How to Dress to Hide Broad Shoulders

Looking great is sometimes a matter of knowing what works best on your body type. Overly broad shoulders can be difficult to deal with, especially when they are paired with a very small or very large bustline. Learn to accentuate the positive and play down the negative with a few styling tips.


    • 1

      Wear close-cut necklines rather than square or boatneck styles. Necks that are scooped are fine if they have a narrow scoop. High V-necks that draw the eye away from the shoulder area, but don't plunge and accent the bust, are also good.

    • 2

      Choose jackets that have no details or color changes at the shoulders or upper sleeves. Look for very narrow lapels and avoid shoulder pads or pleats.

    • 3

      Look for blouson or blousy sweaters and dolman sleeves -- sometimes called bat sleeves -- that are wide at the top and narrower at the bottom. Necklines should be more vertical than horizontal.

    • 4

      Longer garments with simple lines work better, as do loose-fitting, soft form styles that drape the body with lightweight fabrics. Avoid boxy styles and anything that fits tightly across the bustline or shoulders.

    • 5

      Select wrap-front dresses and blouses that aren't made out of overly clingy fabrics. Avoid puffed sleeves, gathers, detail work such as beading and glitter, ruffles and shirring around the neck or shoulder area. Wide belts are not a good match either, and avoid Empire waistlines, which draw attention to the bust and shoulders.

Tips & Warnings

  • Avoiding really bright tops or large-patterned tops can also help.
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  • Photo Credit George Marks/Retrofile/Getty Images

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