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Michelle Obama's style catapults one-shoulder looks

The one-shoulder look has gone from toga to trend in mere months.

Asymmetrical styles were all over the runways during spring previews, and then Michelle Obama, now the first lady of fashion, wore a one-shoulder gown by Jason Wu to the Inaugural balls.

Cameron Diaz and Sandra Bullock were among those wearing the same silhouette to January's Golden Globes, followed by Natalie Cole, Sheryl Crow and Miley Cyrus at the Grammy Awards and Freida Pinto, Marisa Tomei, Kate Winslet (to name a few) at the Oscars - not to mention the style's presence in nearly every collection at the recent Fall Fashion Week in Manhattan.

It's a bit edgy, a bit avant garde, but not outrageous, says designer Nicole Miller, and that gives it long legs as a trend.

"You know how the bubble skirt came out, and we all thought it would be a one-season thing - and it wasn't? I think that will happen with the one-shoulder, too. I think people are starting to understand them," she says.

Perfecting the look takes patience - and some trial and error - but once you find the right cut, it can be very flattering, Miller says.

Shoshanna Gruss' spring collection has several versions, and she has found herself wearing them to cocktail parties and restaurants. "I think of it as a strapless dress. I wouldn't wear it to work or the playground."

The appeal, however, Gruss says, is that it's not strapless: It seems more "daring and interesting," yet you're actually more covered up. Plus, wearing a one-shouldered top doesn't doom you to a day of battle keeping your top up. "You do have a little more support, so you can wear it with a little more confidence," she adds.

HOW TO WEAR IT

Women have seen enough one-shoulder looks in magazines or on celebrities that they're thinking about wearing it themselves, Nicole Miller says. Here's some advice:

FIT "It's a broad enough category that anyone can wear it," Miller says, but "not everyone can wear every one." She advises special attention be paid to how the garment fits under the arm.

STYLING Miller suggests a scarf style or a top with one full sleeve. It's less bare and can be a daytime look.

ACCESSORIES Shoshanna Gruss likes a chunky necklace. "Part of it rests on exposed skin, part on the dress, and the necklace pulls it all together."

- The Associated Press

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