I know if is largely dependant upon the body being suited but I have heard various recommendations and am not sure who to believe. Â I have an "athletic build" with broader but sloping shoulders and a much narrower waist. Â I have had tailors whose opinions I respect encourage me in opposite directions on this matter. Â The arguments are for padded shoulders to "create a crisper line, increase appearance of height" while others seem to be vehemently opposed to padding and feel that a padded shoulder is a shortcut. Â The tailor that I use encouraging the squared shoulder is, in my opinion, one of the best - top notch quality, details, etc. Â He is willing to cut the suit softer but has strongly recommended otherwise. Â I tend to prefer the softer look but I can appreciate the argument and logic for the more squared / padded approach. Â I know it is largely a personal preference but as this seems to be a good forum of informed consumers I wanted to hear the opinions / experiences of others.
My two cents on shoulder pads -- I also have an athletic build and am short, too. Â Unfortunately, I don't wear suits very much, but the padding on all my suits, off-the-rack, MTM, and custom is a little more than I think I need. Â I can get away with it when wearing the suit alone, but where it really becomes apparent is wearing an overcoat over a suit. Â My shoulders become so pronounced, I ending up looking like I have a square torso. Â Whatever the supposed aesthetic benefits of pronounced shoulders, I assure you that the square torso look doesn't work for me. One thing I've noticed is that padded shoulders on suits tend to make my upper body look smaller than it is. Â It sounds counter-intuitive, but I think a more natural sloping shoulder line shows a muscular shape better. Â Shoulder pads straighten out my shoulder line and give the impression of a longer, slimmer, less developed torso than what I actually have. Â I'm interested in good proportions more than anything, so my next purchase will probably have shoulder pads, but I'll ask them to tone them down just a bit. Regards, dan