Confession time: when the muscle-tee trend first made a blip on the fashion radar, I had mixed feelings. On the one hand, I was here for it. (As someone who credits Working Girl as one of their favorite movies and almost exclusively listens to '80s music, I'm always secretly looking for an excuse to rock some shoulder pads.) But when I went online to snag a little bit of the retro magic, I was flabbergasted by the price. Nearly $100 for a tee? I love keeping up with the trends as much as the next person, but that sticker shock was a little . . . well, shocking.
But a few months ago, it finally dawned on me to check Amazon for a budget-friendly dupe. Sure, Amazon might be where you order your selfie light and drawer organizers; however, it's also a great place to stock up on trendy pieces for less. As luck would have it, I was able to find the Meladyan Solid Cotton Padded Shoulder Sleeveless Tee ($19-$20) for a fraction of the price.
Don't let its exaggerated shoulders fool you: this dupe fits and feels just like every other tee I own. The only difference is that this shirt is slightly nipped at the waist, so I would recommend tucking it into your favorite pair of baggy jeans. But unlike the other T-shirts I own, this one's surprisingly elevated. I can just slip this top on, add some pants, and instantly feel like a cool girl. (I always wear this top with my favorite joggers when I travel, and I'd like to think I make my flights' best dressed lists every time.)
But what I love most about this shirt is the quality. Sure, $20 might be expensive for a simple tee, but it's on the cheaper side for this trend. I was a little worried it wouldn't hold up well in the laundry; however, I'm pleased to report that my skepticism has been left unfounded. Not only has this shirt retained its shape after a few washes, but the shoulder pads are also intact.
Oh, and did I mention it comes in a bunch of colors? As of now, I only have this shirt in white, but I'm definitely filling my cart with a few more. I mean, when you find something that's cute, comfortable, and chic, it's a no-brainer.