What to wear with a shoulder pad tee

So apparently I missed out on a big trend this summer: the shoulder-pad tee. It's more of a muscle tank with, yes, padded shoulders. It seemed like a ridiculous fashion-victim thing at first, but the more I saw them on my Instagram feed, the more I wanted a shoulder-pad top of my own. And while summer is winding down in the rest of the country, it's just getting started here in Northern California—it's 86 degrees as I write this—so I figured better late than never and placed an order. Here's how I styled my padded shoulder top. 

If you're a regular Cheryl Shops reader, you may have noticed that I rarely wear anything sleeveless here. For one, it's usually too cold for tank tops in San Francisco; but more significantly, I am not the biggest fan of my arms. They're kind of big and not as toned as they could be, and most of the time I prefer to keep them covered. I am willing to (sometimes) sacrifice my vanity for practicality, however, and like I said, it's been rather warm here, especially in Napa, where we shot these photos. Anyway, onto the top. The fit is a bit cropped and boxier than I had expected, but it works really well with high-waisted pants, as I'm wearing here. The shoulders are indeed padded, and when I first put the top on, I thought it was a bit much and kind of felt like I was in a Devo video. But Sean reframed the look as '80s rocker, and that's a look I can definitely get behind. Plus, the padding actually kind of helps with your body's proportions—I feel like it makes my arms look a little slimmer, relative to my shoulders (which are actually very narrow). Long story short, I'm glad I tried this trend; it's good to push yourself outside your comfort zone every so often. BTW, this top runs true to size (I'm in the XS/S) and it's 30% off at Mango through 10/4. 

I tend to wear black tops with white bottoms quite a bit (most recently with a leopard coat); I'm kind of bigger on top and narrower on the bottom, so it helps even me out a bit. You last saw these white culotte jeans with running shoes, and they've been one of my favorite buys of 2020—I wear them all the time IRL. My only quibble is that they don't have front pockets, but I could see how those could look bunchy or weird. The denim is just perfect—it's soft and stretchy, but not so thin that it's see-through—and I think the cut is super flattering. Logic would lead. you to believe that because these culottes are on the wider side, you'd want to wear a more fitted top with them, but I think they look better with a boxy or even oversized top. I think they'll be great with sweaters in the winter, and yep, I plan on wearing them all year long! These run true to size (I'm in a 28). 

Like padded-shoulder tops, I've also seen a lot of the Loewe basket bag in my Instagram feed, and while $450 is not a lot to pay for a designer bag in the grand scheme of things, it seems like a bit much for a straw tote, albeit one with leather trim. So I found this pretty darn good knockoff on Mango for $60 (and yes, it's on sale too!) and I love it so much, I wish I had bought it earlier in the season, as it's become my go-to bag. It has an inner cotton pouch so you don't lose anything through the cracks, and I like mine even more than the Loewe because it has a detachable shoulder/crossbody strap. Now might be a good time to mention that Mango is KILLING IT lately; it has eclipsed Zara as my higher-end high-street store. Granted, one of my New Year's resolutions was to stop shopping at Zara, but guess I've just replaced one addiction with another ;)

Speaking of addictions, shoes used to be one of them, but as I mentioned a couple weeks ago, I recently realized that I hadn't bought any new shoes in months. And again, September feels like a bit late in the season to buy sandals, but like I said, it's still warm here, and Madewell sent me a promo that I couldn't resist. (Of course now they're even more on sale—that figures!) And speaking of trends, these are definitely a play on the Teva look that's been all the rage, but with the leopard-print haircalf straps and smooth sole, they're a little more refined. My bunions love that the straps are adjustable and my arthritic 42-year-old fingers love that they're Velcro. What surprised me is that the leopard print has a pink tinge to it, so it kind of doesn't go with anything, which means it goes with everything in a sense. Although I did play it safe by wearing these with simple black and white. 

OUTFIT DETAILS: Mango shoulder pad tee | Paige Nellie culotte jeans | Mango straw tote | Madewell Maggie sandals | Anthropologie letter necklace


Laura B said...

$60 is a much more acceptable price for a straw bag! I wouldn't be able to pay over $400 either! I think you look great in this sleeveless tee!

Shelbee on the Edge said...

I really like this look, Cheryl! And honestly, you have very lovely arms! They look perfectly toned to me. But I am not the biggest fan of my arms either. Ha. These jeans are super cute and I am loving your sandals, too. Thanks for linking.


stylesplash@live.co.uk said...

Such a lovely, casual chic outfit! Zara and Mango always have great stuff, making it hard to resist buying fast fashion...I'm constatntly tempted! Thanks for linking up!

Emma xxx

Mica said...

This is such a cute look on you and for what it's worth I've never thought a bad thing about your arms - like the rest of you they are beautiful! :) It's good you got to try out a few trendy pieces, and that bag works really well in this outfit too!

Hope that you had a great weekend :) Thanks for joining the #WeekdayWearLinkup!

Away From Blue