The One Shoulder Dress

The one shoulder dress is not a conventional style and can work well for women with a desire to be a little different and the confidence to do it. Not the most obvious tip as dresses for big busts but it can work well. However, it does mean you cannot wear a conventional bra.

This is a close relation of the one sleeve dress both are asymmetrical dresses but whilst they can share the same features they do not necessarily always do so.

The Pizzazz of the One Shoulder Dress

Asymmetric beaded dress
One shoulder cocktail dress

There is a lot of variety of one shoulder dresses, which is obviously a good thing. Though the main difference is the nature of the single shoulder itself. It tends to be either a strap or a wide swathe of material and can be located on either shoulder.



The real attraction for a lady with large boobs is that they tend to be hidden by the material across the bust. The one shoulder dress, like it's close cousin the strapless outfit, tends to have a broad band of material covering the bust with cleavage rarely on display.

In fact the straps are secondary in importance to that region across your bust for fit. It is that region which will dictate if the outfit is right for you. I find these designs can look good or plain awful. There is no real rule, you just have to see what suits.

Another advantage is that it is sensual rather than sexy. Like a strapless dress there is a lot of flesh on show but it is not an overflowing bust. Hence it is a classy option and many top heavy women will appreciate the modesty.

Long Evening Wear

One shoulder evening gown
One shoulder evening dress

As you can see it works well as a concept for evening wear. Similar to a strapless gown, you will either need a strapless or possibly a multi-way bra. One idea may be a floaty scarf effect.

The purple ruched one shoulder dress on the left has a cut-out. This curved effect is a particularly useful feature for rectangular, straight or athletic shaped women. Like an illusion dress it promotes the concept of extra curves.

That gown is also backless which is a feature you should think carefully about when considering these garments as you may not even be able to wear a bra and for many busty women that is a no-go area.

Floral one shoulder evening dress
Evening dress with one shoulder

I am not necessarily recommending these garments, merely providing ideas for you so you know what sort of things are available. I quite liked the summery feel of the frock on the left; whereas the diamante detail spiced up the gown on the right and gave it an 'evening' appeal.

Cocktail Length

Bandage one shoulder dress
Satin one shoulder dress

Again the length can be varied and it still remains an effective look. On the right is a satin, ruched waist frock. On the left a rainbow bandage number.

Embellished one shoulder monochrome dress
Gorgeous one shoulder dress

Okay clearly this blue bandage frock is mini length and only really appropriate for the young and / or very trim but it is still useful as an example of a style that appeals to all ages.

The other one shoulder dress is a very classy outfit with a price to match.

Tips For a
One Shoulder Dress

  • The first thing I would advise. A monochrome colour. You will see almost all the pictures on this page feature ladies in a single block of colour. 
  • It also is a style that sometimes lends itself to a belt. Some long evening gowns clearly are not designed for this but a cocktail length may. That is something you have to try for yourself.
Peplum effect one shoulder dress
One shoulder cocktail dress
  • Obvious I know but a good supportive bra is essential. You can either use a strapless bra or a multi-way one. Most of us find strapless bras uncomfortable but they are essential. The advantage of a multi-way bra is that you can adapt it so that you can get extra support from that strap. It is a fiddle but over the course of an evening you will probably be grateful for that additional support.
  • KISS - Keep it simple sister! As you will see from the models on this page, they have kept it simple. No fancy adornments are necessary as a one shoulder dress is a statement piece in and of itself. In fact necklaces will often be partly hidden on many tops which looks odd, so best leave it.
  • Hair. You can have it down or up. Both look good.
  • The old fashion adage. As you are showing flesh off up top, it is better to go long beneath. In simple terms that means a long dress or, if that is not the occasion, below the knee.

One Shoulder Top

One shoulder top
That bare shoulder becomes the focal point, not your chest; not sure about the necklace though!

Over recent years, the one shoulder top has gained more acceptance and you can find more and more blouses and sweaters that feature it.

The danger for a lady of ample charms in the bra department, is that there is still a lot of material draped across that chest. If a one shoulder top is a clingy or tight material it can highlight the bust and long necklaces like the ones above will dangle off it - generally not a good look if you wish to downplay your abundance of your assets.

