Friday, February 2, 2018

How to Minimize Broad Shoulders

Let me start by saying that while this article is geared towards trans women, really this advice is good for any woman looking to minimize broad or masculine shoulders. As for us trans women, unfortunately many of us have gone through male puberty which leaves us with the typical masculine physical shape and well... no amount of HRT will fix that. The best we can do is adjust and learn to dress in ways to highlight what we have and hide what we don't... Just like every other person does.

So the basic idea in picking styles that work with our bodies is that we choose styles that flatter our shapes. Certain cuts or designs can make all the difference in the world. Luckily there are a number of options in regards to tops that work great for minimizing the appearance of broad shoulders! Here are a few (I am particularly fond of V-Necks BTW):

Necklines and Sleeve Types for Wide Shoulders

V-Necks & Scoop Necks - Both of these styles of necklines can help draw attention away from the shoulders but V-Necks do the best job. If you do choose a scoop neck, the lower the better. I really like t-shirts like the ones pictured to the right.

Cowl Neck - This style is hit or miss but can work very well. You might think that adding extra fabric might accentuate the bulk that is already there but in reality it can help draw focus either up towards the face, or if it is a looser more draped cowl neck, it can even give the same effect as the V-Neck.

Raglan and Dolman Sleeves - Tops with these style of sleeve may help soften the harsh angles created by broad shoulders. Raglan sleeves (right) are they type of sleeves you would find on your typical sports jersey style shirt. Dolman sleeves (left) are wider at the shoulder and taper down towards the wrist. I really like 3/4 length dolman sleeve shirts!

Wider Shoulder straps - If you are going to wear top with straps try to make sure they are not super thin as thin straps tend to highlight the shoulders and arms. Wider straps will soften your shoulder shape and is definitely better here.

Like everything else in clothing, dark colors minimize, light colors add bulk. I tend to gravitate towards darker or at least neutral colored tops. Also, vertical stripes may help elongate the torso but this is often not desirable as masculine bodies are typically longer than the typical feminine body most cissexual women have.

Things to stay away from

Lastly I just want to point out a few dont's. Generally you want to stay away from turtlenecks. They may help conceal adams apples but the can make you look VERY masculine. Also avoid large collars, boat neck shirts, tight and / or clingy fabrics, and horizontal stripes. All of these will only further highlights your shape. Lastly, padded or puffy shoulder tops are probably best left off your shopping list as well.

Hope these tips helped!



Anonymous said...

I've always used large collars or turtlenecks to draw away from my unusually long neck. As I begin to try dressing in women's clothes, what do you suggest I do in substitution?

Anonymous said...

I'd say love your awesome feature and wear some loud chinky or multi strand necklaces that draw attention towards the bust, these go well with scoop, cowl and some v neck tops. Certain soft haircut layering helps too. Good luck!