7 Ways to rock the power shoulder trend


By Stephanie Boey

7 Ways to rock the power shoulder trend

Always trust in the power of a strong shouldered garment—it’s solid silhouette will surely give you a boost of confidence. A pair of exaggerated shoulders exude assurance and tenacity, with the added grace of stoic poise. The power shoulder was born in the ’80s but how has the trend evolved since? Below, 7 ways to style it in 2020.

1. The original: The ‘80s shoulder

Behold, the signature power shoulder! Sharp and structured, these dangerously pointy shoulder pads paved the way for female power dressing back in the day. A smooth lamé dress harks loud to the glory days of Dynasty. Keep the look current in trending accessories like these triangle sunglasses and tiered Chanel earrings.


2. The bigger the hair, the bigger the sleeve

When the working woman was asserting herself in the boardroom with sharp silhouettes, the teens of the ‘80s went with a softer approach. A mini party dress with exaggerated voluminous sleeves were a popular prom dress pick. Fast forward three decades and the big poof is still a popular way to dress your shoulders in 2020.

3. Give them the cold shoulder

A power shoulder need not come in twos. Exude subtle sex appeal with a single exposed shoulder for a playful hint of skin. This silhouette is commonly found in ’80s-inspired party frocks as well, but look 2 shows how to rock the trend in a more modern approach. A single long-sleeved blouse in black is an instant head-turner and boasts a strong asymmetrical contrast while still being work appropriate.

4. The masculine approach

One sure way of rocking those shoulders is by borrowing a trend from the boys. Mannish silhouettes give the allusion of strong, broad shoulders; exuding a vibe of inner power and a whole serving of bada$$. Got an important meeting or presentation to get to? These solid silhouettes will give you all the confidence you need.

5. Unleash the ruffles

When it comes to ruffles, don’t afraid to go big. A healthy serving of flouncy on each shoulder makes a full impact. If you look like you’re attending a quinceañera, you’re doing it right. However, if you prefer something more subtle, a single-tiered ruffle on one side makes a striking impression, too.

6. Full transparency

Sheer sleeves allow you to cover your shoulders while cheekily exposing them. They’re a great way to show a hint of skin, and adds a fun peek-a-boo element to your look. No tricks up this sleeve, you’ve got nothing to hide.


7. The new power shoulder comes with embellishments

Enter the new generation of the power shoulder. Instead of definitive silhouettes, the fashionable crowd that attended the Haute Couture Autumn/Winter 2019 shows brought a fresh take on the trend in unconventional styles. Look 1 sees a scalloped-hem dress held up by thin straps that bubble into two circles that expertly draws attention to the collarbone and décolletage, while Look 2 makes a statement in an oversized brooch that immediately draws your eyes to the shoulders. Look 3 combines two aforementioned shoulder trends (sheer fabric and voluminous sleeves) with tight crimps for an unexpected twist.

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