Abstract Formation of slip bands plays an important role in deformation and fatigue processes of duplex Ti–6Al–4V. In this study, shear-enhanced crystal plasticity constitutive relations are proposed to account for the slip softening due to breakdown of the short-range order between titanium and aluminum atoms. A hybrid strategy is developed which allows the softening to occur in slip bands only within the primary α phase, with the degree of localization depending on the specific polycrystalline initial-boundary-value problem and the requirements for compatibility of each grain or phase with its neighbors. The proposed model is calibrated by performing finite-element (FE) simulations on an experimentally studied Ti–6Al–4V alloy. The slip behavior of a Ti–6Al–4V sample subjected to an in situ (scanning electron microscopy (SEM)) tensile test is investigated. A two-dimensional (2-D) FE with 3-D crystal plasticity relations is constructed to represent the microstructure of the Ti–6Al–4V sample. Due to the lack of access to fully 3-D microstructure, a generalized plane-strain condition is used in the FE model which assumes columnar grains that are free of net traction in the direction normal to the surface. The assumption of columnar grains significantly reduces the computational cost. The contours of effective plastic strain are compared with the surface SEM micrographs from experiments at various strain levels. It is shown that the proposed approach for modeling slip bands qualitatively captures experimentally observed slip band behavior.