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Body shapes most flattered by drape or structured

Lear

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I'm not a tailor, and realize that I'm better off leaving most of the details to the guy who is. However, is this guy to be one who specializes in the drape, or one who does a more structured and solid look?

My question:

1.) Body shape most flattered by drape

2.) Body shape most flattered by structured look

I've been dithering over this bespoke thing for too long now


Lear
 

radicaldog

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I think athletic bodies are most flattered by a drape cut (yes, yes, there are many versions of that, etc.). Average/slim bodies with narrow, sloped shoulders and wide hips/posteriors don't work as well with that cut. I have learned that at my expense. Of course there are ways to gracefully extend soft, natural, unpadded shoulders -- but very few tailors can do that. Ditto for the chest. I also think that large, spherical men can look quite good in a well-executed drape suit. This could turn into a very useful thread, btw.
 

robinsongreen68

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when i first went into kilgour (who favour a very structured cut) the cutter told me their suits look best on a slim, athletic physique with wide shoulders and a narrow waist.
essentially i suppose that body type makes it easy to wear either style of tailoring... i think the question is, taking into account your OWN body type, which style would do more for you.
 

Matt S

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This is all opinion. Proponents of both cuts can argue that any body will look good in their style. Slimmer figures are easier to tailor for in either style.
 

gdl203

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Originally Posted by Matt S
This is all opinion. Proponents of both cuts can argue that any body will look good in their style. Slimmer figures are easier to tailor for in either style.

+1

Some say sloping shoulders need to be compensated with padding, narrow shoulders need to be compensated with extension... all this in the name of some supposedly universal image of male body perfection that we would all be interested in following. That's pure bollocks, people have different views of ideals and they don't all want to modify their silhouette to conform to that. I don't wear make-up either to mask the imperfections of my skin...

I say, if you have narrow, very sloped shoulders, be proud of your shoulders and get something tailored that preserves your silhouette rather than disguising it by trying to conform it to a mould.
 

MetroStyles

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I have square shoulders and I think natural shoulders fit me a lot better.
 

voxsartoria

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Handsome, fit, and charming guys can wear both or neither.

My hope for this thread is that there will be good advice for those with none of these qualities.




- B
 

Sanguis Mortuum

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Originally Posted by robinsongreen68
when i first went into kilgour (who favour a very structured cut) the cutter told me their suits look best on a slim, athletic physique with wide shoulders and a narrow waist.

Every suit looks better on a slim, athletic physique with wide shoulders and a narrow waist.
 

robinsongreen68

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yeah, of course. my impression though is that drape is kinder to those who deviate from that type (i may be wrong). i watched ozwald boateng's documentary recently and in one scene he goes and talks to a cutter at A&S who describes their silhouette and says something like 'we're not all as slim as you are, and that's why some people prefer our cut.'
 

0b5cur1ty

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Originally Posted by Sanguis Mortuum
Every suit looks better on a slim, athletic physique with wide shoulders and a narrow waist.
Whilst this is obviously true; isn't it the case that, generally, more structured = more flattering? That's certainly what I observe.
 

radicaldog

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I'll put it in a different way: drape is good to (i) show off an athletic body, or (ii) look comfortable and relaxed in a monstruos body, especially of the spherical kind. But for bodies that are just a couple of notches short of athletic, generally a bit of structure is a safer bet. Also, structure doesn't mean a Huntsman/Kilgour military silhouette. I consider the Poole or Caraceni cut to be moderately structured, and thus suitable for a wide variety of body types. Sublime tailors may be able to cut a very flattering drape coat for a man of medium build with narrow shoulders and a somewhat prominent posterior and stomach; but those artisans are few and far between, and that's why I'm saying that a moderately structured cut is safest.

Also, it's worth reminding ourselves that the drape-structure dichotomy can be somewhat misleading. Structure is most naturally contrasted with softness rather than drape, and softness which can be achieved in garments with very little drape (such as the tighter-fitting Neapolitan coats that are commonly seen in Italy, i.e. not the Rubinacci cut). So, while structure and drape don't go together, there can be unstructured coats with no drape. There's a basic trichotomy of silhouettes, really.

Apologies for stating the obvious, but it seemed safest to get this one out of the way early on.
 

amplifiedheat

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Originally Posted by gdl203
I say, if you have narrow, very sloped shoulders, be proud of your shoulders and get something tailored that preserves your silhouette rather than disguising it by trying to conform it to a mould.
Likewise, if you have wide hips and gynecomastia, be proud of your womanly figure, and don't try to disguise it. There's no sense in pretending we wear suits to show off our figure with perfect fidelity. Every part of tailoring involves gentle exaggerations or concealments. Shoulders are secondary sex characteristics, and perfectly fine shoulders often look weak under a layer of cloth. So we pad. There's no more pride in soft tailoring that in structured.
 

luftvier

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Don't forget the sack: universally unflattering on every body type, but also universally unoffensive.
 

AndrewRogers

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The sack is great and fun but besides vintage stuff, it's hard to find new and just as hard to get a tailor to do it for you. Most turn up their noses at the idea.
 

voxsartoria

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Sigh.

Small "d" drape is structure, a technique for adding fullness in the chest and upper back toward the arms. Drape can be hung from big stiff shoulder pads or from minimally augmented shoulders. Drape can be fronted by a stiff canvas or a soft canvas. A draped jacket can be shaped extensively with darts and sidebodies, or left full like a sack.

In other words, just like an undraped jacket.

Big "D" Drape Cut, or London Cut, or London Lounge exists today from only a handful of sources, all of them AFAIK expensive bespoke tailors. The Italian ones do a highly modified, regional, attenuated but often handsome version. The English ones boil down to A&S and its expats, and some of the Poole and Davies house blocks.

Frankly, very, very few will ever have the choice in the first place. You are not going to get A&S. You are not going to Caraceni. It is a dichotomy both false and of no practical consequence for the vast majority of members who wear RTW or the products of tailors would wouldn't know how to put together a good draped jacket if you beat them with curtain rods.

So, don't worry about it unless you are unfamiliar with it and are seriously considering being a customer of the few bespoke tailors who can make it.


- B
 

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