How to wear: The new bold shoulder

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There can be no doubt: the big, padded shoulders of the 80s are well and truly back.  If you were around to experience it the first time, you’re probably feeling a bit apprehensive right now – we don’t blame you!  This guide will hopefully give you the confidence to give it a try again in 2009.  And don’t worry, the new bold shoulder has a modern, futuristic look about it and there isn’t a skerrick of blue eyeshadow or permed hair in sight!

A bit of background: First seen at Balmain Spring 2009 RTW, the emphasis on the shoulder has caught on at a drastic rate, with other designers picking up on the trend and interpreting it in their own way – from feminine and puffy to boxy square shapes to pointy peaks – it is all about the shoulders right now.

In order to wear bold shoulders which look fresh and modern (rather than Alexis Carrington in her heyday) and which complement your body shape, follow our tips:

1. Colour is important.  To avoid looking like you’ve just stepped out of your 80s prom photo, stick to black, grey, charcoal and muted tones rather than a garish green or plucky purple number when you’re selecting a jacket.  It’s also vital that you select a colour which will work into your current wardrobe – another reason why black and grey are favourites.

2. Bold shoulders are perfect for pear-shaped ladies, as it will give balance to your silhouette and make your waist look even smaller – yahoo!  Just make sure you team your bold shoulder jacket or blazer with a slimline shape on your lower half:  skinny jeans, tuxedo trousers or leggings work a treat.  You can also team it with a mini skirt and a casual, half-tucked vest top for a really chic, devil-may-care look.  Women who have broad shoulders should probably avoid this trend, as it will only accentuate this part of your body.

3. If you are petite, you can still give the bold shoulder trend a go – the peaked and extended shoulders actually serve to lengthen your arms, making you appear long-limbed!  Just be careful when selecting a blazer that it isn’t a long-line, boyfriend style, as this will make your legs look shorter and throw your proportions off-balance.  A cropped or hip-length jacket serves to elongate the silhouette by creating the illusion of long legs.  Go for dresses with a shorter (but not indecent!) hemline.

4. When you wear bold shoulders, your outfit should be all about – guess what? – the shoulders.  Keep the rest of your outfit simple and avoid going overboard with accessories and other distractions.  A small, dainty clutch and classic heels will fit in perfectly.

5. Wear your bold shoulders with confidence.  This silhouette is empowering – make sure you work the heck out of it!

We’ve listed our best bold shoulder jacket finds here. (Stay tuned and we’ll bring you our best dress finds, too.)

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