How to Deal with Shoulder Nipples

So. This falls under the category of “Things You May Have Known Already.” But when I figured it out for myself, I felt like I had solved some sort of long-standing fashion mystery and I did a dance of joy. It was a short dance, but still. And just in case you aren’t in on the secret, here’s a short video on how to eliminate the dreaded … shoulder nipples. (And an explanation of what those are, too.)

P.S. Since I could only find one garment in my closet with this affliction, I had to do this video in a single take. Which explains why I mutter about “sticky-uppy bits” instead of just saying, ya know, “protrusions.”

P.P.S. I realize in retrospect that this technique would probably work fine on most sweaters, even though I advise against it in the vid. Since I fold all of mine I’ve never had to try it out, but so long as you’re not dealing with something really diaphanous and delicate, you should be OK.

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45 Responses to “How to Deal with Shoulder Nipples”

  1. Miss Lilah

    A great tip thank you…. but more importantly awwwwww you’re too cute!!!

  2. Lynn

    Thanks, Sal! I actually, have two or three shirts that I really love but don’t like to wear because they have developed *shoulder nipples* and I couldn’t figure out how to fix them! I’m going to try this tonight when I get home πŸ™‚

  3. Jen on the Edge

    Very nice video.

    To avoid the dreaded shoulder nipple altogether, hang knits on padded sweater hangers. If you don’t have any, pad a regular hanger with a cut-up cast-off towel or wash cloth.

  4. unmitigated me

    Even better -use padded shoulder hangers, and hang the items inside out! So if there is any nipple-y bit, it’s inverted. That sounds a little uncomfortable, though.

  5. Anne

    I use wrinkle release spray to get mine out – it does the same job as water, and adds a clean smell πŸ™‚

  6. Sal

    Now, when you all say “padded hangers,” are you talking poofy lingerie hangers or just the fuzzy ones? Because the former are so bulky and the latter don’t work for me!

    The steamer will totally work, too, if you’ve got one. I imagine the hot steam is best kept well away from anything wooly, though!

  7. Beckee

    Haha! I have always referred to this problem as “shoulder boobies!”. Thanks for the tip!

  8. Anamarie

    I use a spray bottle with water to tame the shoulder nipples, and then use a hairdryer to make sure they disappear. I also use a steamer, if I was going to steam the garment anyway. I try to hang knits on padded hangers that I buy at Marshalls. You’re right, though, Sal- they take up a lot of closet space. For every padded hanger, I could hang three slim hangers.

  9. Pscott

    I throw my nippley sweaters in the dryer for a minute or two and when they get warm, I just smooth out the shoulders. I’m going to try the water trick though, to see if that works better.

  10. Karissa

    Phenomenal! I’ll share this with friends and colleagues too. At work, we tend to share sweaters with those who were unfortunate enough to make it all the way to work without recognizing the protrusions gracing their scapulae. Alas, a no-sweaters-required method! Thanks for sharing.

  11. Dee

    Grreat ideas! I have done a couple things to try to avoid the shoulder nipple or any funny indentations from hangers: One, if I know I am going to wear something the next day I will take it out and hang it on a 3-D type hanger to get out any bumps or wrinkles.(having a closet full of clothes on those puffy hangers would not work for me either — space issue) The other thing I have done more oftne now, however, is to just fold sweaters and knits over a hanger or fold on a shelf/drawer. I know its better to do that anyway with knits but I was not always that good at doing that. Its still helps to hang them up the night before however because folding them sometimes leaves ugly wrinkles, even if I am careful how I fold it. Most of you probably knew these tricks, I had not tried the water idea and I like it! I also like the idea of hanging it inside out — ingenious!

  12. Linda

    I wish I had seen this before I left for work. Um … I’ll be in the ladies’ for a while, brb.

    (And you look so different in motion than in a still photo!)

  13. DianaH

    This is totally not the point of the video (which was indeed informative!) but I expected your voice to be higher–and I love that it’s sort of lower, because I too have a low-ish lady voice, which people are sometimes surprised by.

    Lovely voice, helpful video, fun new terminology. Good morning!

    • Elizabeth

      Do you think we all imagine Sally talks like us? Because I have a high voice and was surprised to hear that Sally had a low one. It’s a cool voice, but I always read her blog posts in my head in my own voice, so it was instructive to realize that’s not what it sounds like.

      • Elizabeth

        The low voice also goes well with the edgy/rocker persona Sally sometimes has. I’d feel like a phony with my Laura Ingalls Wilder voice and motorcycle boots, but she makes it work.

