One look at Gwyneth Paltrow on the cover of British Elle, all slim hips and shoulders exploding with giant poufed sleeves, and it made me wonder: Is this 40s retro gone bad, or is it really something we're going to see on the racks? I saw it too on the lovely Jennifer Connelly, who had plenty on her shoulders at the LA premiere of He's Just Not That Into You (but incidentally looks like she forgot the bottom half of her dress). And remember Kenley's ginormous plaid, poof-shoulder monstrosity? Alas, big shoulders are making a splash for spring.
However, the concept of shoulder pads/poofs/augmentation has its heart in a good place. It draws eyes away from likely problem areas, and helps to balance your figure — accentuating the coveted hourglass for twigs and curvy ladies alike. Here are a couple picks that give a nod to the trend, albeit in a slightly more subdued way. No need to worry that the NFL might look to draft you.
Ruffles are key. They'll give you the volume but are a lot softer and more feminine. The Arden B. Lace Ruffle Blouse ($58) or the Black Halo Keyhole Ruffle Sheath ($370) are both pretty, and how I adore plum.
Or, a classic capped sleeve, with just an oomph of poof can help even out your hourglass. This grape silk-cotton puff sleeve blouse from Castle Starr ($131.74, was $362) has pleating that extends to the neckline. But, if you want to get creative and mix the ruffle and cap, Hanii Y's Whitney Puff Sleeve Jacket ($420) is a great layering piece, and gets the job done, too.