How Do People in Fashion Keep Their Coats on Their Shoulders?

This cogitation could have probably been called “Are All Bloggers Armless?” or, “Why Do Editors Hate Sleeves?” But we decided the most fun question was the HOW.

If you’ve ever clicked through a slideshow on street style or breathed near anyone who has, then you know that the fastest way to get shot is to wear your coat over your shoulders, SANS SLEEVES.

And if you’re someone who has said, “Hmmm…that looks kind of cool, I’m going to give that a go today,” and then tried it, and then tried to…I don’t know, DO THINGS, you surely must know that it’s basically one-hundred percent impossible to move your arms without the stupid coat falling off.

So how is it that in all those street style photos, the Jackets-On-Shoulders Club is alway seen hailing cabs and waiving enthusiastically? I once saw ADR do the entire Macarena with a leather bomber perched atop her shoulders, and not once did the jacket slip. Not even a bit. And you really need full expression of upper appendage for that dance.

HOW, we ask, do the street style stars and editors and bloggers keep their damn coats on without putting their arms through the sleeves?

One theory is that each person hires two teeny tiny little aliens to sit on their shoulders and hold the coats in place manually. The other theory is they get shoulder implants — really pointy ones so that the jacket can catch and not fall.

We really can’t think of any other possible explanation, so maybe you can. (Unless, of course, you agree with the aliens, in which case we agree with you.)

So what is it, detectives? We know you’re already on the case. Have at it in the comments so we can start wearing our coats as capes while doing an interpretive version of “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” without worrying about said coat falling into the subway tracks.

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  • Raquel

    I WAS JUST WONDERING THIS! Is it tape? glue? Magnets? Invisible String? Aliens seem to be the only reasonable explanation.

  • grace kane

    Velcro or small easily unhooked, hooks? BIG bony shoulders…

  • akR Styles

    Super human fashion sense…or maybe a super tiny intern 🙂

  • They probably bought jackets/coats/overthings one size bigger.

  • deb

    1st thought–duck tape? 2nd thought–I would not like to be the one sitting behind Solange (in all her fabulousness) during fashion week.

    • Imani Jade

      Um thats not Solange if youre refering to the pic up top

      • Imani Jade


    • afish

      haha… that’s not solange, it’s julia sarr-jamois.

    • Kim P.


    • Missgee62

      apparently you don’t know your black people. we dont all look alike.

  • portuguese girl

    I guess it takes practice. My grandmother and grandfather do it almost every day without letting it fall. It’s very common among Portuguese old people to wear their coats like that (and Spanish and Italian too, by the way). It’s a habit like any other.

  • Fleur †

    i think they the don’t move their arms the hoooooooooooooooole day!

  • chlow

    Isabel Marant new winter collection has a jacket with special straps on it… AMAZING

    • Amelia Diamond

      omg like a coat backpack?!

      • Sally Esposito

        that is genius!

    • Giulia

      I just bought that jacket this morning! I was like “what the hell are these random strap things? Are they a second belt?” Now I know! Thanks!

      • se10

        can you post a picture of what they look like please?!?!?!?

  • Стефани Табаковска
  • Diane

    This is apparently not a new enigma!

    I find it cool!

  • Issa

    :))) Good question. Well, since they are some sort of fashion gods, maybe they have super powers. We, mortals, will never discover their secret.


  • Elena

    I don’t believe in aliens.. maybe Oompa Loompas??

  • thestylecrusader

    Uggghhhh. I have tried to wear my coat/jacket as a cape countless times and I totally agree it is impossible. I think they all invest in heavy duty double sided tape to stick it in place. There is clearly no other way. xx

    • cece

      Bought some ds tape for a project, thought i’d use the left-over for some effortless-hanging-of-jacket-on shoulders

  • D

    I think I know how you can do this. I am a lawyer in Canada and we wear robes to court. There are strings on the inside of each shoulder that you take from the top of your shoulders under your arms, and tie behind your back. The robes have sleeves but they easily slip off your shoulders without them. Eureka?

    • Amelia Diamond

      total eureka!

  • Laura

    its me (Laura Likette) on the right 🙂

    • Amelia Diamond


      • Fashionaltitude

        Yes! How do you do that? aliens or what???

    • ℒℴѵℯ ..Nabil

      Lovely Layering skills ma’am! I would make sure to look for more of your photos.

