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Monday, October 12, 2009

How To Wear Strong Shoulder Silhouettes

Lately I've been scouring thrift stores for vintage velvet, sequin, and beaded dresses. Luckily, the previously dreaded shoulder pads that such dresses often contain are currently de rigueur, and I've ceased cutting them out of my most recent thrift store finds. After wearing a few pieces with plenty of padding in the shoulder area, I've learned a few tips for trying to make this trendy '80s-inspired shape work for me.

Do: take into consideration the proportions of your outfit. Since a prominent shoulder will draw attention to your upper body, keep the rest of the look slim and streamlined. For instance, pair a sleek pencil skirt or leggings with a power-shoulder blazer.

Don't: overdo the hair and makeup when wearing a look with strong shoulders. Keep it modern and avoid the Dynasty effect with tame hair and natural makeup.

Do: enjoy how small your waist will look in comparison to your artificially enhanced shoulders!

Don't: clutter the look with long, dangly earrings. (Leave those for strapless styles.)

Do: consider carrying an of-the-moment mid-sized clutch in your hand instead of a shoulder or cross-body bag, which can dig into your shoulder and ruin the look.

Don't: kill your budget with this trend by shopping for new pieces with shoulder pads. Instead, opt for a quick DIY by buying some shoulder pads for about $5 at a sewing store and adding them to your favorite tops, blazers, and dresses. Even better, check secondhand shops for big-shouldered styles from the '80s.

Do: have fun with this trend!