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Shoulder expression

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

  1. Crat

    Crat Senior member

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    Would you say that, disregarding the wearers physique, soft shoulders would be more suited to casual odd jackets and roped shoulders would go better with more formal suit jackets?
    That is my preference at lest.

    -edit-
    The difference between 'athletic physiques' can be quite big depending on type of sport.
    You can imagine that the same jacket would fit these two quite differently.
    My guess is that its more complicated than 'athletic body = shoulder type X'

    Swimmer.
    Note the broad shoulders and small traps
    [​IMG]


    Powerlifter.
    Huge traps (but not necessarily broad shoulders though in this case they are.)
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2014
  2. comrade

    comrade Senior member

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    This raises another aspect, shoulder slope.
    I believe that jefferyd has broad sloped shoulders, which he has pointed out.
    This involves different tailoring challenges.

    No one ever accused me of having an athletic build- although when I used to
    run, I was much trimmer around the midsection. I do have big square shoulders
    and a very deep chest, so that any of the species of "natural" shoulders shown
    look better on me than a built up shoulder.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  3. Stugotes

    Stugotes Senior member

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    I have rather broad shoulders and by now I deem it best to have extended unstructured/soft shoulders on my jackets.
     
  4. ctp120

    ctp120 Senior member

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    While this should be obvious, it does seem to cause problems when we generalize about "athletic" physiques and tailored clothes. I'd consider my build "athletic" (10 inch drop) but lean. Lots of people have commented to me that I have the frame to wear almost any shoulder style and/or silhouette (soft vs hard tailoring, etc.), that I'm "built like the mannequins." I don't disagree that all options seem possible (i.e., not inherently problematic due to my shape), but I certainly have my own aesthetic preferences.

    Nevertheless, I still occasionally have heard comments--some from very respected senior members--about how I need X style of coat to flatter or compensate for some perceived physical feature, e.g. my "shallow chest" or "narrow shoulders" (neither of which I actually have, IMO). For reference, see the sampling of tailored fits (in various coat models/shoulder styles) and then, if so inclined, photos from last month's vacation to see my actual shoulders and torso (spoilered out of mild embarrassment).

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Actual shoulders/torso:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  5. FlyingMonkey

    FlyingMonkey Senior member

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    Quote:You have to remember that many people who have a reasonable experience of tailored clothes don't actually know what they are looking at when they look at other people, however good they are at understanding what tailored clothes do for them. You only have to look at what happens when @jefferyd or @Despos enters a conversation and there's often the online equivalent of a nervous shuffling of papers as people adjust their previous stated views to fit what real tailoring experts are able to see...

    On the question of athletic physiques - you're absolutely right. The problem is that the term 'athletic' is often just used in fashion description as a shorthand for 'not skinny, not fat, and in reasonable shape' (i.e. it's a way for average people to describe themselves while still being positive about their builds). Real athletes come in all different shapes from the top-heavy powerlifter build to the no-excess fat or muscle physique of pro-cylists or long-distance runners. I'm a club age-group runner and triathlete but of course not a pro, so I have a slightly more normal body fat percentage (although substantially less than the average guy). I'm also shorter and and just a little more broad-shouldered / barrel-chested than would be proportionate to my height so my arms and legs are relatively skinny compared to my upper body - and my upper body is nothing like as gym-toned as yours ( @ctp120 ). This only really becomes noticeable when I'm wearing RTW jackets where the 'normal' diameter of the arms can make me look like I'm swimming in a jacket that otherwise fits perfectly in the body - as was recently the case in WAYWRN - and as tailors will tell you, getting arms slimmed properly is not an easy process. Of course, the only answer is MTM or bespoke... ;)
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  6. comrade

    comrade Senior member

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    I own this model jacket from Battistoni. It's probably 10 years old and is more structured than
    anything I have. It has almost no padding but is slightly extended with a trace of rollino. FWIW,
    it is a heavy tweed that never wrinkles.


    ://www.ebay.com/itm/BATTISTONI-Barneys-New-York-Wool-Cashmere-Made-in-Italy-jacket-sz-44-/201090193199?nma=true&si=hhdZ%252FT25V0xgZmQrqpK%252Fi0BbNe4%253D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557


    http://www.ebay.com/itm/BATTISTONI-...4-/201090193199?nma=true&si=hhdZ%2FT25V0xgZmQ
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2014
  7. rodaman

    rodaman Senior member

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    love your wardrobe man
     
    2 people like this.
  8. ctp120

    ctp120 Senior member

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    More shoulder lines on things I wore in the past when slightly leaner. None of these would fit anymore, but that has more to do with size than shape, I think. The last one didn't even fit then, in retrospect. I cringe when I see how short/tight it looks.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2014
  9. Crat

    Crat Senior member

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    I like the angle of your shoulder line (from neck to shoulder), sloped but not too much. Square gives a blocky appearance.
    Traps peeking through on first 3 pics? (the 'lumps')

    Someting else I was curious about...Am I correct in thinking that the amount of padding has nothing to do with the shoulder type?
    E.g. you could do an unpadded roped shoulder or a heavily padded spalla camicia.


