Recently, my mother wore a sweater with detachable shoulder pads. The sweater looked wonderful and it was not the first time that my mom has led the way, nor the last, I am sure. I knew that I wanted to own a pair too. Since then I have been searching in vain for shoulder pads, trying every department store and boutique. They were nowhere to be found until today. I googled shoulder pads and found them … where else? …

If you have been around long enough to remember the 80’s, then you will certainly remember shoulder pads and the impact they had on fashion. In fact, shoulder pads in the ‘80’s had a life of their own, as if your shoulders could simply takeoff with arms attached and fly away! I guess it made sense then since hair at that time was also very big. The two needed to balance each other out. Today, however, shoulder pads have slimmed down just enough to add dimension, lift and support where needed. Of course shoulder pads are not always needed, and it is not necessary to wear them all the time. But when worn properly, adding shoulder pads to an outfit provides perfect proportion.

My order is on its way, and I cannot wait to try them with a few sweaters of my own. In addition, I have a dress that would look better with shoulder pads. But I am most excited to try them with my black blazer. It is a soft wool fabric, simple and unlined. However, because there is no lining there is also no shape. I thought my shoulders could carry it but I was wrong. Without pads everything is rounded and lacking definition. I am expecting that will change.

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Shoulder pads are a simple addition to an article of clothing, yet one that packs a big punch. We women often feel as if we are carrying the weight of the world on our shoulders. Let us help ourselves by adding some cushion. Because we all need a little lift now and then.


Melissa Kaplan Guarino delights in sharing her love of fashion with you. Check out Melissa’s new blog –