What is Wednesday #7

What is Wednesday.

What is Wednesday #7

This weekly Wednesday post is aimed at answering some of the more basic and critical aspects of tailoring and the terminology we use to describe them. It stems from realizing that I’m constantly throwing out different terms with my clients and quite often they’re unsure as to what I exactly mean.  The goal of this section then is to alleviate this terminology gap and provide you with some know-how to talk tailoring with a little more ease.

What is…meant when a jacket is described as having a natural shoulder line?

A natural shoulder line refers to a jacket that is cut to mirror the wearers actual shoulders as much as possible.  Most jackets have a certain amount of canvas and padding in them – this is done to make setting the sleeve easier and to create a more rounded shape over the collarbone and upper chest area.   When this padding and structure is kept to an absolute minimum it allows the wearer’s actual shoulders to be seen in their natural form.  The opposite of this is to build up the shoulder and chest area with a lot of padding – the resulting effect being normal sized guys looking like NFL linebackers!


The images above clearly show this difference.  On the left is a fellow with very sloped shoulders – the jacket is very lightly padded hence we see his shoulders exactly as they are.  On the right though it’s less clear.  To my eye this fellow has slightly sloping shoulders; however the jacket is heavily padded thus making his shoulders appear more neutral in angle then they actually are.   As such we would call this a structured shoulder as opposed to a natural shoulder.

As always I’d love to hear your opinions on this or any sartorial subject for that matter.  Better yet book a free appointment and we can banter in person and see if we might be a good fit to work together.

Take care – Michael


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  1. Pingback: What is Wednesday #8 - Martin Fisher Tailors

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