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Image / Fashion

This high street t-shirt is the trending top of the summer

by Holly O'Neill
20th May 2020



This one small detail has a big impact

Set to be this summer’s most popular top, meet the sleeveless padded shoulder t-shirt.

The humble t-shirt has had a modern update for SS20. Shoulder pads are the latest of the late ’80s, early ’90s trends to make their way around the fashion cycle again, alongside scrunchies, Birkenstocks, dad runners, bicycle shorts, fanny packs and virtually every other trend you hate that you love at the moment. First, it was a microtrend that started from a perpetually sold-out tee from The Frankie Shop, now overly stuffed shoulders are creeping their way all over the high street.

All it takes is a rounded neckline, oversized shoulders, a sleeveless shape and a muted colour palette of black, white, grey or beige. Add layered gold chains for an elevated way to make jeans and a tee luxe and modern, or it makes for an especially flattering silhouette with high waisted trousers.

Mango’s version of the padded shoulder t-shirt is particularly great and comes in three colourways—black, white and striped— but muscle tees are also available from The Row, if you’re looking for luxury, or Zara, if the budget doesn’t stretch.

Looking to trial the trend before investing? Everything I’ve learned of late, from making the perfect carbonara to the easiest way to apply eyeliner, has come from TikTok, including this hack for padded shoulders – tuck your t-shirt sleeve into your bra strap. Honestly, there is nothing a teenager on TikTok hasn’t found a hack for.

Keep scrolling to see how to style padded shoulder tees, then check out our edit of the best ones to buy now.







Shop our edit of padded shoulder muscle tees below.

Related: Zara’s sister brand Uterqüe is having a sale – here are our top 14 picks

Mango shoulder pad t-shirt, €15.99

Mango shoulder pad t-shirt, €15.99

Mango shoulder pad striped t-shirt, €15.99

The Frankie Shop cotton jersey tank, €84

The Frankie Shop cotton jersey tank, €84

Zara sleeveless top, €5.95

Bershka pleated shoulder t-shirt, €9.99

Photography by @emilisindlev.

Read more: 11 pieces from Zara’s new in page for the woman who likes to keep things simple

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