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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello. I think my gut is correct that this jacket doesn't fit my shoulders and no altering can save it, but I want to be sure as I really like the fabric, price, and fit everywhere else.

So: Are the shoulder divots acceptable - yes or no? If not, is there any way alterations will help? I don't want shoulder pads.



The above picture link shows the shoulder divots at their worst. I'm normally a 41L BB Fitzgerald but BB is moving away from odd sizes so 42L is my best option here (40Ls are much too tight). If BB stops making 41Ls I may have to move on to another store for sport coats and suits.

Thanks!
 

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From the pictures the shoulders look like a hot mess. I think you nailed it, going up a size destroys the shoulder fit - they are just too big for you. My understanding is this is one feature a tailor can't truly fix (or the work would be too extensive to make sense - others here are more knowledgable than I, but that is my understanding and has been my experience).

In sport coats and suit jackets, if the shoulders don't fit off the rack, I move on. Most (not all) other things can be tweaked by a skilled tailor, but not the shoulders as I understand it.

The loss of specific sizes - I'm a 40L and notice less stores carrying longs and some starting their long sizes at 42 not 40 (or 38 or 39) as was common back when clothes were meant to fit and last - is another reflection of how "disposable" clothes have become and how true, thoughtful fit is not that important to most anymore.

Edit add, I just read the post above mine which landed seconds before mine. I think it explains some of what's going on as - sometimes - I have found that no matter what size I try (39L, 40L or 41L), in a particular model, the shoulders don't seem to fit right. In my mind, I just explain it as "the cut of this model isn't right for me," but the above article flushes out the details seemingly quite well. That said, I have found on some jackets that the shoulders buckle when I go up a size, but the article seems to be a much more detailed and comprehensive answer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Thanks for this. I had read elsewhere, though less detailed, that armhole sizing and shape matter for shoulder divots and I agree. However, I definitely don't think sizing up will work for me here as my 41L Fitzgerald suits and sport coats fit great, and the problem begins with the 42L, so it seems like 43L, or even 44L, won't work - plus likely creating issues of being too big elsewhere.

Another aspect to consider for shoulder divots is that, for athletic - not slim - guys, the widest part of their upper body is the bicep area, not the shoulders. I'm not buff but I do work out so I think this is a complicating factor for me.

I have found an excellent fit with the Madison fit by sizing down since the armhole is much larger in the Madison. My sack blazer has a great fit in the shoulders even though its a 40L vs 41L in all my Fitz stuff.

On this Madison note, what do you guys think of the below jacket? Is it too much? I love herringbone, but is herringbone combined with a windowpane too much going on for one jacket? I want something that is classy and versatile. BB has this in 40L.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
In sport coats and suit jackets, if the shoulders don't fit off the rack, I move on. Most (not all) other things can be tweaked by a skilled tailor, but not the shoulders as I understand it.

The loss of specific sizes - I'm a 40L and notice less stores carrying longs and some starting their long sizes at 42 not 40 (or 38 or 39) as was common back when clothes were meant to fit and last - is another reflection of how "disposable" clothes have become and how true, thoughtful fit is not that important to most anymore.
Yes, it is sad to see BB following the path of the rest of the clothiers out there getting rid of "odd" sizes. At 6 feet tall and 200 lbs I consider myself of relatively normal proportions so I am very disappointed to see my sizing becoming difficult to find at BB; especially because I need a few more raises before going MTM! :)
 

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Sorry, but I wouldn't find that acceptable, and I believe it likely that tailors couldn't do much with it. But contrary to what is normally suggested, I think a larger size might improve upon the problem, as the overall jacket just looks too tight. I know it's a larger size than you've worn, but it's also likely that the fit has been changed. It just looks too tight overall. If it had a small arm hole, fuller upper sleeve and a shoulder that extended to the outside of the upper arm, there will be no divot, as depicted in the photos in the excellent article posted by Paxonus. No divots -



The alternative of having the jacket shoulder extend only to the actual joint is often described as a "proper" fit. But the result, particularly in snugger fitting jackets, is not one I find appealing.



 

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Yes, it is sad to see BB following the path of the rest of the clothiers out there getting rid of "odd" sizes. At 6 feet tall and 200 lbs I consider myself of relatively normal proportions so I am very disappointed to see my sizing becoming difficult to find at BB; especially because I need a few more raises before going MTM! :)
As a young man in the early '80s, I just caught the tail-end of when stores still had an incredible selection of sizes - for example, there used to be both a long and an extra-long in suit jackets in the old Ivy-heyday stores.

There, also, used to be longs in 38s and even (I think) sometimes 37s. Shirt sizes were incredible with 14 or 14.5 necks going up to 19 something and sleeve lengths as low as 31 (I think) and up to 37 or 38.

Sweaters in many stores were numerically sized (like O'Connell's still does) and even socks were numerically sized - which was great for someone like me with an 11.5 foot that truly needs a large size sock as the generic "one size fits all" nonsense of today has the heel always coming up short on me.

Now, I've noticed many merchants only have one sleeve length. Incredibly, Ralph Lauren Purple Label shirts are all the same one sleeve length. Really? You spend $300+ on a shirt to get a sleeve that only fits if you happen to be a 34 - grrr!
 

