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A Load Off Your Shoulders

Thursday, December 23, 2004; Page C02

The off-the-shoulder sweater is the sweet-and-sour chicken of the clothing world: part bulk and warmth, part sass and sexy.

The off-the-shoulder silhouette is "feminine and flattering," says Emily Leon, a spokeswoman for American Eagle Outfitters. "It's a versatile fit for day or night," says Leon, and you can layer the sweater over anything from a camisole to a graphic tee.

Ya Ya cashmere sweater ($338), at Blush, 1089 Seven Locks Rd., Potomac. (Julia Ewan -- The Washington Post)

The amount of skin shown -- from a peek of shoulder blade to full inspection of the clavicle -- determines where the sweater is appropriate: Christmas dinner with Grandma or Christmas drinks with a boyfriend.

-- Janelle Erlichman Diamond

© 2004 The Washington Post Company