Figure Issues - Sloped Shoulders

Do you have sloped shoulders? Are they more narrow than your hip? If so, you are probably already aware of it. You might NOT know that this is what causes tops to fit incorrectly, the fabric doesn't lay properly, and there is extra fabric at the shoulders. Also, If it fits in the shoulders, it is most likely tight everywhere else. Does your shoulder bag constantly slide off your shoulder? Then this post is for you!

Look for styles that broaden visually. Boatnecks, off-the-shoulder, wide V-neck designs balance you out. Think wide collars, shawl collars, scarves worn "boy scout" style or wrapped over the shoulder, jackets with epaulets; all these create the illusion that your shoulders are wider and less sloped. Henley tops are NOT recommended, neither are mandarin collared shirts for the most part, as these accentuate your sloping shoulders. 

I have sloped shoulders. I have always loved wearing blazers and collared shirts but didn't know why they puckered and bunched a bit near the shoulder. To rectify the problem, I simply insert a small shoulder pad to raise the shoulder to a standard size (the shape all clothes are made to fit). Shoulder pads lift the shoulders just enough. These are NOT large shoulder pads reminiscent of the 80's, but rather unnoticeable pads that correct an issue so that clothes fit nicely. 

Remember that sloping shoulders can be an advantage; they are feminine, graceful and create a pretty decolletage. You just need to be aware of what to do about ill-fitting shirts and jackets, and styles to steer away from!


HOW CAN TELL IF I HAVE SLOPED SHOULDERS?  Take a yardstick and hold it across the base of your neck. If your shoulder hits the stick, you have SQUARE shoulders. If your shoulder is 1-1 1/2 inches down from the yardstick, you have STANDARD shoulders. If your shoulder is 2" are more away from the yardstick, you have sloped shoulders.

The top left drawing shows square shoulders. The bottom left shows standard shoulders. The figure on the right has sloped shoulders. 

Click here to see a Lookbook of tops and dresses that work well for sloped shoulders. Don't forget, you can click on the photos to shop!

Alison Bruhn