What to Wear When You Have Broad Shoulders: A Guide to Balance


Broad shoulders are a sign of strength and confidence. However, finding clothes that flatter your figure can sometimes feel like a challenge. This guide will equip you with the knowledge to create balanced and stylish outfits that highlight your best assets.

Understanding Broad Shoulders

Broad shoulders can be a natural part of your body type, or they can be developed through physical activity. The key to dressing for broad shoulders is to create an hourglass silhouette—balancing your upper body with your lower body.

Choosing the Right Tops

  • Necklines. Your best friends are necklines that elongate your neck and draw the eye downwards. Opt for V-necks, scoop necks, and sweetheart necklines. Avoid crewnecks, boat necks, and high necklines that add width to your upper body.
  • Sleeves. Look for sleeves that soften your shoulders. Raglan sleeves (seams that run diagonally from underarm to neckline) and dolman sleeves (loose and flowing) are great choices. Avoid cap sleeves, which can puff out and accentuate your shoulders, and tailored sleeves with strong shoulder seams.


  • Flattering – V-neck wrap dress, scoop neck t-shirt with dolman sleeves
  • Less flattering – crewneck sweater, sleeveless top with cap sleeves

Selecting Bottoms for Balance

  • Shapes. A-line skirts, wide-leg pants, and bootcut jeans create a beautiful contrast with broader shoulders. They add volume to your lower body, creating a more balanced silhouette.
  • Details. Play with details like ruffles, pleats, and pockets on your bottoms. These details draw the eye downwards and add visual interest.

Examples – high-waisted A-line skirt, wide-leg linen pants, bootcut jeans with statement pockets

Layering Strategies

Layering can be a powerful tool for creating balance. Here’s how:

  • Kimonos and cardigans – opt for kimonos or long cardigans that fall past your hips. These elongate your torso and create a vertical line that balances your broad shoulders.
  • Blazers – choose blazers with softer shoulders and a slightly longer cut. Avoid boxy blazers with strong shoulder pads.

Accessorizing Wisely

  • Scarves. Long, flowing scarves worn diagonally across your body create a lengthening effect.
  • Necklaces. Long necklaces with pendants draw the eye downward and add vertical interest.

Fabric and Color Considerations

  • Fabrics. Choose fabrics that drape softly over your body. Avoid stiff fabrics that cling to your shoulders.
  • Colors. Play with color to create balance. Lighter colors on your bottom half can help visually widen your hips. However, don’t be afraid to wear darker tops as long as the silhouette is flattering.


Dressing for broad shoulders is all about creating balance. By following these tips, you can find clothes that flatter your figure and make you feel confident and stylish. Remember, fashion is about expressing yourself, so have fun experimenting and discover what works best for you!

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