Suit Shoulder Style

Have you ever purchased a suit off of the rack and realized that the shoulder padding made you look like a 1980’s wall street exec? Well here are a few pointers to help you understand the modern options when identifying your preferred suit shoulder style. 

Likewise, if you find yourself working with a custom clothier, you should be able to identify the shape that works best for your body and style.


Normal Shoulder

The normal shoulder will be the most common style with roughly 1/2″ or more of padding. This delivers a slight slope and a smooth transition from shoulder to the sleeve head. This suit shoulder style was created to cover the masses, so most retailers will craft their jackets in such a way. Ready to wear jackets may also leave you with puckering in the back if your shoulders are not perfectly straight.




Neapolitan Shoulder

The Neapolitan shoulder style is commonly known as the Naples shoulder or “spalla camicia”. It is an older method from southern Italy that has been resurrected by modern-day dandies. It is crafted with more fabric at the base of the sleeve head and is then bunched together when connecting to the armscye. There is no padding in the Neapolitan shoulder and the added space at the sleeve head allows for greater comfortability. You will only find this in tailor-made suits and is an ideal fit for gents with larger shoulders. Check out our Suit Design Portal to see the many options at your fingertips.



Casual Shoulder 

The casual suit shoulder style is another relaxed option that provides a modern look. It is typically constructed with custom made jackets and allows for a natural drape and fit. There is little to no shoulder padding with this construction and it’s often found in casual blazers.    



High Sleeve Head

The high sleeve head is considered more modern and is also classified as a rope shoulder. It can be identified by the well-defined ridge above the hem. This shoulder style is also crafted at the hands of highly skilled tailors, and will not be found in stores. The high sleeve head tends to be more narrow and rests just above the shoulder.


Not all suits are crafted equally, so be sure to try out a few different looks. You will find that retailers provide suits in either an American, Italian or British cut. However, going custom will give you the best option for your preferred look. Visit our Custom Suit Page to begin!