Celebrity Fashion

Anne Hathaway and Victoria Beckham Bring Back the Shoulder Pad

Victoria Beckham shoulder pads

In an effort to create a dramatically different (but still slimming) silhouette, celebrities and designers have been turning to shoulder pads lately to create a striking shape. The idea of willingly adding extra weight to anyone’s body can be daunting, but fear not, the secret to pulling off shoulder pads is to keep it simple. The more streamlined the look, the more effective the shoulder pads will be at drawing eyes away from the shoulders, right down to the waist. 

It may be hard to imagine terms like "football player chic" being uttered by stylists and fashionistas alike, but with stars like Anne Hathaway, Angelina Jolie, and Victoria Beckham putting a new spin on this once forgotten 80s trend, shoulder pads are tackling red carpets everywhere.

Anne Hathaway in shoulder pads at the Golden Globe Awards 2011Angelina Jolie wearing shoulder pads at the Golden Globe Awards in 2011.
Photo Credits: Getty Images

Anne Hathaway was on every "Best Dressed" list, after she wore an amber Armani Prive fall 2010 gown to this year’s Golden Globe Awards. Embellished with paillettes and Swarovski crystals, Hathaway’s exaggerated shoulders were met with an open back, creating a bold and sexy silhouette. 

If there’s one thing Angelina Jolie has mastered, it’s the ability to look effortlessly glamorous. The green long-sleeved Atelier Versace gown Jolie wore to the Golden Globes gave her the perfect opportunity for a high drama red carpet entrance. Pinched shoulders emphasized the actress’ svelte figure as she sashayed by the press; the Swarovski crystals covering her gown caught every camera flash! Much like Hathaway, Jolie’s strong shoulder detail was complemented by the gown’s open back.  

Kim Kardashian in shoulder pads at an event.
Photo Credit: Posh24.com

Kim Kardashian is the poster girl for loving your body and curves. Kardashian’s affinity for clothing has taught onlookers that trends come and go, but dressing for your body type is the secret to staying fashionable for the rest of your life. Never afraid to flaunt her curves, Kardashian’s futuristic ensemble, complete with chain detail, draws attention to the starlet’s miniscule waist.

Beyonce wearing shoulder pads and grey pants.Victoria Beckham wearing shoulder pads and a leather jacket.
Photo Credits: Wenn.com, Mirror.co.uk

Much like Kim Kardashian, Beyonce embraces her body type to the fullest (remember, this IS the woman behind the timeless anthem "Bootylicious"). Proving that shoulder pads aren’t just for the red carpet, Beyonce sports an eye-catching white blazer with dramatic shoulders to spice up an everyday look, while still drawing attention to her ultra-toned waist and legs. Simple Chanel hoop earrings and a slouchy sequined bag complement the chic outfit.  

Victoria Beckham may have been one of the very first celebrities to revive shoulder pads from their 80s deathbed. When the former Spice Girl posed on the cover of Marie Claire in November 2010, critics gushed, “Victoria Beckham is the only woman we know who can pull off a black bra and shoulder pads … and make it somehow look couture." Seen here in a Balmain leather jacket, the dramatic shoulders draw attention to Beckham’s willowy figure, giving Beckham’s whole look some serious attitude.

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