For men, having broad shoulders that taper to a slim waist and narrow hips is often considered the ideal body shape. Many women, however, consider having shoulders that are disproportionately wider than their hips to be a figure flaw. Still, both men and women might feel that their shoulders are too wide for their bodies. When dressing, people who have broad shoulders should choose clothing that takes the emphasis away from their shoulders, perhaps by drawing attention to other, more attractive parts of their body.
Having a narrow waist tends to emphasize broad shoulders, making their disproportionate width more noticeable. Wearing clothes that highlight the narrowness of the waist, such as dresses with tightly cinched belts, should be avoided. One way to decrease the emphasis on a narrow waist is by wearing pants and skirts that sit low on the hips.
People who have broad shoulders should avoid wearing clothes that will draw attention to the shoulder area. Wearing clothes with shoulder pads will make the shoulders look even bigger and broader. Shirts with any kind of detail or embellishment in the shoulder area will draw the attention to that area. Also, someone who has narrow shoulders might benefit from wearing a shirt with horizontal stripes. On someone who has broad shoulders and a broad upper body, however, such a shirt will create the visual illusion that the shoulders and upper body are even broader than they actually are.
One way to de-emphasize broad shoulders is to wear clothes that draw attention to other, more attractive parts of the body. For example, a woman who thinks that her shoulders are too wide might dress to show off her legs. A man who thinks that his shoulders are too wide might dress to show off his well-toned abdomen.
People are often told that the best way to de-emphasize their lower body and make their hips seem more slender is to wear something dark on the bottom and something light on the top. For people who have a broad upper body, the same theory works in reverse. Wearing dark shirts or blouses will help make their shoulders look less broad, and wearing lighter skirts or pants will help draw attention away from the upper body to the lower body.
Wide necklines will make the shoulders look wider. For example, people who have broad shoulders should stay away from clothes that have boat neck necklines. On the other hand, a narrow scoop neckline or a plunging V-neckline will draw the eye inward and away from the shoulders.