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For the first time in my life, I am purchasing something with shoulder pads without the intention of cutting them out. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve thrifted a bunch of vintage blouses and blazers with padded shoulders in the past, but I almost always de-padded them the second I got home. However, this year has me changing my tune, and Zara is nailing 2020’s shoulder pad trend in a way that feels modern and structured, not old-school and cheesy.
I never thought I’d view shoulder pads as sexy or flattering, but after seeing about a bazillion influencers styling padded muscle tees this summer, I think I finally see the appeal. While a shoulder pad can be intense on a more formal piece, the structured detail on a more relaxed garment, like a white tee, black tank or even cropped sweatshirt, gives it a slightly elevated look. I mean, we’ve been wearing sweats on repeat for the past six months—it’s no wonder we’re craving a little structure and formality!
While I don’t intend to start stuffing my fave shirts with shoulder padding, I do plan to snag a few cute padded pieces from Zara’s New Arrivals section. They’re always quick to hop on trends, and of course, this one is no different. Read on for seven tops with shoulder pads to give your wardrobe an instant upgrade.
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1. Classic Tee
As you ease into the shoulder pad trend, play it safe with a crisp white tee tucked into your favorite denim. If your hair is long, opt for an updo to really emphasize the sharp shoulders and neckline.
2. Comfy Sweatshirt
To spice up your loungewear, go for a comfy sweatshirt with padded shoulders for a little more structure. This baby looks as good with sweatpants and leggings as it does with dark-wash denim.
3. Black Bodysuit
Ditch your former fave going-out top in favor of this chic black bodysuit with shoulder pads. Very Sandy from Grease, if she was headed to happy hour in 2020
4. Cozy Tank Top
5. Jacquard Mini Dress
A dress with shoulder pads? When it’s as cute as this little jacquard number, I’m down to give it a go.
6. Vintage Blouse
If you’re into the old-school aesthetic of the shoulder pad trend, you can really lean in with a femme vintage-inspired blouse like this one.
7. Sleeveless Sweatshirt
As we tackle transitional weather dressing, a cute, padded sleeveless sweatshirt is a key staple for giving laid-back looks a little oomph.