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How do suit makers change shoulder shape?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I've been wondering lately how different suits end up with different shoulder shapes. For example, you've got the squarer Canali and the very soft shoulder Oxxford. The Oxxford has not only a rounder shoulder, but also is more sloped downward from the collar to the sleevehead. WHat accounts for these differences? Is it merely the padding -- i.e. Canali has more padding in the shoulder and, more importantly, at the sleeve cap? Or is it more complicated -- does it have to do with the way the body of the suit is attached to the collar?
post #2 of 5
Armani's natural-fit suits have the stitching (neck to shoulder) slanting towards the back as opposed to straight along the shoulder. I was told that this type of construction makes the suit slope more downwards. There's a name for it, but I can't remember it (named after the tailor).
post #3 of 5
I don't think it has to do with the amount of padding so much.. I have a YSL sport coat where the shoulders are very narrow, yet very sharp and flat, they are practically horizontal. After feeling it thoroughly, there is minimal padding in the shoulders of this coat.
post #4 of 5
the biggest factor in the shape of the shoulder is the pattern used, and hence, the way the fabric is cut. when someone has one shoulder higher than the other, the proper way to balance things out is in the drafting of the pattern, though some tailors will simply add more padding in the lower shoulder. i've been told this is a short cut.
post #5 of 5
I kept noticing during last night's debate that Kerry's left and right shoulders had two different shapes.  I'd think if that were a function of his physique, a decently tailored suit should correct for that.   I realize that it might not be a good idea politically for someone in Kerry's position to wear a suit that is ostentatiously bespoke, but one could certainly have one made that fits properly yet foregoes the more obvious details that might betray its pedigree.
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