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Trying Trends – Dresses with Padded Shoulders & Cut Out Sleeves

Welcome to another round of “trying trends” here on Have Clothes, Will Travel! Today I’m trying dresses with padded shoulders and cut out sleeves. And, as always, I’m sharing my honest thoughts. (If you missed my previous “trying trends” post, click here.)

I live in Wisconsin, and our state is slowly starting to open back up as of last week. However, I’m still hunkered down at home for now. I’m glad small businesses in my community are able to open their doors, but I’m not quite ready to resume “going back to normal” (whatever that means) just yet. So, as with my last “trying trends” post – these dresses were only worn around my home, and not out and about (yet).

I would love to hear your thoughts on these looks in the comments section at the end of the post. Enjoy!

1.) Trying a Bodycon Mini Dress With Shoulder Pads & Cut Out Sleeves 

black dress with padded shoulders and cut out sleeves

Initial reactions about my dress with shoulder pads and cut out sleeves…

This dress is WILD. If I were on the set of “The Fifth Element” – I don’t think I would have looked out of place! Come to think of it, most of the dresses featured in this post wouldn’t have looked too out of place in that movie. The Fifth Element is a sci-fi movie from the 90s that has so-so ratings, but it’s one of my guilty pleasures. The costume design is CRAZY – in the best possible way. (Jean Paul Gaultier did all the design for it.) 

…I digress! So, this dress is very interesting and rather futuristic-looking, in my opinion. And while the padded shoulders are a different touch, they’re not quite as voluminous as the shoulder pads from the 80s. The cut out sleeves are unique too… but these are kind of annoying to wear as they slip down as I move around in them (and it looks a bit funny). 

My husband’s initial reaction to this dress was… “Whoa, is it fashion week or something? Can they still do that right now?” No, hun. It’s not fashion week, haha.

Trying a Shoulder Pads Bodycon Mini Dress With Cut Out Sleeves
Verdict on the dress with shoulder pads and cut out sleeves 

It’s unique and interesting, and I’m all for crazy styles – especially if they resemble something out of a sci-fi movie! That being said, I’m just not sure where I would wear this dress. It’s something that I would have to have a very specific event for, I think. 

This dress be fun for a night out with the girls dancing or clubbing…something along those lines. However, I’m not a dancing and clubbing gal… My idea of going out in my 30s is sitting on my butt at a restaurant with a glass of wine. And this just isn’t the type of dress I would wear for that. 

I also think it’s kind of a lot going on. Maybe if it just had the shoulder pads or just the cut out sleeves it would look a little better? It’s also not the most flattering dress in my closet. 

Click to shop:

Dress c/o* | Booties (similar) | Necklace (similar) | Sunglasses 

2.) Trying a Black One Shoulder Padded Bodycon Mini Dress
Black One Shoulder Padded Bodycon Mini Dress

Initial reactions about my one-shoulder dress with a shoulder pad…

I feel a lot more comfortable in this dress. This dress “stays put” a lot better than the previous one. I also like the looks of the one-shoulder a little better than the cut outs of the last dress. 

Verdict on the one-shoulder padded bodycon dress…

This dress is still rather “out there.” But I like it! I can see getting more use out of this type of dress than the previous one.

I really don’t mind these smaller shoulder pads. They give the dress a unique shape. Although looking at these photos, the shoulder pad can look a little weird from certain angles… 

Click to shop:

Dress c/o* | Pumps | Necklace (similar) 

3.) Trying a Black Velvet Bardot Wire Plunge Bodycon Mini Dress

Trying a Black Velvet Bardot Wire Plunge Bodycon Mini Dress

Initial Reactions to This Velvet Bodycon Dress…

Ok, so the photos make this dress look way sexier than it is… I think. When wearing this dress I didn’t feel quite as scantily clad as these photos make it look!

I also really like the way the “sleeves” on this dress lay. It makes it look as though I am wearing a sort of shawl. The sleeves are cut out so the shoulders and neckline are exposed, but they are attached and cover my elbows. It’s an interesting design! 

Trying a Black Velvet Bardot Wire Plunge Bodycon Mini Dress

Verdict on This Velvet Bodycon Dress…

This is a dress that I can see being great around the holidays. However, I live in Wisconsin and would need to wear a dress with more ability to layer at that time of year. (I would freeze to death in this dress otherwise!) 

I don’t really have anything against this dress. It’s far better quality than I thought it would be, and the sleeves are fun! I think someone in a warmer climate would enjoy this one more than me. 

Click to shop:

Dress c/o* | Pumps | Necklace (similar) 

Trying a Cape Mini Dress With Shoulder Pads

Black Cape Extreme Sleeve Bodycon Mini Dress

Initial Reactions to This Cape Dress With Shoulder Pads…

If there is one dress that I think shoulder pads are meant for, it’s definitely a cape dress! Cape dresses are a weakness of mine, I own entirely too many. I do like that this one has a little more structured shape through the shoulders.

But WOWZERS! This dress is SHORT in the back. It’s not as obvious because of the cape, but I don’t think I even have shorts that are as short as this dress. Any sudden movement and I would have exposed a butt cheek! 

 Verdict on This Cape Dress With Shoulder Pads…

I really wish this one was longer!! I also wish it stayed put a little better. Every time I moved the zipper on this dress would twist and threaten to expose either my top or bottom half. This dress had SO much potential, but unless I am going to be going somewhere that requires me to stand and not move a muscle, I don’t foresee wearing this dress again.

If I come across another cape dress like this that’s longer with little shoulder pads, though, I will be giving it a go! 

Click to shop:

Dress c/o* | Booties (similar) | Necklace (similar) | Sunglasses 

Black Cape Extreme Sleeve Bodycon Mini Dress

Overall, I don’t mind dresses with shoulder pads… but it’s not a style I’m overly crazy about. Other than maybe for a cape dress, I don’t see myself purchasing dresses with shoulder pads. For cut out sleeves, this is a style I do like… depending on how the sleeves are cut out. I don’t especially love the cutouts on the first dress, but I could see getting more dresses like the 3rd one or where it’s just cut out around the elbow.
I’m curious what are your thoughts on dresses with shoulder pads and cut out sleeves? Let me know in the comments! 

*Thank you to Femme Luxe for sponsoring this post. As always, all opinions are my own and I am never compensated for a positive review.

Trying Trends - Dresses with Padded Shoulders & Cut Out Sleeves

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  1. I love when you share these posts, it’s so fun to see you style the different trends. You styled them all beautifully. I especially love the one sleep. So chic!

  2. Wow these dresses are all super fun, sexy and unique and show off your amazing legs. Would love to own something in a cape style like a blazer and a dress. I think the cape-style dress needed a built-in shorts underneath it. My favorite is the one with the single sleeve – stunning. Thank you for such a nice thorough review. Some of these would be great incorporated into Halloween outfits or for a sexy date night out. =)

  3. I like the cape one because it will stay in place until having a scarf or something!!
    If you like the first dress, I bet it’d be easy to cut off those sleeves?? Then they wouldn’t move around, haha.

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