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The Strong Shoulder is Back


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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Strong Shoulder is Back



Donna Karan Collection

Photo by Marcio Madeira, borrowed from

Comments on "The Strong Shoulder is Back"


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:12 AM) : 

I love the way she is wearing a denim jacket under the tweedy men's blazer in top photo!! So much character - great outfit, beautiful girl!!


Blogger thestyleadvisor said ... (10:28 AM) : 

Have to say that I do not like the strong shoulder look on a women. Gives off a masculine vibe. The two outfits pictured would be infinitely better served by a soft shoulder.


Blogger The Concrete Commentator said ... (10:32 AM) : 

I love the new Donna Karan Collection! It's stunning.


Blogger The Spicers said ... (10:45 AM) : 

Strong shoulder + great legs


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:55 AM) : 

Yay! Bold shoulders. They look so fantastic, especially when paired with skinny pants and tights like the outfits on the women in your shots.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:56 AM) : 

Is it 1986 again? Kyrstle Carrington just whipped out her credit card....


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:59 AM) : 

I am happy to see 80's coming back AGAIN...but strong shoulders could have been forgotten forever!!!!
: (


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:09 AM) : 

Beautiful girl, love the skirt and boots combination.


Blogger Cheryl Houston said ... (11:19 AM) : 

WHY??? No big shoulders, please!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:24 AM) : 

waoh, i love the the first picture


Blogger stylethread said ... (11:31 AM) : 

oh goody! shoulder pads! I have a couple of armani suits that I was considering altering the strong shoulders on. I did figure it was really just a matter of time before they were back in...


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:38 AM) : 

NYC is my favorite photo in this set; her smile just shines. All those layers above and chunky boots below all that gorgeous leg; she is all charm and cheer. I have a penchant for jean jackets that borders on obsession and this combination explains exactly why; it adds just the right thing. Thank you, Sart for taking this shot.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:58 AM) : 

bring it on!


Blogger Haley said ... (12:10 PM) : 



Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:48 PM) : 

Great outfit in the top photo for taking advantage of the winter sunshine - thicker items on the torso for a bit of added warmth, but nothing which spoils the slim silhouette of the outfit as a whole.

That the girl has a face to light up Manhattan only adds to the effect...


Blogger L. said ... (12:49 PM) : 

not a big fan of shoulder pads...


Blogger Krysta Marie said ... (1:00 PM) : 

I love the top picture, NYC her style is flawess. The glasses and the boots are a wonderful addition.



Anonymous Anonymous said ... (1:02 PM) : 

We aren't even trying any more, fashion-wise.

Can't wait until somebody shakes things up.

Great pics, as usual.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (1:03 PM) : 

the worst thing form the 80´ it´s coming back, really? never for me...! I think people don´t look nice with that thing! i hope it´s going to be a very short trend!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (1:10 PM) : 

Ahhh, the 80s. This is perfect, I just picked up an shoulder-padded jacket from a thrift store.


Blogger Sojie said ... (1:14 PM) : 



Anonymous Anonymous said ... (1:22 PM) : 

Like the strong shoulders on the first and second picture best!


Blogger Nikki - - Monomestile - - said ... (1:46 PM) : 

I love that the big shoulder balances out those little legs. Reminds me of the 40s, when moviestars wrapped themselves in fur shawls while wearing slinky red carpet gowns.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (2:03 PM) : 

I hope the "strong" shoulders catch on in main stream fashion. They give a woman presence and make her look powerful and they are slimming. That's why they were so popular back in the 80's!


Blogger David said ... (2:22 PM) : 

Top girl.....Top girl!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (2:36 PM) : 

I want Tom Brady in shoulder pads, not Giselle.


Blogger junglesiren said ... (2:41 PM) : 

Not a look for everyone but it can help balance out a hippy gal.

The blonde chick looks like she's wearing her dad's tweed jacket. But I do like the layering and it's so easy to wear something over a well-cut jean jacket and those boots are always nice.

