How to Rock a Cold Shoulder Top in Fall & Winter

Wearing a stylish top that bares your shoulders feels natural in warm weather, but can you wear a cold shoulder top in fall and winter? Here are some surprising ways to pull off this look!

brown cold shoulder top

Try a One Shoulder Cold Shoulder

I had never heard of a one-shoulder cold shoulder until I saw this interesting turtleneck at Amazon. This is new from The Drop – Amazon’s trendy influencer-inspired clothing line.  I wasn’t sure about it when it first arrived, but I liked how modern it looked and felt when I tried it on. You get the look of a cold shoulder sweater,  but only one shoulder is cut out. This makes it warmer to wear and more fashion-forward. Add some classy jewelry, and you have a chic look!

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Whether you are trying the new one-shoulder cold shoulder or the classic two-shoulder cold shoulder, here are some things to make it easier to wear one in cooler weather.

This is the perfect transitional cold-shoulder sweater – a light cotton knit.

Choose Season Appropriate Fabrics

Airy, lightweight cold-shoulder tops in summer colors, fabrics, and prints look out of place in cold weather, no matter how you style them. Instead, shift to hard-shoulder knit tops, which are a little thicker, warmer, and more fall-like. I have a lovely cold-shoulder cotton knit sweater in a pretty peach color to bridge the gap from summer to fall and winter to spring. I like to wear jeans, but they also look great with white pants (if you live in the South) or black pants.

More Cold shoulder sweaters here



gray cold shoulder sweater
A cold shoulder turtleneck looks fabulous in winter.

Wear Long Sleeves

It only makes sense that cold shoulder tops with long sleeves are more practical in colder weather. I even own a chunky cable knit turtleneck with the top of the arms and shoulders cut out. This fabulous statement sweater looks great with faux leather leggings and flat, high boots.

Brown Silk cold shoulder top

Silky Fabrics are Chic 24/12

Some of the best-looking cold shoulder tops for fall and winter are made of silk, satin, or some other fine flowy fabric. They look elegant and expensive for cocktail parties and Holiday events and ooze sophistication and class. Cold shoulder tops are the perfect way to look sexy without revealing too much.

This gorgeous satin blouse is an excellent example of a cold shoulder top that looks youthful and modern paired with black pants. The rich caramel color and satin finish are stunning, and the soft, blousy sleeves give this top a gentle, romantic feel.


cold shoulder top

Layer a Jacket or Blazer over a Cold Shoulder Top

Another way to wear a cold shoulder top or sweater is to layer it with a jacket. The jacket can be casual and edgy like a leather moto jacket, or more classic like a blazer. For example, wear the coat over your cold shoulder top when going to dinner with friends on a Saturday night. Then do the sexy reveal once you are in the restaurant and ready to have drinks and fun.

You can also wear a blazer over a cold-shoulder top and leave it on at work. No one would ever know you had a cold shoulder top; this way, you get more wear out of your cold shoulder top. (I would not recommend wearing a cold shoulder top to the office. It’s too alluring for work and not professional)

Pop on a Cardigan

A long cardigan is another way to work with a cold shoulder top to create a layered look or to get double-duty from a piece of clothing.

Accessorize with a Scarf

Many women over 40 yearn to dress more creatively, and cold shoulder tops are a way to do that. They are artsy and look even more creative with a scarf tied around your neck. It would be best if you played with this look.


off the shoulder sweater
Wear an off-the-shoulder top in winter if the fabric is season-appropriate.

Can You Wear an Off-the-Shoulder Sweater in Fall and Winter?

Off-the-shoulder tops are a little barer than cold-shoulder tops, but they can also be a casually chic look in the fall/winter. I have a gorgeous knit off-the-shoulder sweater that is super soft and cozy (similar). It’s long, like a tunic, and I like to wear it with faux leather leggings in the fall. It’s not something I would wear every day or at work, but if I have a date night with my husband or dinner with another couple on the weekend, it’s perfect. Causal, sexy, and chic!


Green Criss Cross cold shoulder top
Cold Shoulder tops are sexy year-round.

The Final Word on Cold-Shoulder Tops

You may feel self-conscious about showing off your arms, but most of us don’t mind flashing a little shoulder. The reason is simple: shoulders hardly seem to age at all. So wear a cold shoulder top all year round to look and feel fabulous!

We are looking for other types of cold shoulder tops. Check out this post on Are Cold Shoulder Tops Still in Style?

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10 thoughts on “How to Rock a Cold Shoulder Top in Fall & Winter

  1. I thought cold shoulder tops were not on trend. It’s interesting the different opinions among bloggers. Personally, I don’t think they make sense in the winter even in Texas.

  2. I love the cold shoulder option, a little skin sass that allows a bra shoulder strap support coverage – best of all, strategic arm coverage. The bell sleeve is another flattering arm design. The perfect flattering design is a V-neck cold shoulder bell sleeve!

  3. I tried one, but if it’s hot enough to have skin showing on the shoulder, I need to wear less anyway, so this trend is not for me. I do like the bell sleeves, though.

  4. I’ve been wearing cold shoulder tops long before they became highly trendy. They used to be hard to find, and now they’re everywhere, which makes me happy! Cold shoulder tops show some of my upper arm/shoulders but cover the part of my arm that could use some toning…perfect! I am 55, petite, and have short arms, so I like the shorter sleeve or 3/4 sleeve lengths. I love cold shoulder dresses also!

  5. I love the cold shoulder look. It shows just a little skin but keeps the arms covered. I can’t wear the off-the-shoulder tops-strapless bras are too uncomfortable. I also like the bell sleeves. They add so much interest to tops.

    1. Not at all, Janelle. A long-or 3/4 sleeve cold shoulder top would be very flattering at 60, especially a soft blouse style. That touch of skin is modern and youthful. Try one with a pair of nice pants!

  6. Okay, well, cold shoulder tops don’t suit me. I’m not going to budge on this. And bell sleeves? No, not for me. I’m sitting there, fads out.

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