Giving Thanks to Shoulder Pads

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.

Joan Collins (Yahoo Shine. ABC)

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

grace jones

Vogue Pattern
In the 80s, you could even make your own shoulder-padded outfits. Image: Rusty Zipper Vintage Clothing.
Heathers
The Heathers (1988) were the most stylish girls in school – and they wore shoulder pads.

Bold Shoulders, 2000s

Shoulder Pad Nightmares3

Shoulder Pad Nightmares4

Shoulder Pad Nightmares5

Shoulder Pad Nightmares6

French model Manon Leloup in a boxy jacket for Mango S/S '14 lookbook. Image via Fashion Gone Rogue.
French model Manon Leloup in a boxy jacket for Mango S/S ’14 lookbook. Image via Fashion Gone Rogue.
Advertisements

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s