Where-o-where have all the structured shoulders gone? The twisted and evil logic of fashion predicts that their return is imminent. How? Because narrow ‘natural shoulders’ and deconstructed coats are the meta trend in menswear on- and offline, in the low- and high-end ranges, in ready-to-wear, made-to-measure and custom. The fashion trend in question is based on the assumption that pads are unfashionable or ugly. So a jacket with, say, less stronger shoulders is by defintion more fashionable than a jacket with some shoulder padding. As a result, on a long enough timeline, the amount of padding in garments in the marketplace should converge to a state of ‘general unpaddedness’.
"A good thing, right?" your run-of-the-mill #menswear geek would think "maybe the whole world will then start looking like the look books of Southern Italian superbrands I always like/reblog on social media, or those scans of old Brooks Brothers catalogues!” But alas dude, ‘tis not to be. Afterall the endless cycle of fashion style does not work that way: when a trend reaches the unwashed masses, snobbery commands change to regain lost distinction. And lost (shoulder) padding.
Padding as a potential blessing you too should consider. The blind love for soft tailoring, more often than not, coinsides with an absence of autonomous thinking and self reflection (apologies for stating the obvious). Fact is, most guys have faces (and bodies) made for radio: out-of-shape, asymmetrical and suffering from severely lacking deltoideus. That makes ‘getting away with’ deconstructed’ jackets difficult and dangerous. As impartial observer Tina Gaudoin remarked in her rather fabulous description of the sartorial zeitgeist: “blazers are the universal uniform of the UE (and his South American counterparts). (…) [T]hey are deconstructed numbers (…). This type of blazer suggests confidence and a great physique, for only a man in good shape can wear deconstructed jackets without looking like a rumpled university professor.” Moral of this story: pads can be your friend. You probably need them more than you know.
The cloths, cut and details for 1960 according to the Italian magazine Vestire. Part 1. The illustrator Luigi Tarquini shows us variations on/of the ‘International’ cut, which now also known as ‘Mad Men style’: trim fitted suits with clean lines and trousers with drainpipe legs. Try to spot the gauntlet cuffs on the jackets, the ‘Bond’ cuffed shirt and the button down shirts.The latter were a much coveted item in Europe and Japan during the post war period.