Elegant and everyday shrugs: outfits and models


Heart warmer and bolero are some of the more common synonyms that are used to indicate the shrug. It is about a short jacket that stretches under the bust, with long or short sleeves (depending on the season) and is particularly suitable for ceremonies.

Present in most collections from the early 2000s, the shrug has established itself over time as an indispensable passepartout because, thanks to its practicality and versatility, it can be shown off on different occasions: from the most elegant ones, where it is good to cover the upper part of the body with possible necklines, to models for every day.

Its success owes it to its simplicity: the classic and most popular models do not have frills, buttons or particular details and, for this reason, it can be used at any time of the day.

What is the shrug, its history and types

The “bolero”, more commonly called shrug, was initially born as a cardigan but in its shorter version: this model, in fact, never reaches the waist. It fits into the category of accessories precisely because stands out for its extreme simplicity from normal jackets and sweaters. It is made without a collar, without buttons for closure and the most classic and loved models were (and still are) made in knit, crochet or lace.

In the winter season it is proposed with a longer sleeve and in a heavier and opaque fabric, while in the summer it is opted for models with transparencies, short and wide sleeves. Over the time fashion houses have evolved this accessory, giving life to ever more sophisticated and trendy versions.

The history of the shrug begins with minimal and clean models, made mainly to cover the upper part of the body, and then transformed into increasingly elegant and sometimes eccentric versions. From knitted and hand-embroidered fabrics we move on to denim processing, studded with details such as sequins, studs and patches or also to eco-leather, where buttons and fringes are added. For the most elegant occasions, such as ceremonies and important evenings, the choice falls on silk and satin.

Outfits and combinations to be inspired by

shrug Outfits and combinations to be inspired by to wear the shrug. Source: pinterest

The shrug is a clever accessory precisely because it can be used in many different ways and occasions. Versions made in lace or crochet are a favorite for the summer because they can be easily placed on the shoulders and complete even the most casual outfits.

The perforated, I see, I do not see and colored versions are perfect to enrich the beloved summer total white looks, preferably in bright or bright shades to give a more decisive and contrasting touch to the complex. As for dresses and high-waisted skirts, the hand-knitted model with 3/4 sleeves will be perfect.

A real source of inspiration is Blair Waldorf who, as a big fan of the accessory, in the TV series “Gossip Girl” combined a cape shawl over an elegant golden dress, and then completed it with a pair of embroidered tights and a soft handbag. Of course without forgetting the indispensable headband!

From the most elegant to those for every day

Elegant shrugs are the most sought after because they solve a lot of problems when it comes to ceremonies and formal occasions.

Elegant shrug with 3/4 sleeve Black Butterfly

Elegant shrug with 3/4 sleeve Black Butterfly

If you have an open top dress and want to wear it on an elegant occasion, the Black Butterfly Shrug is the perfect choice. Available in 8 different shades, it differs from all the other models for its simplicity. The fabric is elastic and the sleeves have the classic 3/4 length: these two elements guarantee adherence and comfort.

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  • Available in 8 different colors, including some shades of the most popular colors (such as pink and shades of beige)
  • Made almost entirely of cotton, the fabric is stretchy and fits well on the upper body


  • Attention to the size, the sleeves dress slightly tight

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Elegant Roman Originals chiffon shrug

Elegant Roman Originals chiffon shrug

If you are looking for an elegant shawl suitable for a ceremony, the models proposed by Roman Originals will be for you! Available in many color variations and, in some cases, also equipped with some particular details (such as prints or in laminated fabric), you can wear them combined with dresses that have a neckline on the top.

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  • Available in many different colors, some models also have a light pattern or laminated details
  • They have 3/4 sleeves, perfect to show off in spring, summer and autumn
  • On the back, in the lower part, there is a slight curl


  • Before purchasing, carefully consult the size chart, some models are more abundant than the size indicated

shrugThe perfect shrugs for every day. Source: asos

The everyday versions of shrugs are more witty and lively, thanks also to the possibility of opting for more practical materials and brighter colors.

In the ASOS catalog, the NA-KD brand offers a model in the delicate pastel shade of lilac: with dropped shoulders, front opening without closures and ribbed cuffs, you can wear it combined with a crop top or a white t-shirt and your favorite high-waisted jeans, an ideal combination to create a well-proportioned outfit where the focus is on different cuts and contrasts.

ASOS Design instead offers a more romantic and summery version: hand crocheted, the white openwork shrug has long sleeves and a V-neck on the front that closes with a knot thanks to a thin cord.

The most elegant shrugs: the bridal ones

shrugThe bridal shrug (or bolero), the most elegant models. Source: pinterest

The shrug is the perfect ally for those who have chosen a wedding dress with a neckline (more or less deep) on the front or back. Years of study and research have brought the most famous brands and designers, specialized in this sector, to offer future brides always trendy and very elegant versions, but with a nod to comfort and refinement.

The versions are endless, but the most popular models boil down to three great classics. Essentiality is the word that describes the first model: some floral decorations are applied to the transparent base and the sleeve reaches the beloved 3/4 length, perfect for models with a sweetheart or V-neck, more pronounced.

Regality is the adjective that inspires the mini-cape that closes on the front and simply rests on the shoulders, particularly suitable for dresses with thin straps. In winter versions, on the other hand, the models lengthen the sleeves and the fabrics are obviously heavier, and here the fake fur is positioned at the highest point of the ranking.

On the high fashion catwalks: Chanel 2016

shrugThe shrug on the Chanel catwalk in 2016. Source: pinterest

High fashion (and the world of fashion in general) are continuous and inexhaustible sources of inspiration. The fashion of the shrug broke out in the early 2000s and then ended up in oblivion, but in 2016 it was the French maison Chanel that, in its summer collection, showed a shrug never seen before. Absolutely refined and elegant, it made a lot of talk about itself because everyone was struck by its beauty.

Inspired by the skilful weaves of crochet, between one space and the other pearls and golden details were applied, such as beads and light points, including a button on the top for closure. This model in turn inspired many other variations, precisely because it offered something never seen before.

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