Anyone know what causes this shoulder divot?

DonnyDB10

Active Member
Check out this picture of Sebastian Stan wearing a TF suit. Does anyone know what causes this divot on the shoulder & how it’s fixed? I have a suit that does the same exact thing & it drives me crazy.

FlyingHorker

Distinguished Member
Armhole shape

This one keeps coming up and most people are mistaken about the causes so here's a detailed look at what causes shoulder divots or dents.

First, the divots have nothing to do with the width of the shoulder- we often hear people making comments about a shoulder being too wide because it is denting but this is not the cause. Look at old photos of Tommy Nutter's work- you can't get much wider than that and they don't dent.

Second, the divots have nothing to do with the amount of shoulder padding; again, you can tons of it and not have dents, and you can have dents on an unpadded shoulder.

THIS is what causes the divots.

The armhole must be cut in the right shape for the body of the wearer. The sleeve is then cut in a very precise relationship to the armhole. In the figure below, the height of the armhole dictates the height of the sleeve cap and the width of the armhole dictates the width of the sleeve cap. We'll say that distance a-b must be equal to e-f and distance c-d must be equal to g-h (for the super geeks, this is not the actual formula but we'll say it is for simplicity).

If you put on a jacket whose armhole has not been cut wide enough for you, or that the chest pulls because it is too tight (or a host of other reasons the armhole may distort) the armhole will contract- it will get wider and shorter. The sleeve cap is now too long and narrow (a-b is shorter than e-f and c-d is wider than g-h) so it pulls from front to back, and the extra length collapses. THIS is what causes the divot.

The only way to try to remedy this is to remove the sleeve and shorten the cap (cut away excess length); this will, in some cases, be sufficient, but in many cases you also need some extra width to the sleeve cap, which you will not be able to gain since there is no outlet for it. This is neither easy nor cheap so your average dry-cleaner alterations tailor may not be able to do it.

The only way to know if a jacket is gong to do this is to try it on. If it dents, try a size up or try a different maker.

Jaackytung

Active Member
He’s got square shoulders wedged in a suit thats typically really strong in shoulder padding.

DonnyDB10

Active Member
Can you guys explain to me how this problem can be fixed?

breakaway01

Distinguished Member
The explanation posted by @FlyingHorker also discusses how this can be addressed. Short answer is that it is difficult and not always possible with a finished jacket.

Saltman

Member
Wrong suit for his body type

Caustic Man

Stylish Dinosaur
I assume you mean the rippling on his right shoulder? It’s interesting because it’s a problem on the right but not on the left. Possibly due to the way he’s standing, but I would suspect that he has a dropped right shoulder, causing the deltoid area to pitch forward more than the left. Most of the times I’ve seen this it also causes the dropped side to hang lower and straighter than the other. This is a problem for me, too, though to a lesser degree. I have found that changing the sleeve pitch for the affected area, as well as allowing for a little more room in the arm-hole helps. The angle of the shoulder probably isn’t right for him either and a suit that slim doesn’t allow very much room for error.

DonnyDB10

Active Member
Here’s another example... This one looks even worse as it is on both shoulders. Not sure what kind of suit though...

DonnyDB10

Active Member
I suppose my question is: how can this be avoided? This is my biggest issue with suits.

Caustic Man

Stylish Dinosaur
The answer is implied in the response youve received. Buy suits with larger armholes and a sleeve pitch and shoulder angle that’s right for you. You can only figure out what suits work for you through trying them on. Look for a good fit in the shoulders above all else.

DonnyDB10

Active Member
The answer is implied in the response youve received. Buy suits with larger armholes and a sleeve pitch and shoulder angle that’s right for you. You can only figure out what suits work for you through trying them on. Look for a good fit in the shoulders above all else.
But don’t larger armholes equate to lower armholes? I always thought having higher armholes is the way to go.

Caustic Man

Stylish Dinosaur
It can be, but it's not an absolute rule. You need armholes that are big enough for you without being so big that they become cumbersome. The human body has a nearly infinite number of variations and you need to be able to roll with that. Larger armholes is just one possible way to mitigate the problems you are having. I mentioned two other things than could contribute to solving your problem. It's about having a holistic approach.

DonnyDB10

Active Member
It can be, but it's not an absolute rule. You need armholes that are big enough for you without being so big that they become cumbersome. The human body has a nearly infinite number of variations and you need to be able to roll with that. Larger armholes is just one possible way to mitigate the problems you are having. I mentioned two other things than could contribute to solving your problem. It's about having a holistic approach.
Thanks for the explanation! So this really isn’t a shoulder pad problem, but more of a design problem for the wearer?

Caustic Man

Stylish Dinosaur
It's simply to say that if you are having these kinds of results when you put on tailored jackets that something about the proportions of those jackets isn't right for you. It's impossible to make a general judgment on the way all jackets will fit you. But in any case, yes, most people can wear jackets with shoulder padding perfectly well if the other aspects of fit and proportion are done correctly.

Veremund

Distinguished Member
Bottom line is, expect to try on a large number of jackets before finding one that fits the shoulder, neck and chest perfectly. That’s just the nature of the beast.

How often do you get a haircut?

• Every 6 weeks or longer

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