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When it comes to halter tops and dresses, there are 3 types of women: The ones who look stunning in them, the ones who don’t (but wanna figure it out), and the ones who are still unsure. This article will help the second figure it out and the third to finally decide which halter designs to wear. Let’s start with the most common questions: Do halter tops look good on broad shoulders? Don’t they make the shoulders look even broader?

Most halter tops make the shoulders look broader. But NOT all of them. Some halters do the exact opposite which means they camouflage the broadness of the shoulders and make the wearer look slimmer. As to what those halter designs are, you’ll find out in this article.

How to pick shoulder-slimming halter tops and dresses

If you have either a pear or a lean hourglass body, you need not worry as you can technically wear any halters you like and expect to look great in them.

If you, however, have one these body types, then this article is for you: inverted triangle, rectangle, apple, plus size hourglass, and anyone who has big, flabby arms.

1. Pick wide-strapped halters over tiny ones.

The wider the straps of a halter, the more slimming they are for the shoulders. The thinner they are, the more broadening they become.

If you’re a tall and a lean apple or rectangle, you’ll likely get away with tiny halter straps.

But if you’re an inverted triangle, then it’s safer to just avoid them altogether, especially if a halter doesn’t meet the second and third criteria discussed below.

2. Pay attention to the straps’ starting point.

There are two designs of halter straps: the one that starts from the middle of the chest and the one that starts from the armpit. If you want to slim down your shoulders, choose the first and avoid the second.

Take a look at these two halters and see for yourself.

The first top: By putting the straps in the middle of the chest, the focus was drawn in the middle rather than on the expanse of the shoulders. As a result, the shoulders appeared slimmer than they actually are.

The second top: The second top’s straps, however, started at the armpit. This placement not only emphasized the shoulders but also broadened them.

3. Look for halter tops with looser waist area.

This technique works like a charm even for an inverted triangle body which has the broadest shoulders of all female body shapes.

When a halter top is looser around the midsection, it cancels out the broadness of the shoulders and creates a balance within the outfit. The opposite is true if you’re wearing a halter top with a tight-fitting midsection.

Can you judge which of these two halter tops is more slimming for the shoulders and which is more broadening?

The answer is obvious: The first halter top is more slimming than the second because it meets two of the three criteria discussed above:

  • Criteria #2: The straps of the first halter top sit in the middle— which is slimming— while the other tops’ are near the armpit—which is broadening.
  • Criteria #3: The first top is looser at waist area— which cancels out the broadness of the shoulders and creates balance—while the second top is tight at the waist. While this slimmed down the waist of the model, this also broadened her shoulders due to contrast.

But what about criteria 1 which states that wide straps are more slimming than thin ones? Doesn’t the second top have wider straps than the first?

While that is, in fact, correct, that still doesn’t cancel out the 2 out of 3 criteria that were met by the first top.

In other words, the more of the three above-mentioned criteria a halter piece meets, the more slimming and more flattering it is for broad-shouldered women.

The next tips are merely guidelines instead of rules. You don’t necessarily have to follow them to a T. They do help slim down the shoulders a little, although not that dramatically.

4. Wear solid-colored halter tops with printed bottoms to downplay your shoulders.

To downplay a body part, you need to highlight another. In the case of a broad-shouldered body, the best section to highlight are the hips.

Doing so will not only downplay the shoulders but also create balance to a top-heavy figure. This is because dark, solid colors (like black) are slimming while prints and busy patterns are eye-catching and widening.

Note: This doesn’t mean you should always avoid printed halter tops. As long as your bottom outshines your top, then it’s okay to wear a printed top with a solid-colored bottom.

One way to do this is by wearing voluminous skirts and flared pants. In the case of swimwear, a bikini bottom with ruffles and embellishments at the hips (to widen them) will do the job.

If you need a more guide based specifically on your body type, refer to this guide.

5. Avoid halter tops with horizontal patterns.

Horizontal stripes and patterns will only emphasize your width and make you look shorter and wider. Supermodel tall ladies can get away with them.

But if you’re top-heavy and average height and wanna slim down your shoulders, then avoid horizontal lines and patterns at all costs.

6. Wear diagonal or vertical patterns as your bottoms.

As opposed to horizontal lines, diagonal and vertical lines are slimming.

Diagonal lines slim down by distracting the eyes from the actual width of the body. Vertical lines, on the other hand, emphasize the length and downplay the width, thus making the wearer look taller and slimmer.

7. Take note of these universally slimming designs

Wearing a halter top or dress when you’re broad-shouldered will never feel intimidating if you know these universally slimming designs. Whatever your body type is, rely on these designs to never let you down.

  • A-line dresses
  • Peplum tops
  • Handkerchief tops
  • Fit and flare dresses

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