You know the saying about the apple not falling far from the tree?

Meet apple, aka Claire Aycock.

My daughter Claire has grown up attending fashion shows — and hearing me extol the virtues of what is inside and being the meanest mom in the world when I refused to let her model as a young teen.

Today, Claire is a college student who understands that fashion and beauty are not everything. But they aren’t nothing either.

She shares her style, triumphs and failures in her blog A Hot Mess.

Today I share Claire with you. Hope you enjoy!


One of my very favorite trends recently is the off-the-shoulder top. Truthfully, I have three different off-the-shoulder tops in my closet because I think it’s the perfect top to make it seem like you put more effort into your outfit than you really did. It’s so simple, but adds another level of chic to any outfit. I also love the little element of sexy it gives while still looking sweet.


One of my favorite lines to shop is Chelsea & Violet at Dillard’s. They have an awesome price point and great, quality clothes that are always on trend. Shop my C & V top here (on sale for under $50!) and my shorts here. I absolutely love the floral details– 1) because I just love flowers and 2) I think they add a lil’ somethin’-somethin’ extra to what could have been a very basic element. I love to find basic pieces with a quirky aspect; I think it’s a great way to show off personality through style.


The great thing about off-the-shoulder tops and dresses is there are tons of styles to fit any preference or body type.


Check out this embroidered off-the-shoulder body suit from Forever 21 for under $40! I love the added embroidery across the chest and I think this could be a great “outfit maker”. Basically, you could throw this on with jeans or shorts and the outfit would be basically complete.


While this is not me, I have lots of friends who are well endowed and I can empathize with the struggle you ladies go through. If you’re nervous about a lack of support with a strapless, off-the-shoulder top, try a cold shoulder! This style is awesome because you have support with the spaghetti straps, but can still show off your shoulders. I love this maxi dress (mauve <3) from Lulu’s and this colorful Billabong top.


If the thought of showing off your shoulders makes you want to cringe, don’t turn your nose up just yet! Try a cold shoulder top with thicker straps– this gives the illusion of showing off your shoulders while only giving a peek and not really bringing them to the center of attention. Anthropologie has an awesome top here that comes in tons of colors for any occasion or mood.

What’s your favorite way to show some shoulder skin this summer? I would love to hear! While we’re at it, stop by my blog, A Hot Mess, and subscribe to stay up to date on trends for every season!