I’m often asked how to minimize the look of broad shoulders. The good news is that there’s lots you can do to downplay your shoulders and feminize your upper body proportions.
But first things first… Don’t feel bad about the size of your shoulders!
Many cisgender (genetic) women have broad shoulders – including some of the most beautiful models and celebrities in the world.
That said, here are 10 tips and techniques to minimize your shoulders while creating an elegant and feminine look.
1. Find a Flattering Neckline
As a general rule, you should avoid square or horizontal necklines. Instead, opt for necklines with rounded or vertical lines to help soften and slim your shoulders. For example:
- Scoop neck
- Halter tops
- Thick shoulder straps
- Bateau neck
- Square neck
- Strapless or sleeveless tops
- Spaghetti straps
2. Wear the Right Size Breast Forms
Your breast forms should be large enough to balance out your shoulders. However, they shouldn’t be so big that they add excessive bulk to your upper body. Here are some guidelines for choosing a cup size:
- If you have a small frame – choose a B or C cup.
- If you have a medium frame – choose a C or D cup.
- If you have a large frame – choose a D cup or larger.
3. Wear Darker Colors On Top
Dark colors have a slimming effect, so an easy way to balance your proportions is to wear dark colors on top and light colors on the bottom.
4. Choose Your Sleeves Wisely
Sleeves can have a big impact (good or bad) on the appearance of your shoulders. Here are some suggestions:
- Avoid sleeves that cut horizontally across your biceps.
- Avoid puffy or ruffled sleeves.
- Look for sleeves with a slimming diagonal cut.
- 3/4 length sleeves are universally flattering.
5. Avoid Shoulder Pads
This tip is obvious. Shoulder pads are the last thing you need, so don’t be afraid to cut them out of your tops and jackets.
6. Distract With a Printed Bottom
Drawing people’s eyes away from your shoulders is a great distraction technique. Bring attention to your lower body with a printed or embellished bottom.
7. Wear Skirts That Flare Out
Skirts that flare out at the bottom help balance the width of your shoulders, creating a more feminine silhouette. Look for gathered, flared, pleated, and/or a-line skirts. Avoid strait skirts and fitted pants.
8. Choose the Right Jacket
When it comes to jackets, you should avoid broad collars and double breasted styles. Instead, opt for single breasted jackets with a narrow collar and lapels.
9. Know Your Best Necklace Length
Long necklaces create vertical lines that help slim the upper body. Avoid short, chunky necklaces and chokers.
10. Find a Flattering Hairstyle
Yes, even the right hairstyle helps. Here are some guidelines:
- Hair that falls above or below your shoulders is most flattering.
- Avoid hairstyles that fall at exactly shoulder length.
- Straight hair emphasizes the angles of your body and can make the shoulders look wider.
- Full, wavy hair helps soften the shoulders and balances broader body proportions.
Never forget that you can look beautiful and feminine at any size or shape. The secret is to distract from so-called flaws while playing up your assets.
Do you have broad shoulders? If so, what are your favorite tips for looking your best when getting dressed?
Please share in the comments below!
P.S. If you liked this article, you will LOVE my free 3-part Male to Female Transformation Mini Course.
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Just to let you know I have been following your advice to the letter now for some time and thru the encouragement I have been given from you and everyone I know who have helped me to realize the only way for me to be happy has been to be honest with myself and so others can understand my intentions on making the full transformation from male to female and I am proud to share that I am into the 3rd month and counting taking the HRT prescribed to me I am really becoming the woman I have always felt inside and am out now full-time and really enjoying being the woman I have always wanted to be.
Thanks so much Lucille from me, Denise.
GIRL, YOU LOOK FABULOUS!
At 71yrs in 2018 I know what I am saying. Great job on your eyes . Good luck with the T to F.
Here are a few pics for your comments. I deal with the shoulder thing with shrugs, love them. I am in a “cooler” climate now & can wear longer sleeves, jackets.
Enjoy being You! T.J.
Sending pics for your comments!
Your right I do all of this to make myself as beautiful as possible, I take all of your advice.
I agree with almost all you say but sometimes, not often, you find a no no that works. For instance men have sloping or rounded shoulders where women have squarer shoulders. Sometimes minimal shoulder pads correct the illusion and if done well with good placement and thickness can actually make the shoulders look smaller. Like if you keep the pads inside the edge of the shoulder………….similar to how you apply lipstick just outside the lip line.
That’s a great point, Lucille! Great observation and tip. P.S. I love your name. 😉
LOL………..We even have a song and guitar named after us.
Thanks, Lucille, for posting this article. I knew most of this, I learned it from a former CIS female friend who once gave me a complete makeover. The things you pointed out here reminded me of that time. But as well, I know many crossdressing people need these tips too. You sure do bring things to light, and I’m sure you’ll get a lot of thanks.
Thanks for the great tips Hon. Do you have a link to all these wonderful articles? It would be awesome to have a quick access to your fashion tips.
Hi Mikhaela, if you click on the Fashion link under Categories in the top navigation, it will bring up all the fashion articles. Hope that helps!
Spot on Lucille! A sweetheart neckline, and / or halter top is important for me. Sometimes, a little Bolero jacket or sweater helps. <3
Cute! I love Bolero jackets.
Excellent tips! I’m all about the big skirts myself. I also love those wrap tops that show off cleavage; they work even if the actual curve of the breast is still covered, as it should be if you are wearing full breast forms. If you’ve grown your own, have had implants, or are wearing under-breast cutlets to augment what natural development you have, go ahead and show a bit of skin! (Just remember to keep it appropriate to the setting. Teasing a bit of the curve of the breast is fine for evening wear but you don’t want to do it at most offices. And make sure you’ve taken care of any hair on the areas you show.)
For those of us who have some breast development and are no longer wearing forms… our size is constrained by how much the boob fairy brought us but we can choose our bras to maximize what we have. There are lots of padded and push-up bras on the market; clearly we’re not the entire market for them. I’ve only been blessed with B cups but I can present as a C in the right bra, and that’s enough to make me happy.
I really enjoyed reading your tips on broad shoulders as it is a problem that I have always been aware of. The supporting pictures are a great help, after all they say that a picture is worth a thousand words. I shall put these tips into practice. Thanks very much.
Thanks, Nikki! I’m glad you found this helpful.