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The Smart Casual Series #1: Shoulder Shape
In this series of articles, we’ll be taking a look at the many ways you can incorporate tailoring into your wardrobe without looking too dressed up. Many of the things that will be included in this series have been touched on in past articled (e.g. fit, construction and shirts). However, with this series we want to take these subjects and pour them into one comprehensive, but clear mould: the smart casual wardrobe.
We’re starting the series off on a somewhat esoteric note: the shape and construction of a jacket’s shoulder. What difference can this seemingly small detail make in formality? You’d be surprised. For simplicity’s sake, let’s say there’s two aspects to a shoulder: the width and the padding. What you do with these two can greatly impact the style of your garment. A wider shoulder with more padding will give your silhouette a more dramatic v-shape. However, we often find that this often looks very formal and it can make the jacket feel a little too stiff to just throw on. If you want to dress down your tailoring to look a little more play than all work, try going for a more natural-looking shoulder; so, a little narrower and less or no padding.
We play around with the formality of the shoulder all the time. In our collection, we like the incongruence of a formal fabric and model paired with some more casual details. Our ROKIN (pictured above) and AMSTEL are good examples of business fabrics made a little more playful through the shoulder. Of course, this works really well with casual suiting, items you can usually split up as well, like our BOLO suit. As far as jackets go, all of ours come without padding and with a narrower shoulder. The heavier, textured fabrics can handle the lack of structure of a natural shoulder.
If we’re to extend this to a more overarching philosophy, we believe that the things that make our clothes more formal (although sometimes necessary) are also the things that make us less likely to just throw them on. That’s what this series is about, to make tailoring fun and accessible. They’re only clothes after all.