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Shoulder expression

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by jefferyd, May 25, 2011.

  1. jefferyd

    jefferyd Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    A bespoke tailor would be skilled enough, but the ones who are skilled enough to do that kind of work are generally busy enough making suits for clients that they don't take on alteration work. It's generally not worth the expense and risk to try to transform a RTW suit into something else.
     
  2. Katzenjammer

    Katzenjammer Active Member

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    I see. Thanks so much!

    Will the "bald" shoulder silhouette help to de-emphasize shoulder prominence/width?
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2014
  3. jefferyd

    jefferyd Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Probably not. The widest part of the delt is lower down on the shoulder and this kind of shoulder expression has to be cut very close to the body- you will look like your delts are popping out of the sides of the sleeves which will be even more unsightly and draw more attention. Typically (and ironically) muscular shoulders need a bit of extension to create a smooth line.

    Having said all that, considering the fact that a wide shoulder-to-waist ratio is considered ideal, why would you even want to de-emphasize the shoulder width?
     
  4. Katzenjammer

    Katzenjammer Active Member

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    Yes, I can even see that problem on my current natural/soft shoulder suits/jackets, lol. VERY well said. Hadn't really thought of that.

    On the second thought: you know, it's funny, no matter what one's body type is we're always squinting at our own, sometimes perceived, imperfections. I suppose I'm afraid I look at bit too boxy and gaze wistfully at the young men who are a bit more slenderish, lol.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2014
  5. Katzenjammer

    Katzenjammer Active Member

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    One thing for sure: a too-structured/built up shoulder looks terrible on me.

    Everything's a trade off; but all things considered, I personally believe that athletic shoulders/builds look best in natural/soft shoulder jackets/suits.
     
  6. jefferyd

    jefferyd Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I couldn't disagree more. This is what I look like in natural/soft shoulders ,and the armhole seam is in the correct position for my acromion process.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Katzenjammer

    Katzenjammer Active Member

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    Well I'm not an expert and you are. However, it looks to me as if - while the seam might be in the right place - the whole shoulder pocket and upper chest is just too small overall? On the other hand, you're not getting - or don't appear to be getting - that telltale lapel bend when there's not enough room in the chest. Maybe you just have unbelievably huge delts? LOL?

    I have that deltoid popping problem too, but it's not as pronounced - perhaps in part because everything is looser fitting around the chest/back/shoulders, just enough room (via m-t-m) to avoid the problem you're demonstrating up there.

    Probably most sartorialists would snicker at the fit but I like comfort and the ability to move unhampered.
     
  8. edmorel

    edmorel Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    ^^

    such a strapping, handsome man.................


    You do see that similar armhole situation on some of the more built up guys on here that post, two in particular that I am think of. Everyone wants to do those shirts sleeve armholes with no padding but it doesn't work for everyone.
     
  9. kulata

    kulata Senior member

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    @jeffreyd, wouldn't sizing up make it look better?
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2014
  10. jefferyd

    jefferyd Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    People talk about fitting a large sleeve into a small armhole in order to achieve maximum comfort and movement- the natural/bald shoulder has the smallest sleeve and least amount of fullness of all, and the rope shoulder has the largest sleeve and most amount of fullness. Draw your own conclusions about that.

    Sizing up will help certain things but make others worse. In order to fit my shoulder better, the armhole seam needs to be extended a bit and that requires some support underneath. Not talking big heavy pads, but definitely a bit of structure.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  11. jefferyd

    jefferyd Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Absolutely right.
     
  12. Katzenjammer

    Katzenjammer Active Member

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    Well, I just looked more closely at my jackets - I think what makes them sort of work is that the seam extends a little bit beyond the position that would be correct wrt the acromion process. I get a bit of drape off the end of the shoulder - and that hides the delts. Maybe not a good fit from a highly tailored perspective but it sort of works.


    Highly structured shoulders really look make me look like a linebacker - but that was trying on OTR suits and maybe that's the problem.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2014
  13. jefferyd

    jefferyd Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    If it is flattering, then it is a good fit. Good fit does not necessarily mean following every contour of the body.
     
  14. Katzenjammer

    Katzenjammer Active Member

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    That makes a great deal of sense, lol. Thanks! :)
     
  15. gambit50

    gambit50 Senior member

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    Agreed that most actually athletic builds(which I would say is 20-40% of those who claim they have one) do not look good with the completely bald shoulder.
    And I like a narrower seam to seam myself.
    Do you place your seams at the acromion end, jefferyd?
    I think if you truly have the body, that the jacket body cut somewhat like a sleeveless undershirt in the area of discussion is best. More vertical armhole, basically.
    And while your delt/tri is popping in this example, I think, again, most are exaggerating this when they bring it up.
    Especially, when they show no proof.

    Also, I think that for gents with prominent trapezius sloping that bald shoulder looks completely awful. The slant just goes on down and falls off somewhere. Makes someone who has a body to show off a bit look more amorphous blob in that area. A bit of a horizontal line somewhere is a good thing.
    If you are not huge and have more right angles up there, you can do the shirt jacket thing much better. Look at those wearing them well. No massive slope from neck to halfway down the arm where you cannot tell where any part ends or begins.
    I guess this would be easier to have just used visuals. Oh, well.
     
  16. Suit of Nettles

    Suit of Nettles Senior member

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    This is where, I think, the point becomes debatable. A jacket is clearly meant, to a certain extent, to flatter the male figure by accentuating the very things which are naturally enhanced by an athletic life, degraded by a sedentary one, and ruined when an athlete goes sedentary. All that aside, I had always understood that one of the conventions of Ivy/trad was *not* to show off or enhance the figure of the wearer, but to understate it: hence natural shoulders, sack cuts, roomy OCBDs, and so on. The point was not only not to show of, but to not show off, if you'll pardon the grammatical barbarism -- to avoid the appearance of showing off. I freely admit that I may be overstating this, or even mangling the trad ethos from a rude province, but such is my understanding, and it seems to hold more or less true.

    I could be facetious and ask whether, if one really wanted to show off traps and your triceps, a wifebeater or a leotard work better than a sportcoat. That's clearly going overboard, but I don't think the point is entirely lost. There is at least *some* sense in which men's jackets are less than ideal for 'showing off' athleticism in form and in function, and another in which they allow a muscular man to go about his business and be taken seriously without looking like he's nothing but a compound of pork and beef (to paraphrase Juvenal).
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2014
  17. rodaman

    rodaman Senior member

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    What kind of build is each respective shoulder ideal for?
     
  18. pistos

    pistos Member

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    Interesting! Both the article and the discussion. I was just bringing my suit back to my tailor today and I asked for a softer look to the shoulders. It's the natural look in the middle picture is what I am going for, so the pictures and the terminology will help me describe that. After reading the discussion, I am going to call him first thing and ask him to hold off - I should probably try on a few natural shoulder jackets first!
     
  19. redtomate

    redtomate New Member

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    I got a bespoke navy blazer made and asked him to do the neopolitan soft shoulder, "Spalla Camicia". It looks like each shoulder is slightly different, however, and I'm not sure which is correct.
    Left Shoulder (Pic 1) goes outward and forms a dimple/pucker of fabric. This one has more visibly more pleats/shirring on the shoulder.
    Right Shoulder (Pic 2) goes straight down like a shirt, and drapes along my shoulder.
    Neither shoulder has any padding at all. Which shoulder is correct, so I can have him redo the other?

    Photos: http://imgur.com/a/qyu9N#0
     
  20. ChristopherBerr

    ChristopherBerr Senior member

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