Sunday, August 1, 2010

Big Shoulders: A Dead Revival?

If you were born early enough you definitely remember women’s distinctive styles in the 80s.

Big shoulders from the 80s, one of the hallmark trends of the time, were quite distinctive and are etched into the collective cultural memory. For some it was quite shocking when designers decided to resurrect this style in 2009.

From the perspective of couture, revival of the big shoulder may be sooooo 2009, however mass fashion begs to differ. Due to the trickle down effect, Spring and Summer of 2010 hit the mass consumer of fashion hard contemporary and wearable ‘big shoulder’ styles.

Most were not the huge shoulders from the 80s but simply tamer more contemporary cousins. We have seen trends including rounded shoulders, squared shoulders, ruched shoulders, and military-inspired styles.

For the Spring most of the ‘new shoulders’ were paired with blazers and dresses.

Heading into the Fall, look for fall and winter coats that have military styled detailing including shoulder straps, epaulets and ruched detailing.

'Sofia' Wool Military Jacket
Milana Fashion Gallery

Ladies' Big Shoulder Bomber Jacket
Milana Fashion Gallery

Alicia Keys featured the ruched shoulder look in her video for "Un-Thinkable". This style is a softer more feminine take on the ‘big shoulder ‘. The ruching creates a softer puffy shoulder in contrast to more defined rounded or a squared shoulders.

In fact ruching is everywhere and flattering for most so this is a great fashion choice.

Ruched Bomber Jacket
$105.00 On Sale $95.50!
Milana Fashion Gallery

We also see a definite homage to the 80s shoulder in Monica’s video “Love Over Me”. This is a pointed style is a definite contrast to the softer ruched shoulder, but it has been played down by adding a feminine bow near the shoulder.

Remember, it can be easy to overdo the big shouldered look. When wearing big shoulders DON’T pair them with big hair or big jewelry – this would definitely be a fashion faux pas. To keep this look modern think of the ‘big shoulders’ as your emphasis accessory – they are the center of attention so pair them with simple hair, light jewelry, and natural makeup. Keeping it simple, you can’t go wrong.

For those of you interested in rocking this look, now is your chance! Based on ‘fashion week’ for Fall 2010, 80s revivalism is over. Goodbye skinny jeans, double denim, .and big shoulders. Next year’s trickle down will take you in a completely new direction.

If you already have broad/big shoulders, you may not necessarily go want to increase them with more padding. Instead you can opt for a simple shoulder strap or shoulder detailing.

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