Jessica Simpson's off-the-shoulder sweatshirt is easy to copy yourself.

How to Give a Sweatshirt an Off-Shoulder Cut

by S.R. Becker

Give your sweatshirt a retro look by cutting it to reveal one of your shoulders. This do-it-yourself style, popularized by Jennifer Beals in the 1983 movie "Flashdance," has been a staple of dance-studio fashion ever since. However, you don't have to be a maniac on the floor to rock the style. Take an old sweatshirt from drab to fab by giving it an off-the-shoulder cut and pairing it with a tank top in a contrasting color underneath.

Put the shirt on and look in a mirror. Make a dot on the center front with tailor's chalk or a washable marker where you want the new neckline to fall. If in doubt, mark halfway between the center of the neckband and your chest.

Lay the sweatshirt face-up on a flat surface. Pull the arms out to the sides and smooth out any wrinkles.

Measure 1 inch in from each shoulder seam, toward the neck of the shirt. Mark the measurements with tailor's chalk or a washable marker.

Snip the first shoulder mark with the scissors, cutting through both layers of fabric. Continue cutting in a curve to the mark in the center of the chest, then to the mark on the other shoulder. Discard the cut-off neck.

Wash the sweatshirt in the washing machine and dry it in the dryer to make the cut edge curl in. For added curl and a better off-the shoulder fit, pull the edges of the cut neck away from each other to widen the neckline.

Items you will need

  • Ruler
  • Tailor's chalk or washable marker
  • Sewing scissors


  • For a looser, slouchier look, cut off the bottom band and the sleeve cuffs before washing and drying the shirt.

About the Author

S.R. Becker is a certified yoga teacher based in Queens, N.Y. She has a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and has worked as a writer and editor for more than 15 years. Becker often writes for "Yoga in Astoria," a newsletter about studios throughout New York City.

Photo Credits

  • Scott Gries/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images