Designer Erik Mannby, Instagram
Should I buy a Neapolitan jacket with almost no shoulder padding or a constructed suit jacket with a reasonable amount of shoulder padding to create a more powerful silhouette?
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Study the photo above, as it is a great example of how to evaluate how much shoulder padding is right for you.
Herd-mentality iGents get obsessed over the natural shoulder look, which is all the rage right now, but they rarely stop to analyze whether their individual body type lends itself to the look.
Qemal (left) looks great, but could do with more padding because of his long neck and his extremely low-set shoulders. Taka (right) has a morphology that looks more balanced with a natural shoulder style.
I have a boxy shoulder, so I can get away with removing the padding on all my jackets, but I would not advise everyone to follow my example, as it all depends on your own neck length and shoulder slope.
Still, there are times when I struggle to decide whether to keep or remove a constructed shoulder. Take the example of our friend Erik Mannby:
Eric has toyed with the idea of removing the shoulder pads on his older Corneliani suit. However, it’s really a judgement call based on your body type and your own (hopefully) trained eye.
Frankly, it’s so simple, inexpensive and easy-to-reverse the “mistake” of removal of pads. Erik may simply ask to remove the pads, instead of relying on the advice of his tailor (most tailors are actually not good stylists). Bloggers such Erik tend to have a better eye for a ‘cool-effect’ than most tailors I know. Anyway, nothing to loose, because even if he doesn’t like the new look, he can come back to the original state without risk.
Sometimes, in order to make up my mind, I’ll have just one pad removed, in order to compare the before-and-after on the jacket in the mirror.
Most of the time I opt for full removal (while adding back a single layer of canvassing in place of the pad, so that the fabric drapes perfectly over the chest & blade).
As we see on the above picture, the older Corneliani stuff, while still fantastic, can be a bit boxy in the shoulders by today’s iGent standards. Thanks a lot @eidosnapoli and all you steezy Asian dudes at Pitti Uomo; you guys keep polluting my brain while making my alterations tailor a rich man…