The middle girl looks good from the back.

I love DK but that outfit is too literal. It looks like this model just stepped out of 1986.... and not in a good way.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (2:53 PM) : 

Oh no.
Sadly I don't like these looks at all.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (3:06 PM) : 

Donna Karan's new collection is very lovely... showing a larger shoulder where and as appropriate.

May they NEVER come back en mass.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (3:08 PM) : 

Oh no! I was just looking at a Galanos dress circa 1984 and thinking how glad I was that those days were over.
I don't think I'll participate in them this go-round


Blogger Barbara said ... (3:18 PM) : 

Gorgeous! The blonde in the tweed/denim combo looks hot, and she has the legs to carry it off. I love the vibrant blue peeping out under the neutral and black, and the texture of the jacket (the shoulders are just right...Crystle Carrington rises from her ashes)with the denim is masterful. Love love love it.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (3:23 PM) : 

I like the strong shoulder, gives a nice line. The thing that strikes me most in both these pictures are their legs. NYC girl's lower half is too naked, I'd be freezing. Miss Stockholm is too naked too. It has been said, leggings are not pants. So, if NYC girl borrowed Miss Stockholm's leggings it would warm up the whole look. And if Miss Stockholm borrowed NYC girl's skirt her look would be more modest and less butt bare.


Blogger Camille said ... (3:24 PM) : 

The strong shoulders are tough to wear, yet beautiful and feminine here, with long, exposed legs.


Blogger Unknown said ... (3:39 PM) : 

Not for me they're not.


Blogger Stephanie Clayton said ... (4:23 PM) : 

the blond girl, top photo...i don't recall you taking my picture, sart. just kidding. but have to say, she bears an uncanny resemblance to my longer-hair self...only she looks taller.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (4:42 PM) : 

i think it's somewhat difficult to find a really nice blazer that fits a women shoulder. well, at least when you primarily shop vintage and all the pretty blazers are either for men or from the 80ies. but yeah, i prefer tailored shoulders aswell


Blogger Jack Daniel said ... (5:03 PM) : element from the 80's...

Looks great!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (7:24 PM) : 

Great legs, great city, great picture, great blog, great comment!


Blogger RJ said ... (7:40 PM) : 



Anonymous Anonymous said ... (7:48 PM) : 

gold lame leggings also came back, doesn't mean that it's a good thing. the heavy shoulders look bad on most people especially if the person doesn't have naturally slender waist. this look is very hard for most women to look good in.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:10 PM) : 

Happy to embrace the strong shoulder, not happy to embrace the 80s strong shoulder. Donna Karan needs to re-invent, not re-present.


Blogger Mr. Badami said ... (10:52 PM) : 

The jean jacket/tweedy combo is great. It's completely open to both men and women to wear....

She is also incredibly good looking.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:36 PM) : 

While too much is, well too much, a strong and broad shoulder flatters almost anyone. Brava.
I love it.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:40 PM) : 

I like the looks of the two anon ladies on the street. donna Karen's look can't be adapted for everyone. You must be tall and have a long neck and all those folds on the gown, you'd better be thin without an ounce of fat to make those folds hang correctly


Blogger Cassie Jo - Tofuscloset said ... (1:24 AM) : 

love the wedges in the second pic


Blogger Sentada Na Lua said ... (8:55 AM) : 

The first photo is amazing...


Blogger The Clever Pup said ... (9:43 AM) : 

I'm glad I kept my jacket. Top picture could be me circa autumn 1988


Blogger Shadan said ... (11:00 AM) : 

i love the second picture... stylish it is!


Blogger Daisy said ... (12:11 PM) : 

great mix of looks, its cool to compare the runway to what you see in the world.

I love how she's wearing a jean jacket under a blazer. I've never done that but I will it looks great.


Blogger Somebody said ... (12:30 PM) : 

Oh boy. I'll be steering clear of this trend.

