I used to be embarrassed of my body, but learning how to dress my broad shoulders has helped me be more confident. Here’s what I wish I knew sooner.
Someone left a funny comment on one of my TikTok videos a few months ago.
It was intended to be a mean comment, but it didn’t bother me.
All this person wrote was, “Manly.”
It didn’t bother me because I know I have broad shoulders. I know I don’t have the “ideal” female body shape, but I don’t care about that anymore.
I don’t care because I’ve learned how to dress this body of mine, and now I’m more confident than I’ve ever been.
Let me share with you what I’ve learned.
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Do You Have Broad Shoulders?
Many women with broad shoulders are inverted triangles; however, they can also be apples, rectangles, or hourglasses. (Yes, even hourglasses!)
I like to use observational methods rather than body measurements to determine if you have broad shoulders. For example, I know my head is quite large for a female, but it looks small on top of my shoulders because they’re so broad. And when I take photos with friends, my shoulders are significantly larger than theirs (and it has nothing to do with extra weight).
Whether or not you have broad shoulders can also depend on your height. If my shoulders are the same width as someone who is 5’10”, I will look more broad because I’m significantly shorter at 5’4″.
But at the end of the day, if you feel like your shoulders are broad, then they probably are.
Check out my other posts about how to dress broad shoulders.
Who This Article Is For
In this blog post, I will focus specifically on how to dress broad shoulders for women who have narrower bottom halves (inverted triangles, apples, and rectangles).
There are three things to remember when reading these tips about how to dress wide shoulders.
First, if you want to minimize how big your upper body looks, you want to balance your outfit by keeping your top slim and your bottoms full. Adding fullness to your bottom half evens out your stronger upper half.
Second, wear what makes you feel your best. If you love your strong shoulders, then show them off. I share general guidelines in this post, but there are no rules. The only rule is that you feel confident in whatever you wear.
Third, fashion trends are not always flattering on broad shoulders. For example, I love the oversized blazer look on other women, but it does nothing for my body.
How To Dress Broad Shoulders
I already said this, but I’m going to say it again: Balance your broad shoulders by adding fullness to your bottom half.
Add volume with wide leg and straight leg bottoms, and a-line skirts. Some straight leg pants are actually quite slim, so look for ones with a wider leg opening in a true straight silhouette.
Patterned pants and skirts are a great way to draw attention away from your shoulders.
Pleats can also add fullness to your lower body, but pleated pants are not always flattering if you have a larger stomach. The Wilfred Effortless Pant from Aritzia has pleats, but is still flattering on my thicker waist.
Avoid skinny pants because they’ll make your shoulders look more broad.
Wear simple and slim-fitting tops that don’t add volume or bring attention to your upper half.
The best neckline for broad shoulders is a v-neck because it draws the eye in and down rather than out and across. Other great necklines are the u-neck, the high neck, and the asymmetric or one shoulder.
Tank tops should have thick straps to balance the width of your shoulders.
Opt for solid color tops that don’t draw attention to your upper body.
For pullover sweaters, wear thinner knits that don’t add bulk to your upper half.
Avoid strapless tops, boatnecks, spaghetti straps, puffy sleeves, horizontal stripes, and details on the sleeves and shoulders. All of these things will highlight your broad shoulders.
The best dresses for broad shoulders are a-line and shift dresses.
A-line dresses are more fitted on top and flare out from the waist. This is a universally flattering dress style, but it’s especially great for broad shoulders because it creates a proportional shape.
Shift dresses are another great silhouette because they work with your natural body shape.
Your outerwear should fit at the shoulders. Alter your coats and jackets if they don’t.
Tailored jackets that nip in at the waist create shape and definition.
Look for jackets and coats with a V-shaped lapel and single row of buttons (single-breasted). These details create a vertical line that elongates the body.
Avoid shoulder pads, double-breasted jackets, and oversized styles.
Accessories are an easy way to use details to your advantage.
Necklaces with pendants help draw the eye inward and down, elongating your chest.
A beautiful purse will draw attention away from your shoulders.
A hat, sunglasses and earrings will make people look up at your face.
Final Thoughts on How To Dress Broad Shoulders
One of the best things I did for my body confidence was learning how to dress my broad shoulders.
And not let TikTok trolls bother me.
This post is about how to dress broad shoulders.
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