There is a world of difference between these and the one shoulder dresses at the top of the page which are sleeveless. Both of the two above demonstrate the dangers of sleeve width (a subject I devote an entire page to).

Essentially it bulks up your whole top half and is a look to be avoided unless you are very slim or have broad shoulders.

One Sleeve Top

One shoulder and one sleeve, plus cut outs mean lots of features to concentrate on, other than your chest
One short sleeve, means lots of bare flesh to draw attention

A variation on the theme is the one sleeve top. As you can see, the photos above these are one shoulder tops, but this is a one sleeve and one shoulder top. You will note immediately how one sleeve being sleeveless creates a more slimming profile.

You can get lots of colours, cut-outs and sleeve width from bat wing to narrow. I suggest you avoid bat wings (unless you are a Gotham City devotee) because they add bulk at the level of your bust and will make it look larger.

One Sleeve Dress

For ladies with the figure that can carry this off, this is something to ponder
One sleeve dress

Finally the one sleeve dress. These are not particularly good examples as the models are very thin but you get a good feel for the dresses themselves. 

Whilst I have used photos of short cocktail length one shoulder dresses as a contrast to the long dresses at the top of the page. I would always remind you of the old fashion adage that if you bare a lot up top, you should wear a longer hem length.

I would usually advise a hem below the knee if you have a bare shoulder but if you are young and slim enough, or simply have good legs, then you can possibly get away with a length above the knee.

The one sleeve dress is certainly unusual and eye catching and for those that like to be different a very useful addition to the wardrobe. However, for a lady with an ample bust, there is a lot of material draped across that upper chest so be very careful. 

If you are at all unsure, try a strapless dress as a comparison. With more bare flesh and less material on the upper torso a strapless dress is usually a lot kinder to a big busted lady. 

Related pages:

One final thing. Please do not have a bra strap showing on the bare shoulder. Nothing ruins the look more.



Did you like this page, did you learn something, maybe it reinforced you own views? I want to give as much (hopefully helpful) advice to the busty sisterhood as I can.

Please remember, we are all different. You may like to wear certain clothes and styles which I am suggesting that you should not. That is your absolute right. Do what makes you feel good. This site undeniably goes for the more modest approach because I feel all busty ladies already know how to be more racy if they wish.

It would really help me improve the site profile if you would click the Facebook 'Like' button. Pretty please! Susan

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Who Rocks the One Shoulder Dress?

Wilma Flintstone

No one 'rocks' a one shoulder dress like Wilma Flintstone. So if you like your men with a touch of the caveman, wear one and it will be animal magnetism at it's most basic.



Main (wo)man

Michele Obama adopted the look for the old man's inauguration

Look familiar? Michelle Obama even wore a one shoulder dress for her husband's Inauguration Ball. 


Busty Celebrities in One Shoulder Dresses

It is interesting to note that in all the following pictures that the tops have sufficient interest so that cleavage is unnecessary.

Kim Kardashian one shoulder dress

When Kim Kardashian wanted a more classy look she opted for this little number.

Salma Hayek one shoulder dress

Salma Hayek looked pretty in this one shoulder top.

Monica Bellucci One Shoulder Dress

Monica Bellucci sports an interesting variation on the theme.

Scarlett Johansson one shoulder dress

Scarlett Johansson getting seriously funky at an Awards night.

Katy Perry proves it is a style that the young woman can wear with pizzaz

Katy Perry who has a wonderful sense of style always like the unusual and a one sleeve top certainly is that.

Catherine Zeta Jones always dresses well, so clearly it is worth considering

Catherine Zeta-Jones knows more than a thing or two about style and wore this one shoulder dress to an Awards night.


It is a Love Hate Thing

I find that women either love them or hate the one shoulder top. It is a bit like like cell phones, marmite or (the Aussie) vegemite. It is strange but one shoulder dresses just seems to have that effect on people.

I suppose it has something to do with the right brain, left brain thing. Or merely whether you like the unconventional.



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Susan