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Explain what a neopolitan shoulder is

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I just got my suit from WW Chan. Aside from a few changes I want made to my paper pattern -- circumfrence of sleeves (my biceps aren't THAT big), and potentially width of shoulders (they might be 1/8" too wide) -- it's pretty darn good. The front of the jacket is something to brag about for Chan -- really good lapels. It isn't an Oxxford or a Borrelli, but it's really pretty damn good. The VBC Super 130s fabric drapes really well and IMO is pretty close to on par with my Super 120s Tasmanian by Loro Piana. Still, I think Oxxford's Super 110s are more graceful. But that's besides the point. Why I'm posting is because though I like the shape of the Chan cut -- great fit around the hips and lower back, which makes the double vent drape perfectly, which I always find problematic in OTR -- I'd like to change the shoulder a bit. They didn't use a lot of padding, but still used slightly more than what I want. The shoulder is American/British (sort of a hybrid between the two), when what I really desire is a Neopolitan shoulder. I just love the shoulder on Borrelli suits (I've never seen a Kiton, but I imagine that it is the same shoulder as Borrelli). I'm just not sure how to explain it in words to Chan. Would you say that it has basically no padding from the collar to the mid-shoulder, and then has some very light padding at the end of the shoulder and then some roping at the sleeve cap? Is this how to best explain it? BTW, if I end up wanting to get the sleeves on this first suit reduced in circumfrence, is this an easily made alteration?
post #2 of 6
You sound just like me several months ago. I wasn't using Chan, but I was trying to accomplish somewhat the same thing with my local tailor. Sleeve circumference is best changed with the cut right from the beginning. If they don't alter it correctly (kind of tricky), the sleeve won't drape properly as well as it used to. But if they were to do a proper job of it, I imagine they'll take in some of the rear sleeve seam at the forearm. I've never seen a neapolitan shoulder in person, but I imagine what you're describing isn't too far off. It's that pleating effect that's scary to try. I understand the process to be: Cut arms large, baste pleats, handstitch, remove basting, and touch-press pleats very lightly. I doubt my local tailor could do it, simply because he hasn't been trained to. WW Chan might be a different story.
post #3 of 6
Congratulations--glad the suit worked out.  Someone somewhere between the East Coast and West Coast must have placed a lot of orders, or they got a big burst of business, because they're giving me an October ETA for the suit I ordered on their July trip. If you want the Neapolitan shoulder on subsequent suits, you should identify the brand name of the suit that you want them to try duplicating, and email them some photographs. I'm not sure I would try to adjust sleeve circumference on an existing suit, but you can always take the suit back on their next trip, and show they what you'd like done.  They'll do alterations on their own work, though I don't know whether/what they'd charge for it.
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
Yeah, I'm not sure that the sleeve thing is a big enough deal on the existing suit to risk messing up the sleeve drape -- it's a pretty nitpicking thing, but something that I'd certainly tweak on subsequent orders. I emailed them -- they emailed back within 24 hours, which is great -- and I think I'll send them some pictures for comparison when I make the next order. They are sending me some swatches as we speak. Here are some comments: VBC fabric -- excellent drape, very soft. Definitely a 4 season fabric. I may go with a heavier fabric for one of my subsequent orders. Fit -- I fit off the rack very well, but the Chan suit fits much better around the hips than anything else I've tried. There is a nice waist suppression but still the double vents stay nicely closed to create a great line. This is a big difference IMO. The pants also fit absolutely perfectly -- at least 25% better than anything OTR. Also a huge difference -- how the collar lays on the back of the neck. There is no bunching fabric at the neck or anything like that. Really impeccable. Construction -- very good. Great lapels, nice buttonholes (again, not Oxxford, but superior to Canali, etc.), very light canvas makes for a comfortable jacket, very nice linings. Very nice pick stitching as well -- not real apparent, sort of like some of the stuff Oxxford is doing lately. The only thing I can complain about is that I'm pretty certain that Chan can't cut a shoulder like Borrelli/Kiton can. But then again, the price is substatially less (substantially), and the overall fit will be better MTM. I won't totally now disregard OTR suits, but certainly the OTR will have to be close to perfect for me to spend the money there rather than Chan. As far as the shirt, I think that the collar is superior to Jantzen and the fabric is probably marginally better as well. However, I actually think that Jantzen gives you superior options with regard to fit etc. that for me makes Jantzen the better choice, regardless of the price difference. Chan's shirt is really beautiful though. A great deal for $78, which is what I paid.
post #5 of 6
I have nothing to offer in terms of what you requested but I must say your post has made me even more curious to get my first MTM suit done by Chan. It sounds really great.
post #6 of 6
Here are some comments:  VBC fabric -- excellent drape, very soft.  Definitely a 4 season fabric.  I may go with a heavier fabric for one of my subsequent orders.
Check out the VBC worsted flannels. They make a dynamite flannel--I had WW Chan make me a suit in charcoal chalkstripe flannel two years ago and it has been one of my favorite suits ever since, even though I can't wear it all that often in LA weather.
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