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!
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Over the shoulder scarves can help as well when it complements the outfit. And it is a soft, solid color that does not draw attention. For example, I saw an outfit that I would love. The model had long, wavy blonde hair, a dark jacket, light cream-colored scarf that draped her shoulders and a cream-colored skirt with a floral pattern in black. I’m still learning about fashion and what works for me, so maybe that particular outfit would not be as flattering on me as I hope. But I think that in principle, it would be a good option.
Great suggestion Sarah, thank you!
There are lotsa tricks for distracting from broad shoulders for front views, but they are most evident from the rear, where clothing is also most plain-looking. Bigger challenge.
It’s encouraging to note that many women also have broad shoulders.
Just having fun being 59 year old self. Happiest when I’m enfemme.
I also recommend a wig that comes down onto the back a few inches to break up the long of the Shoulders…..so from the Back youe you see Shoulder/ Hair/ Shoulder
Great tip Gia, thank you for sharing! You look lovely in this wig.
I try to wear tops that dont have a noticeable shoulder seam. Drop shoulders work out very well since womens shoulders slope more often than mens more angular body frame and women have narrower rib cages.
Where can I get girdle panties and tights that fit good and a good bra?
I love the tips on this topic. I’m pretty much using them all. I’m retired and in my seventies now, so I able to live my life now almost 24/7 as a woman. I love it!
You are very pretty!
Lovely,,wish I had the energy and courage,,,
Lovely,,wish I had the energy and courage,,,
Love the tips and ideas. This is my latest style and I love it.
As another older Trans Gal (I turn 63 in a couple of months), I concur, it’s never too late to start living our truths!
Being a post-op Trans female, I would like to say that your tips has been a God sent to me that just recently a scout from a Fashion Studio in Mid-Town Manhattan offered me to do a photoshoot along with other models and to my surprise I made the cut. To this day I still can’t believe that I am going to be a model!!
I’m so happy you’ve been getting value from the blog. And WOW – congrats on this new modeling opportunity! Much deserved!
Hey Danielle. Congratulations on the modelling gig!! How exciting
I can definitely see your qualifications in the photo