How To Dress Broad Shoulders

One of my readers recently asked me how to dress broad shoulders. I don’t have broad shoulders, but my daughter does and that’s why when we go shopping together we can’t always wear the same tops (and of course, she is 20 years younger than me!)

How to Dress Broad Shoulders

Broad shoulders can be tricky but there are definitely some do’s and don’ts that will help you look your best!

Here’s what you should wear:

  • Do choose raglan style shirts. They downplay and soften your shoulders.

How To Dress Broad Shoulders

How To Dress Broad Shoulders

How to Dress Broad Shoulders

  •  Wear dark on top and light on the bottom to help balance out a wider upper body.

How to Dress Broad Shoulders

I think the best advice for people with broad shoulders is to always think vertical and never horizontal. You don’t want to look any wider on top.

Here are some no-no’s:

  • Don’t accentuate your shoulders by adding puffed sleeves, shoulder pads, detail work such as beading and glitter, or big collars. 
  • Don’t wear boat necks or square necklines, they visually widen the shoulder area.
  • Turtlenecks and scarves are not flattering on broad shouldered women. Now I know why my daughter doesn’t like either one! It makes sense.

Do you have broad shoulders? Do you have any ideas or tricks on how to dress broad shoulders? 

Beauty For the Heart~~Do you ever struggle with past mistakes? I do! I sometimes wish I could change them, but I can’t. Satan wants us to feel defeated and I recently heard this quote, “The next time the devil reminds you of your past, remind him of his future!”  Let’s claim Psalm 103:11-12For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth. He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west. Amen!

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  1. Definitely wearing a halter neck style is a big no-no for broad shoulders.

  2. I love wearing scarves and I have broad shoulders. I have never thought they made it look worse. I always thought it would help to narrow the shoulders! I hope so, anyway. I love scarfs!! :) thanks for the tips!! :)

  3. Absolutely Jill! This was just some generalizations. Everyone is different but some women like a little help with the “why” some things don’t work on them. :-)
    Thanks so much for stopping by!

  4. Jill C. says:

    Hi there–I have to agree with the many other ladies with broad shoulders who love and wear scarves…and turtlenecks! Maybe the bottom line is that we are all individuals with our own shapes and features…good and not so good. I am afraid generalizations like broad shouldered women shouldn’t wear scarves and turtlenecks just don’t account for the specifics of body time and styling choices.

  5. Judith Hall says:

    Hi …Thanks so much for your Beauty from the Heart today. I am so susceptible to the feeling of being defeated, feeling so far from redemption. I’m going to start reminding Satan, REALLY reminding of his sad, sad future and his powerlessness to the love and truth of Jesus Christ, Savior of the World. every time he sends a defeating thought my way.

  6. Hey Shari! I would be happy to. Are there any questions that you specifically would like to know?
    Thanks for stopping by!

  7. MarLaney says:

    Great post Cyndi! I never thought I had broad shoulders but recently fell in love with a blouse, brought it home and loved the style, and color but something didn’t look right. I realized I looked like a line backer because of the shoulder pads. After reading this I realize I do have broad shoulders…. I’m cutting out those shoulder pads tonight!


  8. I have broad shoulders too and until you mentioned it,I never realized why I liked specific pieces on me. I do not like crew necks, collars, or turtle necks…my necklaces have to be very long and when I wear my scarves they have to be long as well. I rarely wear dangle earrings either, wonder if it’s because it draws the eye to my shoulders? I never thought it was my broad shoulders, just thought it was me not liking how I looked LOL.


  9. I do so wish you’d give us a little glimpse into your family and your world :)

  10. PS – i DO wear boat necks, turtle necks and scarves. just remember to keep yourself balanced. :)

  11. hi cyndi! i love your blog and have become an avid reader – and wait impatiently for each new entry.

    i have broad shoulders… my husband’s most romantic line to me was nearly the same as Gaston’s from Beauty and the Beast… “I love your broad shoulders – we’ll have big strapping boys!” I felt I had to weigh in on this topic.

    the worst look? puffy sleeve heads or butterfly ruffles at the top of the shoulder. the second worst? – raglan sleeves as they tend to look frumpy.

    i am 56, 5’10 tall, and slim – very tailored shoulders (minus the shoulder pads, of course) or regular sleeveless / and cut in shoulders work best for everyday.
    and for dress up? bare shoulders.

  12. I have broader shoulders, but I am able to wear scarves. I think it is all in how you style them. They can bring emphasis away from your shoulders and create intrest more like a v-neck or long necklace.

  13. And those tops at the Gap and Old Navy right now with the horizontal seam on the upper arm. I have broad shoulders and tried that on. I almost ripped it off my body because I looked so wide! Bummer because they are cute tops with misplaced seams.

  14. Hi Cyndi!

    Love your quote about satan! :)

    I do not have broad shoulders. I am slightly pear shaped.

    Hope you have a great day !

  15. Dorothy says:

    I think scarves are okay if worn so that the ends hang down because it gives the illusion of length not width. But I agree with all of the other tips. Thanks.

  16. I love that quote about Satan’s future Cyndi! As Christians we have such a bright and promising future, but yes, the past can get us down! Thx for your encouragement! You are a dear!

  17. I have found halter style tops (or bathing suits) do not flatter my broad shoulders at all.

  18. Hi Cindy:

    I check your blog for good tips as often as I can. I love your combination of the outside and inside! It’s for sure the inside needs to be right to maximize the outside, but the handy dandy tips are also important. Just for fun, check my blog today, as it’s along these lines… :)

    Keep’em coming!



  1. […] thought it was only fair since we talked about How To Dress Broad Shoulders on Tuesday that we talk about How To Dress Narrow Shoulders […]

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