now.
1. Take a One-Color Approach
Monochrome outfits are a surefire way to look sleek and expensive, plus they’re so much easier to put together than mixing prints. Case in point, Coterie member Caroline Jeun’s fun and fabulous all-green get-up. Pro tip: Place the lighter shade wherever you want to draw the most attention; so if you’re looking to minimize your hips, wear the paler hue up top, and if you’d rather play down an ample bosom, wear it on bottom.
2. Opt for Tailored Separates
The fittest silhouettes that are most popular right now can easily be made to look super sexy, but if you want a more grown-up vibe don’t fret. Simply choose a neutral-hued tank and wear it tucked into some tailored trousers or shorts rather than cut-off shorts or a pleated miniskirt. Keep your accessories sleek and minimalist, although a pop of color, like the red earrings above, isn’t totally out of the question.
3. Try a Cropped Cut
Cutouts and midriff-baring styles are majorly trending right now, and we’re seeing plenty of one-shoulder tops that show even more skin with a cropped cut. To make yours look as chic as possible, follow Coterie member Tiffany Jais’s example and pair your top with tailored high-waist trousers that show just a flash of skin under your top. Even better if you go for a summer-ready all-white get-up.
4. Spotlight a Fun Print
The most popular one-shoulder styles might be black, white and other solid-hues, but that doesn’t mean you can’t also try a funky print or pattern. The easiest way to make this work is by keeping the above tips in mind—stick to sleek, tailored bottoms and consider a monochrome approach—but go ahead and play around with adding in some contrasting solid hues if you feel so bold.
5. Or Mix Multiple Prints
We love Nnenna Echem’s bold mix of ombre stripes and black-and-white zebra, but there are two things to keep in mind if you want to recreate such an attention-grabbing duo. First, stick to simple silhouettes, like wide-leg pants or an easy slip skirt, rather than complicated ruffles, layers or trimmings. Second, choose super minimal accessories as well, and save the statement earrings for another day.
6. When in Doubt, Wear Dark Neutrals
If you’re feeling super unsure about how to rock a one-shoulder tank, start with a mix of dark hues like all-black, cloudy grays, deep navy or chocolate brown, like Coterie member Babba Canales. Feel free to mix and match a few different hues if you like, otherwise, as mentioned above, you can never go wrong with a monochrome ensemble.
7. Don’t: Layer Your Tank Over Low-Rise Flares
Or any low-rise bottoms, for that matter. This look screams Y2K, but not in a good way (cue images of whale tales and too-thin late ‘90s pop stars). Tuck your top into a mid-rise jean, if high-waist styles aren’t your vibe, or try a one-shoulder dress instead.
8. Don’t: Sport a Long-Sleeve One-Shoulder Blouse
We were obsessed with these architectural one-shoulder shirts back in 2015, but wearing them in 2021 will immediately date your outfit, no matter how you accessorize. If you’re uncomfortable in the slim-sit minimalist styles popular now, try something with ruching through the bodice or a knot at the shoulder rather than revert back to your flouncy Self-Portrait blouses of yore.
PureWow may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently from PureWow's editorial and sales departments.