Styling Starts at the Shoulders

The best-kept secret of figure flattery is – are you ready? – Shoulder Shapers!  See the amazing difference they make on the women below. Like them, you can see all your tops drape better, your hips look trimmer, your tummy look flatter, your bustline look lifted, your posture look straighter,  your upper arms look more toned — what’s not to love !?!

I know, I know  …  you’ve heard that shoulder pads are out of fashion. But stay with me here for just a moment.  

What that means is that in tailored garments today, the shoulder line is more natural — not the exaggerated look we wore in the 80’s.  But if you inspect any tailored jacket in the stores, you’ll still find padding.   It’s just less extreme… and extremely flattering.

  • See how the first woman below shifts attention away from her prominent bust  and upper arm fullness with the Shaper on her left side”?
  • And how the second woman improves her posture and the fit of her jacket with the Shaper on her left?
  •  The third woman uses a combination of Shapers and a new, side-parted hairstyle to focus more attention on her face and balance her figure.

Check this earlier post to see how another blog reader transformed a “no-way” garment into a keeper with Shoulder Shapers – and was kind enough to share photos of the upgrade.

Don’t tell me that you’ll look like a football player in shoulder pads – I promise you won’t.  But let’s think it through …  I’ll bet you never watched a player run down the field and thought “Look at his big butt” right?  All that extra shoulder width makes the rest of his body look smaller.  In fact, they call some of those guys “tight ends”.  Nobody calls me that – how about you?

So we’re going to create that same illusion – just in a much more subtle way.  Like this:

  • Trim the thin edge of the pad to match the width of your garment shoulder seam (you may want to own a second pair to trim for wider necklines).
  • Position the Shaper with the thicker edge over the natural curve of your shoulder. It will cling to the fabric of your garment and stay securely in place.
  • DON’T put the thicker edge toward your neck like that third picture!

Now if you’re still thinking “I hate shoulder pads; I cut them out of every top I buy” … well  I’m not going to argue with you.  I cut them out of washable tops too, because when you launder the item the sewn-in pads get all lumpy and bumpy –  so snip away….

Then replace that mess with a removable foam Shoulder Shaper.  The removable part means you wear it in one outfit today, then a different outfit tomorrow.  It means when you wear a shell alone you can add the Shaper;  when you wear the same shell under a tailored jacket you remove the Shaper to avoid double pads.

Their textured surface clings almost like Velcro to the inside fabric of nearly every garment, so you won’t find them creeping down to your elbow, your bustline or your shoulder blades.  The soft curved shape fits over your natural shoulder edge, adding a subtle but significant 1/2″ of  support and balance.  You trim the tapered edge to match the width of your shoulders.  How easy is that?  Once you try them, I suspect you won’t leave home without them.

Because I wasn’t able to find Shapers like these from any wholesaler, I have the factory make them especially for you.  And we have a special for newsletter subscribers.  Go HERE to order a set of 2 pairs of shapers (to trim for various neckline widths) and a pair of sleeve bands – all 3 for $25 (instead of the regular $30) and a lower shipping charge for the combined order.

About Nancy Nix Rice

I help other women feel confident about how they look every day - regardless of their age, budget, lifestyle or the size tag in their pants - so they put wardrobe concerns on the back burner and go share their gifts with the world.


  1. Kathy Z on June 26, 2017 at 12:08 pm

    Nancy, I recently purchased Shapers and like them but they don’t cling to my woven-fabric shirts (linen & cotton) like they do to knits. Any tips?


    • Nancy Nix Rice on June 26, 2017 at 9:17 pm

      They cling best when either the fabric has a bit of texture to its surface (not so much knit vs woven, but more slippery vs lightly textured) and when the shoulder/sleeve area is relatively fitted to the body – not a dolman, for instance. That said, I use them successfully all the time in my silk-like poly shirt dresss (the one I accidentally wore inside-out, if you remember that recent post – at least my shoulders looked good that day). Maybe I do some subtle readjustment through the day and don’t realize it, but they seem to stay in place just fine.

  2. Phyllis on June 27, 2017 at 5:21 pm

    I forgot, what are the sleeve bands?

    • Nancy Nix Rice on June 27, 2017 at 6:42 pm

      Those expandable “garters” that keep sleeves pushed up. You push the sleeve up, then slip the sleeve band over the sleeve to just above your elbow. Then adjust the extra fabric so that it covers and hides the band.

  3. TC Ferrito on July 16, 2017 at 5:06 pm

    Nancy, please bring some shoulder shapers to ASG in Orlando. Thanks!

    • Nancy Nix Rice on July 17, 2017 at 8:28 am

      Absolutely! I “don’t leave home without them.” Looking forward to seeing you in Orlando.

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