Sleeveless tops with strong shoulders started coming through a year and a half ago as a very fringe trend. Since then, the trend has gained momentum although it’s by no means mainstream. The padded shoulder tank is simply a fluid tank top or muscle T-shirt with padded shoulders. Sometimes there are extra details, like pleated shoulder seams, draped necklines, and keyhole necklines. The size of the shoulder pads can vary, as can the colours and patterns.
An assortment of padded shoulder tank tops for your viewing pleasure:
The padded shoulder tank top has a strong ‘80s vibe. In fact, some of them look like they’ve been transported through a time capsule. I like them because I love the ‘80s and I like shoulder pads! There is something futuristic about the silhouette that is playful and fun. To my eye, the versions with the more subtle shoulder pad and draped fabric exude elegance, thereby bringing out the allure of the arm and shoulder. As breezy as a sleeveless top, but not as exposed.
Visually, the silhouette creates a strong and square shoulder line that is quite architectural. That can work well for narrow and/or sloped shoulders. Conversely, I’ve seen the silhouette work well on broad and square shoulders. Somehow, the fluid drape of the fabric across the shoulder and top part of the arm tempers a broad shoulder line.
The idea is to wear them just like you’d wear a regular T-shirt. I don’t wear T-shirts, but I like this silhouette a lot. I’ve seen some woven shirt versions and might give that a whirl. I assume I’ll be able to easily layer a jacket over the top, but will be sure to check. Over to you. What do you think of the padded shoulder tank?