    I don't mind the 'sloppy shoulder' look for casual jackets but for formal structured is better for me I think.


    Natural
    [​IMG]

    Unconstructed
    [​IMG]

    Roped & Padded
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  10. ctp120

    ctp120 Senior member

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    Yes, though this is really only noticeable from the low angle of the older pics. If shown from a more direct view like in the first set, they wouldn't be nearly as visible. In fact, except for the seersucker coat, the jackets showing bumps have more padded and less naturally shaped shoulders than those in the first set.


    Yes, padding and shoulder construction can vary independently of one another, as JeffreyD demonstrates earlier in the thread. To corroborate your example, the navy suit with roped shoulders in the second set of pics actually has very minimal padding.

    I like the peaks on your navy suit. The structured, roped shoulder harmonizes well with those lapels.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  11. pistos

    pistos Member

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    I spent some time going to various stores asking if they had any suits with natural or soft shoulders. The vast majority of salesmen had no idea what I was talking about. At one store, he told me it was a cheap look, in a clumsy attempt to get me to look at what they had. In one other they carried Joseph Abboud, which is advertised as having a soft shoulder, but it certainly didn't have that natural falloff look as in the original post.

    So I ended up not getting my suit altered. It's bespoke and it looks damn fine, and I'd feel real bad about asking my tailor to do such a major alteration unless I am certain it would look better on me.
     
  12. comrade

    comrade Senior member

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    You don't mention which stores and where. Even Paul Stuart in New York no longer carries a "true" natural
    shoulder. That's what I learned earlier this year. Some Samuelsohn models like the Greenwich, and the
    no-longer made RTW Talbot, offer real natural shoulders. As for the high end italian makes, Isaia,Belvest,
    Partenopea, Attolini, Borrelli, either my local ( SanFrancisco) stores don't carry the brand or the models
    don't have natural shoulders. I haven't checked the local Kiton retailer recently, because I would never
    pay those prices.
     
  13. pistos

    pistos Member

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    I went to Harry Rosen, Moores, The Bay, and several independent folks. I live in Ottawa... not exactly know for high fashion...
     
  14. JSDNJ

    JSDNJ Well-Known Member

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    All of those jackets look to fit great. Any info on the brand/cut of them? I am having some trouble in finding that even if I size down my shoulders are looking too big/boxy.
     
  15. ctp120

    ctp120 Senior member

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    Thanks. Several different makers and many different models. A few of those are 8+ yrs old with the newest ones 2-3 yrs old. AFAIK none are still available OTR. PM me if you want the details on a specific one, though what more-or-less fits me might not fit you at all (and vice versa), of course.
     
  16. comrade

    comrade Senior member

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    Six hours from you is O'Connells, a bastion of Ivy League, trad clothing. They have all
    natural shoulder. My guess is that with MTM you might be be able to approximate a more
    Neapolitan style, ie, side vents , closer cut jacket,etc. Ironically, they feature the iconic
    Canadian maker Samuelsohn. Full disclosure, I've never bought from them, because
    I would want MTM which requires a visit.

    http://www.oconnellsclothing.com/home.php
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  17. ballmouse

    ballmouse Senior member

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    I personally like these fits (minus that last one which does appear too tight), even more than those you posted right before these. Any reason why you changed styles?
     
  18. ctp120

    ctp120 Senior member

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    Lots of small reasons, all of which boil down to changing tastes/needs. However, I would have kept the older stuff and continued to wear most of it (not the navy suit) if it still fit.
     
  19. green garden

    green garden Senior member

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    I have a question regarding the yoke measurements of the various shoulder types. For a given person's shoulders, do you expect that all of the yoke measurements should be the same? When I compare a natural shoulder jacket vs. a bald shoulder jacket, the bald shoulder has a shorter yolk. I find that the natural jacket seem to coinside with my shoulder measurement. But the bald jacket is smaller. Does this make sense? I'm asking because I plan to do a MTM and wanted to send measurements based on a good fitting jacket. But I'm getting confused because both these jackets do fit but the measurements are not the same.
     
  20. comrade

    comrade Senior member

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    "Does this make sense? I'm asking because I plan to do a MTM and wanted to send measurements based on a good fitting jacket."

    I do not know if youv'e already done "remote" MTM successfully. I would nevertheless recommend against it.
    MTM, even when measured by a competent in store professional, can result in an unsatisfactory outcome.
    It's happened to me several times. At least the store is responsible and will cover the
    alterations or offer refunds. Feel free to PM me if you require specific details.
     

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