"You talkin' to me?"
Shoulder pads have been in and out of the closet since the 1930s. During the World War II era they became popular due to the militarization of women's fashion and perhaps nobody from this era personified the look better than Lauren Bacall. After the war women's fashion in particular took a turn back toward a more relaxed profile and big shoulders were out.

All that changed in the 80s however when shoulder pads returned with a vengeance. New Wave bands used the look to separate themselves visually from their 70s forebearers. Women used them to achieve a more aggressive personal silhouette as they worked their way up the corporate ladder and TV shows like "Dynasty" made shoulder pad driven formal wear seem like a must have. And speaking of Dynasty; perhaps no 80s star personified the look to a greater extent than Joan Collins, who seemed to have been born into them. They lent her distant, seductive aura a sense of man-eating menace that was emulated (with varying degrees of success) from coast to coast for the better part of the decade.