  • Katie

    Maybe it’s like in the show Silk on Masterpiece where they have suits underneath their judge capes (as suggested earlier). I would buy that Isabel Marant coat/cape with straps…. if I could afford it or maybe hire a tailor.

  • a.n.a.l.u

    I knoooow! I swear i tried so many ways to do the same and is impossible!!!, the only way is wearing some extra sizes but still, is a mistery. Something is not matching…


  • Liliana

    Lol, always had the same question. I think Garance Doré once talked about the whole art of doing it without the coat falling off..s part of the trick is wearing over sized coats

  • Iréne Shûkriya-Dutta Scharief

    I think their coats are 1 or 2 sizes bigger.

  • I’d sew in elastic straps if I ever though about walking down the street with it on me i know i’d need help keeping it up.

  • ℒℴѵℯ ..Nabil

    Who is she on the far right?

  • Brie

    extra large coats on extra small shoulders. the only time it works for me is if i’ve bought a coat a size too big, or two sizes, and then wore it like this. but if i try it with my denim jacket? uh, nah that is not working.

  • Hehe, coats on shoulders truly do scream fashion, noone in “real life” does it, it’s way too impractical… Looks cool though!

  • guest nay-sayer

    It looks pretentious anyway. It just says “I’m waaay too cool to have to do anything that involves the top parts of my arms…envy me!”

    ADR’s jacket was probably custom made to LOOK like it was just sitting on her shoulders.

  • Greta Frighi

    Hilarious post! 🙂 Damn, you’ve got a point though – I would say it’s either oversized or taped 😉

    xxx Greta

  • rose


  • Mem

    Fashion equivalent of glove clips on the jackets of kids

  • I’ve tried. I’ve failed. I’ll end up cutting off my arms (a la Van Gogh) for the coat’s sake. (I probably won’t.)

    Your Friend, Jess

  • It’s called “posture”.

  • I’ve started wearing my blazers and coats like this a lot now. I simply safety pin them to whatever I’m wearing underneath, so I can even get the flying cape effect without having anything fall off! and if I ever need to actually put it on, I just stick my arms in the sleeves and voila!

  • riddhi

    fashion tape / buy one size too big!

  • It’s hysterical that you just posted I’ve been looking through street style photos I was wondering the same thing. Then as I prepared my outfit for tomorrow I decided to jump on the armless wagon and throw a jacket over my shoulders to see how that would feel and I’m like, “No way am I running through the city like this…” How DO they do it?

  • Lydia

    Ah! Yes finally this post is addressing something I have wondered for months. I’ve tried to do it, and it just makes me look like I’m a giant wearing a tiny coat, or that I’m the Hunchback of Notre Dame. Either way, not good. So glad I’m not the only one and have some shoulder issue that I need to get sorted before I even think about taking a successful photo!

  • Hannah

    I am cracked lolll! Actually I only read few sentence. But I really thought that I was going to design a jacket with a rubber ban inside the jacket, cuz it’s really hard to put on the shoulder like that, I tried!!!

  • Em Berlin

    I have no idea, I tried to do it once with a midi length white trench and caught my reflection in a shop window. I looked like a hunchback. Then there are people who stand around pre-fashion shows perfectly straight, instagramming on their iphones and still- have a bomber sitting (not sliding) off their shoulders; magnetic bra straps.

  • Heather

    It’s not that hard

  • barbara

    OMG I can’t work that out either! I am so uncoordinated and expressive that it would just slide right off my useless shoulders. Waah.

  • Deema J. Al Saīdi

    Jelly boobs placed instead of shoulder pads

  • Alice

    My only guess is duck tape… I just try to limit my movements and when I do have to move my arm up for some reason, I just push my shoulder upwards in an unnatural position… Yes, I really wonder why the heck we do this

  • rachel strugatz

    duct tape?

    • Leandra Medine



    Armless bloggers 🙂

  • Isla

    The material of the coat should be heavy…other than that, as someone said below, I don’t believe in Aliens either, so it’s either Thing 1 or Thing 2. or maybe both

  • Galdon

    Safety Pins on the other side of the coat would be my guess.

  • I’ve sewn stretch elastic loops inside some of my favorite jackets to put my arms through while the sleeves remain free! Also, if you safety pin your jacket on the inside under each collar bone to your top/blouse/dress, it won’t budge and no one’s the wiser!