The woman in the top pic does look good, though. It's the sunglasses that really pull the look together.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:46 PM) : 

God forbid 80's "fashion" should make a comeback, so awful.
Re: the first two, forget the big shoulders, all I can focus on is their skirts which are missing in action... It's a look but not a great one.


Blogger alexanderdwilson said ... (1:48 PM) : 

do you by chance know the name of the blonde in the top picture? looks just like my friend charlotte....


Blogger Keli said ... (2:23 PM) : 

not sure i could ever pull that off, but she looks amazing! she is adorable.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (2:31 PM) : 

NYC and Donna Karan are a joy to behold in shape, form, line, color. In my top favorite shots.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (2:47 PM) : 

I was in my 20s in the '80s, so I was in the thick of it. I had some freestanding shoulder pads that I could slip under any shirt or sweater. They would stick to my shoulders without velcro or anything. The look was exactly like the Donna Karan shot.
I have to say I was glad to finally cut the pads out of my clothes. The shoulder pads got all rumpled after washing (I didn't have the means for dry cleaning in those days, nor the budget for clothes that needed dry cleaning).
The good side of shoulder pads was that for a flat-chested woman with a slim waist and big hips, like myself, it gave an illusion of curves rather than just a pear shape.


Blogger mckinnonmedia said ... (5:20 PM) : 

Bad Ass!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6:08 PM) : 

I love both these outfits. Not sure if I can pull off the shoulders, but it`s nice nonetheless


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6:27 PM) : 

go away. again.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (7:19 PM) : 

ugh give me my anti-allergy pills quick! I cant stand those dreaded shoulder pads. blech


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (7:43 PM) : 

I'm sorry; I HATE the look of shoulder pads on me or anyone else female.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:01 PM) : 

I HATE strong shoulders! is frustrating at times.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:19 PM) : 

oh my... it's those 80's again, why don't they just die!


Blogger Elizabeth said ... (1:54 AM) : 

Nooooo... not the 80's again! Don't like those shoulder pads making the woman square. I so much prefer the curves.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (4:22 PM) : 

As a woman I don't like the strong shoulder for 2 reasons:

1) I don't like looks that overly distort the line of anyone's body, women's and men's, but in choosing what to wear I choose not to wear things that obscure my shape or give me a different shape, choosing instead only things that show or accentuate the shape that I have, with particular emphasis on the "femaleness" of my shape.

2) Personally I prefer a soft and sometimes even a drop shoulder on a woman b/c I don't like a masculine "frame" in women's clothing and thus I don't like to see what is (currently) quintessentially a masculine look--the strong shoulder--overdramatized on a woman's body. Not to mention that the strong shoulder is delineated into masculine/feminine based on our different anatomies and I prefer that female clothing highlights the femaleness (repeating myself here.)

But thats just me and what I like from a gendered/bodied perspective. By all means if people want to play with gender I love to see that as well, but I don't think these people are doing that; I think its just "something new" to sell us and I'm not buying it.


Blogger eloise in berlin said ... (5:32 PM) : 

what a knockout set of pins on the top woman - she rocks!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6:07 PM) : 

I'm with you, Nikki. Shoulder pads aren't just about the 80s, they express a 40s influence if accompanied by an elegant hairstyle and makeup, worn with tasteful neutrals. They balance out sloping shoulders and pear shapes, so this style shouldn't be arbitrarily avoided unless you have naturally broad shoulders.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:02 AM) : 

can we see the front of the stockholm girl!!! oh my god!


Blogger Ladybird said ... (3:46 AM) : 

Strong and lovely silouettes!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6:49 AM) : 

strong shoulders??? again??? the horror.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (4:28 PM) : 

top girl-caroline winberg?


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (4:26 AM) : 

God, no.


Blogger Mark Harris said ... (4:00 PM) : 

Works for the girl in the first photo but as a norm...NO.


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