Is the war of the shoulders finally over?




Our loyal and regular readers probably know the importance of shoulder construction and its effect on the overall allure of a suit or jacket.

Without getting into the nitty-gritty that you will find in this website’s articles, let us very briefly outline the difference between the structured, British shoulder, and the sloping Italian, or Neapolitan shoulder. Of course, there are different subdivisions within both “schools” : the Roman, con rollino and spalla camicia are all Italian shoulders, and some labels even have their own shoulder assembly, as do Cifonelli and Anderson & Sheppard.

It is a bona fide aesthetics war though, make no mistake, as the shoulder shape deeply impacts the elegant man’s silhouette ; a touch of padding or a slight slope will vastly affect the garment’s look. For many traditional houses, the assembly of the shoulder according to a specific technique is a major part of the house’s DNA, which is why many never venture on the other side.

Venerable Neapolitan label Kiton has always been a fierce advocate for the sloping shoulder, never straying very far from this construction method, typical of Neapolitan tailors. At not least until recently…

Albeit under the radar, Kiton has discreetly started to err on the other side by offering, for the first time in its history, a quaint collection named “Cipa” after its founder Ciro Paone, to appeal to a younger, bolder and more modern client base (though just as wealthy, as the pricing suggests).

Here are two visual evidences of the “betrayal”, well executed by Kiton : a pure silk dinner jacket with a contrasting lapel, and a stunning white hemp (!) jacket. And let us face it, even such expert eyes as ours never could have guessed that these two beautiful pieces originated from Naples, even less from Kiton.

Is the war of the shoulders finally over?

Cheers, HUGO