  14. FutureLint

    Ha! I always just called them “hanger marks” but I’m totally changing my vocabulary – shoulder nipples is WAY better! I don’t have this problem too much as I don’t hang any shirts or sweaters, but it does happen to a few of my dresses though!

  15. Sarah

    Simultaneously adorable and informative! No more shoulder nipples!

    (I also love your accent–though I’m sure you get that a lot.)

  16. Autumn

    Sally! I’d wondered what your voice was like and I got it right! (That is less a testament to my psychic skills and more a testament to the fact that you’re genuine on this blog and elsewhere.) Thanks for the advice, and lovely to see/hear you “live.”

  17. Ava

    I really enjoy how enthusiastic you are about saying (with a slight frisson of alarm) “shoulder nipples.” Also, “sticky-uppy bits” is a perfectly reasonable description. Very British. πŸ˜‰

  18. Hetty

    A steamer shouldn’t be a problem with wool so long as you don’t add agitation or a ph change. So long as it’s just steam you should be safe.

  19. T.

    Great tip! Thanks! I also hang my shirts inside-out in an effort to avoid those sticky-uppy parts πŸ™‚

  20. Devon

    Great advice! Sometimes the best solutions are the simplest, amirite? πŸ™‚

    On my super delicate items (like my beloved cashmere sweater), I pad my hangers with a little bit of white tissue paper, and I find that that decreases the chance of shoulder nipples.

    And, by the way, the term “shoulder nipples” totally made my day.

  21. Molly

    I wear knits almost exclusively, and I have narrow shoulders so I always end up with “shoulder nipples” in the upper arms–or I used to, but now I have a couple sets of child-size hangers that I put in all my long-sleeved shirts and some of my sweaters. They fill out the shoulders but nothing more, and I guess they’re not so pokey as to create “nipples” along the shoulder seams like maybe wire hangers or something else might.

    Since my shirt/top hangers all look the same except for size (they’re all the plastic tube kind, in white), I get a uniform look and just have to pay attention to which size I’m using. I don’t know if this would work for others, but it completely does the job for me.

  22. meld

    i agree with DianaH about your voice. I expected to be higher. But it has a wonderful smoky quality. Does Sally’s voice sound like Anne hathaway’s to anyone else?

  23. Perfect for Petites

    Thanks for the tip! I didn’t know they’re called “shoulder nipples” but I have a few tops I haven’t worn because they have them – will try this later and see if it works!

  24. Sigi

    Have developed belated girl-crush, thanks to Ms Sally’s sultry voice!

    And good tip! I am often cursed with shoulder-nipple. Will have to try your technique out v soon.

  25. Lorena

    I had absolutely no idea they were called shoukder nipples-…
    thank you for the tip, it will come in handy.

  26. GinaMarie

    The term “shoulder nipple” is so smile worthy, I want to find a jersey dress in my closet that has some and just wear it so I can use the term all day!

    Thanks for the tip and cracking me up at the same time!

  27. ABCD for Michelle

    Both hysterical and informative. I go through all sorts of craziness to avoid shoulder nipples–hanging things over the bar of the hanger usually, turning things inside out too. My mom got me some special hangers from Target that are supposed to keep away bumps–Joy Mangano Huggable Shirt Hangers–and I also saw some hangers called “Bumps Be-Gone” (would have been so scary to call them “Nipples Be-Gone”). The Joy Mangano hangers are great, and not all bulky and padded like lingerie hangers–you should try them out!

  28. HappyReader

    You are so lovely…and cute πŸ™‚ The short hair really suits you! It looks so different and more dynamic and 3D lol πŸ™‚

  29. Annie

    Awesome tip, thanks! Also, in addition to being funny in writing, you are also quite funny in person, and I love your voice. >_<

  30. Kathy

    As far as worrying about using a steamer on wool…don’t worry! I work at an Eileen Fisher store and we have many wool sweaters. All product arrives to our store folded and we steam almost everything before putting it on the sales floor on hangers…wool, cashmere, alpaca, mohair, yak…it all gets a shot of steam to remove fold lines.

  31. Mia

    I know it’s been approximately ten thousand internet years since you posted this, but I just wanted to say that I was 100% charmed by your poise and personality on camera. πŸ™‚ It’s so much fun seeing people of whom we normally see static images in action! I’m going to have to go see if you have any other helpful/charming videos…