Over the past few seasons, shoulders — both padded and exposed — have become runway staples. This piqued interest in the clavicle area signals a return to "power dressing," which has long been associated with formidable shoulder pads. But what's often less discussed is the power of a bare shoulder.
Off-the-shoulder styles were popular for much of the early 19th century. Historic fashion moments from the period — think Queen Victoria — show that the popular silhouette for women were bodices with a shoulder seam or neckline that fell over the top of the arm. As a result, the wearer's motion was severely compromised: These types of sleeves made it difficult for a woman to do more than sit and embroider or sip a cup of tea.
But in today's world of fashion, when we can choose to throw on a pantsuit with linebacker shoulders, the exposed silhouette doesn't signal confinement at all; instead, it speaks to a modern, multifaceted woman who is comfortable conveying traditional messages of both power and femininity in her clothes. Plus, the style looks great in the pool or at the beach.
Here, we rounded up our favorite off-the-shoulder swimsuits on the market, including polka-dotted two-pieces and ruffled one-pieces, across a wide range of price points. Click through the gallery below to shop them all.
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