Broad city: 3 Ways to dress broad shoulders


Broad city: 3 Ways to dress broad shoulders

While working on creating my shopping website Sizeable, I was prepared to find models who fit very specific ideas of what women’s body shapes are — hourglass, pear, apple and so on. Once I started actually looking at the bodies of my friends who put up their hand to model for my site I realised that just like there is no “one size fits all” solution for garment sizing, there’s also no neat little box that every woman fits into when it comes to your body shape and the parts of your body that you need to work around when shopping if you want to disguise their appearance. Personally, according to my measurements, I have an hourglass figure. I also happen to be quite short and petite but with a bubble butt so shopping isn’t so straight forward for me. Since we started this post we’ve had a lot of requests for advice on how to minimise the appearance of broad shoulders, so here are our three best tips.


Nail your neckline

If you’re wanting to draw attention away from your broad shoulders, then your best bet is to go for necklines that have a more plunging feel to them such as scoop necks and deep v-necks, as these will draw the eye away from your shoulders and towards the centre of your body. Avoid any styles that draw the eye horizontally to the shoulders such as bateau, off-the-shoulder, strapless and square necklines, as these will not only make your shoulders the focal point but they’ll also elongate their appearance.


Balance out your silhouette 

If you’re wanting to balance out the bottom half of your body to make your shoulders appear more in proportion, then full skirts are your best friend. If you’re going to wear a high waisted skirt or cinch in your waist, it is best to go for a looser style on top — such as a cute t-shirt — as a fitted top or one with very thin straps will accentuate your shoulders. Trapeze and empire-line tops will also help to balance your body and will make your upper half appear more even than the traditional inverted triangle shape it actually is.


See to your sleeves

When it comes to the best types of sleeves for broad shouldered ladies, let’s just start with a fact as obvious as not wearing anything with shoulder pads — if you don’t want to draw attention to your shoulders, then spaghetti straps should be avoided at all costs since their main function is to scream to passersby to check out your shoulders. Other than that you should avoid anything that has been horizontally cut — so when looking at a t-shirt, a diagonally-cut arm hole will be a lot more flattering than a horizontally cut one — as these accentuate the shape of your shoulder. Kimono-style tops and jackets are incredibly flattering because they’re designed to flare out, which will make your shoulders appear smaller by comparison (while also being crazy comfortable). The biggest surprise entry here would have to be a raglan top. While at first glance you may think that a raglan is designed to make your shoulders appear wider it actually does the opposite — the diagonal lines and darker shade (if that’s the style you’ve gone for) actually have a minimising effect on your shoulders.

Images courtesy of Adriana Gastélum, Nailah Ali & Janne B

Do you have broad shoulders? Tell us some of your tips and tricks for dressing them in the comments below!

This post was originally published on 9th October 2014

Larissa Thorne (Deputy Editor)

Larissa Thorne (Deputy Editor)

When I'm not working on getting my first novel finished you'll find me buried under the great wall of credit card debt that I've collected over the years. I am a hoarder of shoes, jewellery, books and Disney DVDs and am physically incapable of restricting my chocolate intake.

  1. Cap sleeves
    stacked bracelets
    Loose and flowy tops

  2. Ooh I like all 3 outfits, especially the navy crop top and floral midi skirt. I tend to go for the v neck tops. Tight tees are horrendous on me

  3. As someone with broad shoulders-thank you!! I love the top in the first pic!