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What suit shoulder do you prefer?

Do you prefer a more natural or structured shoulder (comparing well done versions)?

  • Natural shoulder

    Votes: 21 60.0%
  • Structured shoulder

    Votes: 14 40.0%

  • Total voters
    35

CrimsonSox

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On the spectrum from more natural to more structured suit shoulders that are tasteful and well-done, what do you prefer? For a contrast, see Vice President Bush's more natural shouldered suit, compared to President Reagan's structured shoulder from the 1981 State of the Union address.

Qualifications: all shoulders have some structure; the difference may be to some extent a matter of degree; we're looking at high-quality versions of either style and not linebacker stuffing or lumpy messes.

















 
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jrd617

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SF fetishizes the soft shoulder, but shoulder preference should correspond with your upper body build.

If you have sloping shoulders, you want a more padded shoulder.

If you have square shoulder, you want a less padded shoulder
 

Apollotrader

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Excellent opening post and pictures.

I say, why choose. I find shoulders are a little like politics, some days I am very conservative, some days less so.
 

archibaldleach

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I have relatively broad and square shoulders for my body type, so I gravitate towards a more natural shoulder. I don't go to the extreme of no padding but have asked my tailor to minimize the padding that he puts into my jackets.
 

CrimsonSox

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On the Democratic side, here's President Wilson in a natural shouldered suit, with his granddaughter. Trim lines were in during the 2010s, early 1960s, and the 1910s. The fifty year cycle:



Did you know that President Wilson read Styleforum? 2 inch cuffs and no break. He put his own spin on the outfit with an attached club collar, white tie, and tiepin. Shoulders are on the natural side:




President Kennedy wears a more structured shoulder, despite his Ivy League roots. He's followed by Vice President Johnson:




Just to clarify, I am neither politically right, nor left, nor center, but orthogonal.
 
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vida

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"SF fetishizes the soft shoulder, but shoulder preference should correspond with your upper body build.

If you have sloping shoulders, you want a more padded shoulder.

If you have square shoulder, you want a less padded shoulder"

If that is a general guide, don't you think Bush could use a bit of shoulder?
 

Ivar

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SF fetishizes the soft shoulder, but shoulder preference should correspond with your upper body build.

If you have sloping shoulders, you want a more padded shoulder.

If you have square shoulder, you want a less padded shoulder

Indeed. Matteo Marzotto is my standard example of someone who would benefit greatly from some padding above his deltoids:



 

David Reeves

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Indeed. Matteo Marzotto is my standard example of someone who would benefit greatly from some padding above his deltoids:




That neck circle is big as well.

I have to say natural shoulder if you can wear it, the english shoulder is achieved more from cutting and roping than padding. I think it gets confused with the big padded shouldered suits that Americans used to wear a lot, its a third way from what we see in these interesting pictures.
 

RDiaz

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I like a shoulder that has enough structure to give it a clean line without building it up, i.e. keeping my natural shoulder slope. I like the look of sloping shoulders.
 

Balfour

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Nice modern (sort of) political example:



 

Geezer

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Could this poll have a both/either option, please?

I have worn, and wear, coats at both extremes of the English hard/soft spectrum, and ones in the middle. Currently, despite the apparent majority view on this board, I tend toward the harder end. But that can and probably will change.

As has been said, one's build can be a determinant. As can the garment itself. For example, really soft A&S type shoulders just look wrong to me on a hacking jacket built for riding, shooting and other hard use outdoors. Whereas, while other shoulders are perfectly acceptable, there is something particularly appealing about a soft drapey approach to a double-breasted dinner jacket.
 

mensimageconsultant

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This discussion is built on a faulty premise, because Reagan probably didn't wear much more padding than Bush did. The former had a naturally broad, rectangular torso, and it probably helped his acting and political careers. Does anyone know what Bush's suit size was? Anyway, wear what is best for the body build.
 

Mr Engineer

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I go to the gym alot so i have descent size shoulders...so i prefer natural
 

CrimsonSox

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Most of my suits are natural shoulder, but some of the most beautiful suits I have ever seen have structured shoulders. Cary Grant and Martin Landau are wearing Quintino:



The Duke of Windsor also had moderated padded shoulders. Note the flawless sleeve on his suit jacket.



The usual caveats apply -- wear the shoulder that fits you best, there's no one best type of shoulder, there's a continuum between soft and structured. The choice, though, can be more informed by shared experience, and seeing exemplars of both styles.
 
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dreamspace

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I have sloping shoulders, and it really depends. I have one Oxxford suit with natural shoulders that sits absolutely beautiful...I also have one Loro Piana suit with more structured shoulders, reminds me off the Steed suits, where the padding is right above the delts...looks really sharp and good.

They look and feel very different, but they both look very good.
 

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