The newest t-shirt trend on the block?? Shoulder pads…yep, you read that right! Shoulder pad tops and tees are back and better than ever! If you grew up in the ’80s like me, you will likely have one of two reactions: 1) the trend makes you cringe or 2) It makes you giddy. Which is your reaction? If you are on the cringe side, hear me out for a minute. The shoulder pads we wore in the 80’s were REALLY large; almost like wearing football pads. Today’s shoulder pads, on the other hand, are much more understated and subtle. Still not convinced?? Keep scrolling to see how I styled two chic tops with shoulder pads. P.S. it’s okay to change your mind.
Look #1 | Long Sleeve Padded Shoulder Top
The safest shoulder pad route for those of us over 40… wear subtle padded shoulders with long sleeves in a dark color. Exactly like this gorgeous top above! I love how this top has gorgeous draping to add interest and also conceal a tummy. The shoulder pads make you look a bit wider across the top so they have the added benefit of making your tummy look smaller in contrast. This is a great style technique to create more of a defined waist especially if you have a rectangle body shape (like me)!
If you still don’t know what your body shape is, make sure you check out this post.
I paired the top with some skinny jeans and black booties for an elevated casual look. These jeans are super high-waisted, stretchy, and very comfortable. They come in Short, Petite, Regular, and Long…I’m 5’4” and wearing a 2 Regular. Look at the inseam length before ordering. Express’ petite lengths are shorter than most.
These slouchy booties have a 3 3/4″ heel but are surprisingly comfortable and easy to walk in (for heels). The pointed toe is elongating and the slouchy design gives them an effortless look! They run TTS and only come in whole sizes. If you’re between sizes, size up. I’m usually a 7.5 and got the 8!
Look #2 | Padded Shoulder Bodysuit & Jeans
The hottest shoulder pad trend at the moment (and heading into spring) is more along these lines above… a shoulder pad cap sleeve tee. I’m wearing the same jeans and booties. This shoulder pad tee is actually a bodysuit so it stays streamlined and beautifully tucked with jeans. You don’t have the hassle of pulling down your shirt to keep it tucked in and it doesn’t add any bulk to your lower tummy from excess material. You can pair a tee or bodysuit like this with jeans, pants, dress pants, skirts and shorts. It’s REALLY versatile. Maybe this will inspire us to finish those push-ups? 😉 This runs true to size. I’m wearing a small.
By the way…Express has some of the BEST pre-layered necklaces and this layered chain pendant necklace is my new favorite!
Look #3 | Bodysuit & Wide-Leg Pants
Next, I paired the same bodysuit with black wide-leg pants. If you’re still going into the office, these pants are a must-have! The wide-leg silhouette and pleating on the front are really flattering. And I love the luxe look of the gold button on the hips. They come in Regular (33” inseam), Short (30” inseam), and Long (35” inseam). Even if you aren’t a fan of the padded shoulder trend, you can pair any of your other favorite blouses with these pants!
BTW, I wore these pants in my house for about 30 minutes during this shoot and got Traveler hair all over them!! Reason #1567 why I have a zillion lint brushes!
More From Express
One of my favorite things about Express is that they offer trends AND classic pieces. The gorgeous, classic trousers in look #3 are a perfect example. I also love that you can find modern pieces at affordable prices. More from Express below:
Okay, now spill it… what do YOU think of the shoulder pad trend resurgence???? Love it or hate it?? Excited to hear your thoughts!
Huge thank you to Express for sponsoring this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own. To get my blog posts delivered directly to your inbox, along with some awesome freebies, be sure to sign up for my newsletter here.