Shoulder pads. What can I say about those foamy inserts that defined the power suits – and pretty much everything else – of the 1980s? If you were around during the days of “Dynasty,” “Falcon Crest,” and movies like “Heathers” and “Working Girl,” you wore them. You know you did. Shoulder pads have been around since the 1930s and, because of the 1980s, they stay on every “worst fashion trends” and “biggest fashion mistakes” list to this day. Despite this, they won’t go away completely.
Actually, we should say thank you to shoulder pads. They gave a woman a sense of confidence and authority. She felt empowered to go shoulder-to-shoulder with the boys, and break through the glass ceiling.
Today, what’s so wrong with a little structure and attitude shoulder pads can give? I’m not talking Lady Gaga extremes. But you can find that same structure and attitude in a boxy jacket, shoulder embellishments, and maybe even a little pad that gives shape without the bulky, rigid appearance. Shoulder pads did that. Give ’em their props.
The World on Our Shoulders, 1980s
Bold Shoulders, 2000s