shoulder pads touched down (word play slightly intended) first in the 1940s. then, women’s fashion were influenced by masculine style – military-like (world war II had just began in 1939.)
fast-forward 40 or so years to the era when bigger was better. you can thank joan collins and linda evans of the night time soap opera, dynasty (wow, i can just close my eyes and remember my mom sitting on the couch glued to dynasty while i sat on the floor in front of her getting my hair corn-rowed), for popularizing the trend. big, bulky shoulder pads were a symbol of power dressing which equated to the perception of status and authority. women with ambitions to climb the corporate ladder of success donned blouses and dresses complete with shoulder pads. shoulder pads could even be bought separately and fastened around your bra straps. whether dressed down or up, you rocked shoulder pads.
as the trend began to fizzle out, shoulder pads got smaller and were even available with velcro straps to allow the wearer to change looks and wear them on or off.
i don’t even have to tell you how fashion repeats itself. i cringe every time I think of my mom’s closet over the years and how we donated everything to purple heart. a great cause but i can't help but to wish i was more of a pack rat! i’d have some fabulous stuff. and no, i’m not hardly scurrred to rock shoulder pads, today.
designers carmilla and mark showcased a line of visible shoulder pads outside of their garments just last year. can we say they’re baaack, in our best poltergeist voice.
and the strong shoulder look that balmain helped to popularize was all over the place in 2009. i still love this look. in fact, my inspiration for this post came after i ordered a strong-shoulder tee shirt online from a store whose name i won’t mention. i never even attempted to figure out just how designers create the strong-shoulder affect. when my shirt arrived, i threw it on. i was hype. the shoulders were strong. until i moved. as soon as i even turned my head the shoulders went limp. womp womp. could you see me out and about trying to look cute and having to “pouf” my shoulders every 2 minutes. not cute. but hey, what can you expect from a $30 shirt. i returned it. but i’m still on the hunt for a hot one.