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Is every man lead to believe they have broad shoulders?

chang

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I never worked for any high end clothier, just sold clothes part time briefly many years ago in college, but I noticed then that pretty much every man described themselves as broad shouldered when asking about fit. Put somebody in a suit and sometimes they would insist on going a size up to make up for their "broad shoulders." Could this be a reason why a lot of people seem to be swimming inside their jackets? Salesmen trying to satisfy their customers' ego and acquiescing to their requests? Many of them were size 40 and below. I also noticed on a lot of fit questions posted here, the posters would describe themselves as broad shouldered. Does any man actually ever describe himself as having completely normal shoulders, or narrow shoulders? I've always wondered this.
 

suited

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I was never told I had broad shoulders until I started eating and training hard, and actually got broad shoulders. When I was skinny, I was never told I had broad shoulders, I would have started laughing. Then again, I wasn't into style when I was skinny, so a tailor never really had the opportunity to mis-diagnose me.
 

Dewey

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I can think of three reasons why all the coats have broader shoulders than, say, thirty years ago. (1) Since the 80s, most American men have placed "comfort" above "fitting" or regard a comfortable loose fit as a proper fit. In the 70s, well-fitting tailored clothing was much more common because there was a greater emphasis on wearing your clothes form fitting. (2) The overarm measurement has gotten bigger. Weightlifting was not a popular hobby in the 1970s. These days I'd guess the average American has built up his upper arms at some point in his life. The larger overarm to chest ratio means the coats have to be constructed with more extension. (3) Broader shoulders are popular with the discount & mid-range tailored clothing retailers because they can be worn by the most customers. Joseph A. Bank cannot afford to make lines of coats that not all Americans can wear, so pretty much everything they sell has broad, firmly-structured shoulders.

Whether or not every male thinks himself above average in the shoulder department, I don't know. It's an interesting idea. Could be. I'd like to hear from the salesmen about it.
 

Dewey

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On second thought, I bet it's true that guys have broader shoulders now. American men were more narrow there a generation or two ago. Vintage coats have smaller overarm measures. If all the grandmas are telling their steroid-popping high school football-playing sons that they have mighty broad shoulders, they are surely right if the frame of reference is the teenagers of grandma's day.

The problem is the design of the coats has more than caught up with that upper-body growth.
 

Marcus Brody

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Hmmm, I don't know about every man. It might be every man but one, but I've never been described as having broad shoulders... ha

Maybe that's why I like vintage jackets.
 

JeffC

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Originally Posted by merkur
Well the question must be asked: what constitutes broad shoulders? Is it simply having a wide shoulder circumference (and if so, what is the threshold for being "wide) or is it having a wide shoulder:chest circumference ratio?

I am very lean, but I describe myself as having broad shoulders relative to my chest size. I have a 38" chest, but require a 40 or 41L for my shoulders to fit in OTR suits.

Jeff
 

thekunk07

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my shoulders are @23" inches across. this presents constant fit problems.
 

Sterling Gillette

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Originally Posted by Dewey
I can think of three reasons why all the coats have broader shoulders than, say, thirty years ago. (1) Since the 80s, most American men have placed "comfort" above "fitting" or regard a comfortable loose fit as a proper fit. In the 70s, well-fitting tailored clothing was much more common because there was a greater emphasis on wearing your clothes form fitting. (2) The overarm measurement has gotten bigger. Weightlifting was not a popular hobby in the 1970s. These days I'd guess the average American has built up his upper arms at some point in his life. The larger overarm to chest ratio means the coats have to be constructed with more extension. (3) Broader shoulders are popular with the discount & mid-range tailored clothing retailers because they can be worn by the most customers. Joseph A. Bank cannot afford to make lines of coats that not all Americans can wear, so pretty much everything they sell has broad, firmly-structured shoulders.

Whether or not every male thinks himself above average in the shoulder department, I don't know. It's an interesting idea. Could be. I'd like to hear from the salesmen about it.

Proper fit is comfortable, actually more comfortable than wearing everything a size too large.
 

jefferyd

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Originally Posted by merkur
Well the question must be asked: what constitutes broad shoulders? Is it simply having a wide shoulder circumference (and if so, what is the threshold for being "wide) or is it having a wide shoulder:chest circumference ratio?

The standard overarm measurement (around the widest part of the shoulders) is 6 inches wider than the chest measurement (around the broadest part of the chest); these are body measurements, not garment measurements. If your overarm measurement is greater than 6" bigger than your chest you are considered to have broad shoulders.
 

jc138

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Originally Posted by jefferyd
The standard overarm measurement (around the widest part of the shoulders) is 6 inches wider than the chest measurement (around the broadest part of the chest); these are body measurements, not garment measurements. If your overarm measurement is greater than 6" bigger than your chest you are considered to have broad shoulders.
Vy interesting.

I've always considered myself narrow shouldered, since my chest is around 42, but any 42 jacket extends a good bit off my shoulders, in part b/c my across the shoulder measure is maybe 18.5
 

Dewey

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Originally Posted by jefferyd
The standard overarm measurement (around the widest part of the shoulders) is 6 inches wider than the chest measurement (around the broadest part of the chest); these are body measurements, not garment measurements. If your overarm measurement is greater than 6" bigger than your chest you are considered to have broad shoulders.

This is interesting. 40" chest and 46" overarm, and I always thought I had narrow shoulders.
 

spence

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It's because your mother and grandmother used to say it when you were young as a sign of adoration.

I certianly though I had broad shoulders, and perhaps they were when I was lifting...but now I'd say they are quite average.

-spence
 

stickonatree

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i don't have broad shoulders, but i do have slightly square ones, which may sometimes be confused with broad in other people's eyes.
 

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