Dresses for Broad Shoulders: The Best Styles To Choose

Looking for dresses for broad shoulders? Start here! You’ll learn about the best styles to suit your shoulders for a balanced and chic look, and get some outfit inspiration too!

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Young woman, from the neck down, in a beige body-con ribbed and sleeveless dress.
photo: enterwholesale

Choosing The Right Dresses for Broad Shoulders

If you’ve been blessed with broad shoulders, shopping for dresses may prove to be a challenge. The same styles that look ultra-chic on your friends might emphasise your upper body more than theirs. 

Fortunately, there is a solution! The key is to dress in a way that complements every part of your gorgeous figure, so all of the traumatic fitting room mishaps remain a thing of the past. 

Young woman in a black and white gingham wrap dress poses in an open doorway.
photo: @sezane

How to Determine if You Have Broad Shoulders

The first step in finding that perfect-fitting dress is determining your body shape. Those of you with broad shoulders may identify with the inverted triangle body shape. At the risk of sounding like a geometry teacher, an inverted triangle figure is defined by:

  • Wide shoulders
  • Small hips (or shoulders are noticeably wider than hip line)
  • No defined waistline
  • “V” body shape

Young woman standing backwards with an upside down triangle drawn on her back to represent broad shoulders.

If these features resonate with you, you likely have an inverted triangle body shape. This figure is typically associated with athletes and supermodels, so you’re in good company! 

When shopping for dresses, you want to find silhouettes that balance your proportions. Fortunately, there are a variety of styles that will appear flattering on broad shoulders. 

Continue reading to learn more about tips for dressing your body type; you’ll also discover a broad selection of dresses to suit your beautiful broad shoulders.

What is the best dress style for broad shoulders?

Photos: @withlovefromkat, @markiantosca

1. Peplum Dresses

Peplum dresses are a must-have for every woman with broad shoulders. The pleated fabric at the waist flares out and delivers more balance to your figure by drawing attention away from the upper half of your body. 

This style also generates volume below the waist, further balancing your proportions.


Shop Peplum Dresses:


Young woman in black dress with white polka dots poses in an old building.
photo: @sezane


2. V-Neck Dress

A dress with a V-neckline is an excellent option for those with broad shoulders because the surplice neck directs attention vertically rather than horizontally. 

This will help create a more balanced silhouette. Try a dress featuring a deep V-neck and short or long sleeves, which will help mitigate the focus on your upper body.


Shop V-Neck Dresses:


photos: @juliaberolzheimer,  @theteacherdiva 

3. A-Line Dress

If you have broad shoulders, you should consider adding A-line dresses to your collection. An A-line dress is fitted at the bust or the hips and gradually widens towards the hem, resembling the shape of a capital letter A. 

The flared skirt delivers extra volume, thereby creating the appearance of a well-balanced figure and showcasing your gorgeous curves and flattering the inverted triangle body type. 

Shop A-line Dresses:


Young woman in black, one-shoulder dress walk in the streets of the city.
photo: @fashion_jackson


4. Dress with Asymmetrical Neckline

Not only does this style look super chic, but it’s especially effective at creating visual interest that diverts attention away from broad shoulders, making them less noticeable. 

In addition, its unpredictable design helps to restore balance to your figure. A one-shoulder neckline is perfect for making broad shoulders appear less prominent. 


Shop Asymmetrical Neckline Dresses:


Photos: @maryorton@hollygarber

5. Kimono Sleeve Dress

Inspired by traditional Japanese dresses, a kimono sleeve dress is ideal for helping shoulders look more petite. 

These dresses are lightweight and feature a billowed appearance, as the sleeves are cut with a deep armhole. 

The kimono sleeves drape effortlessly over your arms creating a seamless look and taking emphasis away from broad shoulders. 


Shop Kimono Style Dresses:


Kendall Jenner posing in a black, plunging neckline dress with large ruffle sleeves.
photo: @elle

What Should You Not Wear With Broad Shoulders?

Something that’s just as important as learning what to do to flatter your body type? Learning what not to do. Next time you go shopping, try to avoid the following styles:

  • Strapless or off-the-shoulder necklines – Dresses with strapless and off-the-shoulder necklines will emphasize your shoulders due to the lack of coverage they provide. Instead opt for a wide scoop neckline with cap sleeves.
  • Shoulder pads – Ah, a throwback to the 80s. Shoulders pads are pieces of foam or fabric sewn inside the garment at the shoulder. Unsurprisingly, they bring attention to broad shoulders.
  • Ruffle or Puffed Sleeves – Ruffled or puffed sleeves will also draw attention to your shoulders due to the extra fabric gathered in the area. Stick to long sleeves, half sleeves, raglan, or cap sleeves to soften their appearance. 

Unless you are Kendall Kardashian who can rock shoulders for days – case in point above – you’re likely trying to minimize the emphasis on your shoulders so these are the specific styles you should steer clear of. 

Remember, the key to minimizing your broad shoulders is to find dresses that balance your proportions. Since your upper body has already been blessed, focus on adding volume to your lower half. 

And if you ever find yourself at a loss, refer back to this article and feel the weight lift from your shoulders!


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