In the past weeks I've had 2 clients that were concerned about their broad shoulders and was looking for some advice how to minimize their appearance… so I figured I would share the wealth. You may be asking yourself do I have broad shoulders? If you have trouble with button downs and blazers seem a little tight across your back… that may be the case.
Here’s how to tell for sure. Take a yardstick and hold it across the base of your neck. If your shoulder hits the stick, you have broad shoulders. If your shoulder is 1-1 1/2 inches down from the yardstick, you have standard shoulders. If your shoulder is 2" are more away from the yardstick, you have sloped shoulders. If your shoulders do not extend far from the neck, you have narrow shoulders. The image below with help put all into prospective.
What can be done?
Broad shoulders draw a wide horizontal line across your body, a line that can be accentuated or minimized depending on how you dress. Because they are the frame of your neckline, your shoulders' appearance can be impacted by the cut of your top. The right clothing and accessories can create a proportional look from head to toe. So what do you do if you have broad shoulders? Like with any part of your body you’re not so fond of you… Accentuate somewhere you like better, create Balance, or Camouflage that area. Here are some tips for helping you fall back in love with your shoulders.
Breaking Up Broad Shoulders
Accessories can break up broad shoulders, this creates two shorter shoulder segments rather than one long horizontal line above your chest. This can be done by wearing a scarf or a long necklace, which breaks up the horizontal line of your shoulders. This illusion can also be created by wearing vertical embellishments around the chest, such as ruffles or lace along the V-neck of a top, this will create visual interest beyond your shoulders. Here are a few necklaces I am loving.
Creating a Vertical Silhouette
When selecting shirts look ones that draw the eye away from, rather than emphasize, your shoulders. Steer clear of skinny jeans, bootcut styles will balance out the top and bottom halves of your body. The same is true for skirts…avoid pencil skirts and look for shirts with a little flare, which balance your top. Replace crew neck T-shirts with V-neck and scoop-neck tops, which draw the eye down to the chest.
Select longer jackets and blazers, which create vertical, rather than horizontal, visual interest and elongate your torso.
Choosing the Right Colors
Dark colors help to slim your silhouette. Try a dark-colored top paired with a statement bottom. A black, navy or dark gray top creates the visual illusion of slimmer shoulders. There are so many great pleated or asymmetrical skirts for Spring… pair one of them to create contrast with the dark, shoulder-slimming top.
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