how I dress for my strong shoulders

Me-Made-May is right around the corner, and as I mentioned in my last post on MMM, this excersise is more of a personal style challenge for me than anything. This has got me thinking about how I put together outfits, and what I’ve discovered and learned from that.

So, here’s the deal: my shoulders are prominent. They’re wider than my hips (for those who use those things to categorize), and they are angular. They are one of my most pronounced features, but quite honestly, sometimes I don’t want them to be quite so much. That’s when I do one of the following things:

• Duck and run for cover

Cheat. Blur the lines of where your shoulders actually ends. I tell you, this is my most used trick. Usually, tops and shirts and jackets should have their sleeve seam hit right at the tip of your shoulder, but if I followed that, the fit would be too big elsewhere. This means the seam is further in on my shoulder, but that’s ok! It actually hides my wide shoulders through an optical illusion (or the power of social norms – take your pick!). A yoked dress or cap-sleeve shirt are other examples for big-shoulder hiding.

• Vertical lines 

Vertical lines take attention away from horizontal lines – at least that is my reasoning and experience! I love wearing cardigans for this reason, and deep v-necks as well.

• Balancing out the hips

By creating volume at the hips, the shoulders don’t look as wide in comparison. There is a reason I love my Marie-skirts! Another way to do this is to wear a layer (like the outfit with the cardigan in this post) ending at the widest point of your hips to emphasize them, or to wear brightly colored shorts.

• Flaunt it!

They’re there, make them the focal point! By the way, the type of sleeve that this top has will work to hide the real width of your shoulders as well, oddly enough.

Now finally, part of me struggles a bit with this – there is a constant battle between the part of me that wants to feel like I look nice, and the part of me that feels I should be accepting of what my body looks like, and not try to “hide” any parts of it. I don’t know if I’ve come to any conclusions, but I’d love to hear other people’s comments. Is it possible to hide things in a “good” way?


7 thoughts on “how I dress for my strong shoulders”

  1. I definitely relate to this post because I have wider shoulders than hips and I try to downplay them. But, you’re right, sometimes (oddly enough) I find that an outfit which plays them up can be rather becoming too! I’ve read some advice which mirrors what you wrote: draw attention elsewhere, by drawing the gaze downward with a v-neck, etc. I try to avoid shoulder gathers like the plague, which makes me a little sad because they are so pretty on other people. :)
    P.S. I followed you here from the Me-Made-May flickr group.

    1. Hi there! Thank you for your comment! I checked out your blog, and I very much agree with what you just wrote about Me-made challenges forcing us to look at what makes sense for our lifestyle, and budget, and current closet. It really is the most challenging and rewarding part of the process, both at once!

  2. I think this is a great post! I have narrow shoulders myself so only really relate to the Flaunt It photo but your examples are sooo convincing! I think you have found the balance, you look great in all the photos. I think a good compromise is always useful.

    1. Thank you! What I find funny is how certain tips for what to avoid are actually the opposite of what works for me! I guess there is no miracle-works-for-all-cure!

  3. All of your outfits look great! I think we all instinctively try to camouflage certain areas and accentuate the positive. I wish I could just be more accepting of my body shape but, truth is, I’m more confident in an outfit that flatters.

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