We get a lot of requests here at Leviner Wood. But today we’re going to talk about the shoulder. Specifically the “natural shoulder.”
Shoulders have carried a lot of the burden of men’s suit styles. Narrow at first, they widened in the 1930’s and ’40’s, narrowing again during the reign of the sack suit, squaring off in Cardin’s ’60’s and then jutting aggressively from the power suits of the ’80’s. With the demand for traditional clothing spurred by, what? TV? The economy? the demand for the natural shoulder suit has increased.
So what exactly is a natural shoulder? We’ve cut natural shoulders with roping. Natural with a pronounced rounded shoulder and minimal padding, the wool shaped by hand with a steam iron. Natural shoulders with barely any padding at all… .We make our own shoulder pads in house and use a cotton sleeve head on many models.
Simply put, a natural shoulder is softer, follows a natural slope and is not built up with a lot of padding. The pad in the shoulder and the sleevehead is minimal — thinner than the standard models of the immediate past. It was considered a more casual look from the strong military shoulder so prevalent in bespoke clothing of the past.
Should you request a natural shoulder? Sure!
You’re probably wearing one already. Even Cary Grant wore a natural shoulder suit. But the shoulders were built out, lengthened at the top shoulder line only to minimize his very large head. Under the arm and at the chest the jackets were fitted normally to eliminate any sack or baggy effect. It was an optical illusion; but a very effective one. It’s up to us to make you a soft, natural shoulder suit that brings out your best while minimizing your slight imperfections. Dropped right shoulder or “forward” leaning shoulder? That’s OK. It’s natural.
It just won’t show.