Monday, November 3, 2008

Shouldering the weight

Whether they're on a NFL linebacker, King Kong or even on Alexis Carrington from Dynasty, big shoulders usually conjure up ideas of power and intimidation.

photos courtesy, and

When I was younger, I completely despised my mother's 80s career jackets which had incredibly huge shoulder pads (or so they seemed at the time - everything looks ginormous when you're five years old). I vowed that when I grew up, I would never wear anything that would accentuate my shoulders like that.

Now that I'm older and a bit wiser, I realize the problem was not the shoulders themselves, but the fact that, a lot of the time, they were featured on big, shapeless jackets in stiff fabrics that had no sex appeal whatsoever. Sexiness was not something career women in the 80s wanted to convey as they desired to have a commanding presence and be taken seriously in the male-dominated workplace.

These days, we ladies don't need little gimmicks like this to prove how powerful and fierce we are...but we sometimes like to do it anyway.

There has been a resurgence of bold shoulders recently (as is the case with most, if not all, 80s styles these past few seasons) and designers such as Balmain, Calvin Klein, Marc Jacobs and Jean Paul Gaultier showed looks featuring structured shoulders in their Fall 2008 collections.

photos courtesy

This season, big shoulders are combined with more tailored silhouettes for a look that's no longer outdated and intimidating but rather modern and fabulous.

Celebrities who have jumped on the 'bold shoulder' bandwagon include Natalie Portman, Ashley Olsen and Anne Hathaway (who has been seen in this look on many occasions).

photos courtesy and

If you think this is a great look for you, check out these toned down but still lovely options below.

Gingham Check Dress
Price: UK£28.00 (US$43.87)

Floral Print Jacket
Price: US$30.00

Taffeta Puff Sleeve Blouse
Price: US$48

ASOS Puff Sleeve Dress
Price: UK £18.00 (US$28.80)

Stripe Sweater Dress w Puff Sleeves
Price: US$24.00

Purple Leopard Tie Neck Top
Price: US$34.90

Balloon Shirred Sleeve Blouse
Price: US$52.20


Thanks so much for all your lovely and supportive comments on the post below. Glad you all liked the illustrations - more to come! I'm still working hard on my final projects (hence the longer-than-usual absence) but as I said, I'm not gone forever. Keep checking up on the blog because I'll try to post at least once every one or two weeks.

Also, this is long overdue, but the wonderful blogger Letitia of Becoming Jane interviewed me for her blog! Sorry I took so long girl! You all can check it out here (no direct link to article, scroll down to post #10).

Oh yeah, I also wanted to let you guys know that I'm planning to start a little store that would be an extension of the Fatal Attraction 2 Fashion blog. It will offer mostly secondhand clothing and accessories - all stylish and affordable, of course! I should hopefully have everything sorted before the end of the year so I'll let you know when the items are available for purchase.


Sharon Rose said...

Hi there-hope you are well my dear and love this post!! Shoulder pads in again, well I'm loving the look 2nd time round!

Kristina said...

I love puffy (is this a word?) sleeves. Somehow they make me feel feminine.

Songy said...

Welcome back. That store sounds wonderful.

Miranda said...

great picks!
i'm not a hugeee fan of the structured shoulders on myself, but the toned down versions look lovely! :)

jules said...

love your blog. :) yes, shoulders do a great deal with defining the physique of a woman as what you have already mentioned. nice dresses :) are u fashion designer?

just added your blog link to mine. i hope you don't mind ;) take care!

jules said...

i forgot to put in my link! :(

DaisyChain said...

I used to hate anything with shoulder pads,
but I'm starting to appreciate them now!

Good to see you posting =)

LML said...

like the balenciage shoulders - LOVE!

The Seeker said...

Oh I love this post and the way you speak about the 80's.
Shoulder pads were indeed a question of power dressing.

I think now designers learned with those mistakes.

Oh, how nice the new shop, are you thinking about shipping international???

Take care, dear.


Eelie said...

I felt the same sentiments growing up and having to witness my mother in un-sightly big poofball pads everyday but then what you write towards the end really got me thinking and i think you're right :D Indeed it appears so much more flattering in stream-lined and contoured jackets and dresses and the such!

Btw np about those comments about the pictures! They were fab. Wishing you the best wit the rest of your project(s)

Keep safe. I wish you well hun :)

Join the Gossip said...

I'm not a fan of shoulder pads at all, but I do like your toned down options =)

anne said...

I'm not into the runway looks but the the sleeve on Anne's and Ashleys's are stunning.

Always In Style said...

Excellent post!

I love the blast from the past and all of your modern day picks. They're so much fresher and hotter than the stiff shoulders of the 80s!

Blicious said...

i love puffy but can't get in to the shoulder pads. maybe one day!

Lil Midget said...

Ah...I remember this trend years ago...and I remember hating the shouder pads the tailor used to put into my outfits...I'd try to rip them off :P I'm still not a fan, but like the pictures you put up, there's other ways to accentuate the ruffles, puffed up sleeves etc :D

great post

fashion herald said...

love the balmain shoulders, and of course, the balenciaga!

Anonymous said...

i love this toned down version of shoulder emphasis!

La C

yiqin; said...

You inspired me to wear my mum's shopulder pads! I really like the ones you picked.

Donkey said...

Nice picks! :-)

Shay said...

fun post! I have a feeling the shoulders are going to be getting bigger this spring and into next fall, those Balmain looks just rock so much.

My Fashion Frenzy said...

I dig the floral print jacket. Very cute. But I will let you in on a little secret ... I usually tear out the shoulder pads in my tops. I know, horrible, right?

Shirley and Holly Yanez said...

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Shirley and Holly

Couture Carrie said...

Hi darling D!
You know I love a bold shoulder! That zippered floral jacket you chose is gorgeous. And of course I'll take some Roland Mouret :)



sweetie oh i love this post as like you i hated my mums shoulder pads! hahhahaha i used to rip them out of her clothes but she did not mind as she was not so keen on them either. she felt they made her look boxy.oh yes we sure have focus on the shoulder at the moment but its in such a refreshing way that I want a garment or two with that trend!! loving all the egs you showed.Ahhh Balmain...;o)

missed you Darling Danz! hope school works going ok,congrats on the interview.and when your less busy you must do me an illustration of me,your super good at it!

Gabreala said...

Your blog and it's contents, surely, has got CLASS. And your drawings and illustrations are SOLID.

fly tie said...

although i don't necessarily wear them myself, i think i've always been (perhaps subconsciously) attracted to garments with some shoulder action. i especially like puff sleeves like the one you posted from ASOS.

all the best with the remainder of your project! :-)

heney said...

o ya i love this trend!
I am looking for lots of fashion shoes like this.