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The alternative of having the jacket shoulder extend only to the actual joint is often described as a "proper" fit. But the result, particularly in snugger fitting jackets, is not one I find appealing.



This is too "dandy" looking for my taste. My preference is for a more angular look around the shoulders and upper arms. The other end of this spectrum would be the Ralph Lauren look of overly-wide shoulders extending a good inch or so beyond the widest part of the shoulder.

 

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This is too "dandy" looking for my taste. My preference is for a more angular look around the shoulders and upper arms. The other end of this spectrum would be the Ralph Lauren look of overly-wide shoulders extending a good inch or so beyond the widest part of the shoulder.

I'm a natural shoulder guy, but as to Ralph, I have a friend who worked there for years and - no surprise - she said all of Ralph's clothes are custom or MTM with an incredible amount of tailoring involved in each item.

Even when he walks into one of his stores and chooses something - which he'll do (stresses the heck out of the staff) - the item is then tailored in way well beyond how your or my items are tailored.

Ralph is a small man, so he does things like extending his shoulders - as seen in your image - to "build" his frame up.
 

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This is too "dandy" looking for my taste. My preference is for a more angular look around the shoulders and upper arms. The other end of this spectrum would be the Ralph Lauren look of overly-wide shoulders extending a good inch or so beyond the widest part of the shoulder.

Yes, both examples I offered are somewhat extreme to make a point about two different approaches to avoiding divots. And a shoulder need not be extended that much to accomplish it. My main intention was to illustrate that the cause of the problem was not too broad a shoulder of itself, but rather a different combination of fit issues.
 

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Yes, both examples I offered are somewhat extreme to make a point about two different approaches to avoiding divots. And a shoulder need not be extended that much to accomplish it. My main intention was to illustrate that the cause of the problem was not too broad a shoulder of itself, but rather a different combination of fit issues.
I agree. I have an 80's Valentino heavy tweed jacket I inherited from my father-in-law. It is about 2 sizes too large, but fits wonderfully loose and drapes beautifully. No shoulder divots, even though the shoulders extend well beyond my frame. I think the key is that the arm holes are quite large. It isn't something I wear outside the house as it is too long--he was a Long and I am a Regular/Short.
 

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...

So: Are the shoulder divots acceptable - yes or no? If not, is there any way alterations will help? I don't want shoulder pads.

The above picture link shows the shoulder divots at their worst. I'm normally a 41L BB Fitzgerald but BB is moving away from odd sizes so 42L is my best option here (40Ls are much too tight)....
This shoulder divot can be fixed only if this is still in the first basting stage of a bespoke suit. In order to correct this problem, the tailor needs to correct the pattern for the forward shoulder issue. Notice that the divot happens at your rear deltoid area. It seems that your shoulder is a bit forward.

It is possible to fix the arm hole, but it requires a very skilled tailor and lots of time, not something that is worthwhile to do.

OTOH, if a 40L Madison cut, with a larger arm hole, can fit you fine in the shoulder area, taking in waist is a fairly simple operation and can be done easily. That might be the route you should go.

In short, shoulder divot is not caused by too wide the shoulder, with or without pad. It is caused by how wide or narrow the armhole is cut horizontally, and how that width fits to the wearer with his posture. Just imagine the armhole of the jacket is an oval ring. When you wear the jacket, notice how that ring is located with respective to your body. If the ring can enclose your shoulder area without pulling or pushing, there will be no divot. Otherwise if there is any pushing or pulling on the front or back, the ring is deformed and thus the divot is form. How the ring is deformed can be based on many factors: too much chest size, forward shoulder or over erect posture or others. It is not one size fits all thing.
 

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This shoulder divot can be fixed only if this is still in the first basting stage of a bespoke suit. In order to correct this problem, the tailor needs to correct the pattern for the forward shoulder issue. Notice that the divot happens at your rear deltoid area. It seems that your shoulder is a bit forward.

It is possible to fix the arm hole, but it requires a very skilled tailor and lots of time, not something that is worthwhile to do.

OTOH, if a 40L Madison cut, with a larger arm hole, can fit you fine in the shoulder area, taking in waist is a fairly simple operation and can be done easily. That might be the route you should go.

In short, shoulder divot is not caused by too wide the shoulder, with or without pad. It is caused by how wide or narrow the armhole is cut horizontally, and how that width fits to the wearer with his posture. Just imagine the armhole of the jacket is an oval ring. When you wear the jacket, notice how that ring is located with respective to your body. If the ring can enclose your shoulder area without pulling or pushing, there will be no divot. Otherwise if there is any pushing or pulling on the front or back, the ring is deformed and thus the divot is form. How the ring is deformed can be based on many factors: too much chest size, forward shoulder or over erect posture or others. It is not one size fits all thing.
Marvelous! :beer:

Thank you for this very instructive insight!
 

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As a young man in the early '80s, I just caught the tail-end of when stores still had an incredible selection of sizes - for example, there used to be both a long and an extra-long in suit jackets in the old Ivy-heyday stores.

There, also, used to be longs in 38s and even (I think) sometimes 37s. Shirt sizes were incredible with 14 or 14.5 necks going up to 19 something and sleeve lengths as low as 31 (I think) and up to 37 or 38.

Sweaters in many stores were numerically sized (like O'Connell's still does) and even socks were numerically sized - which was great for someone like me with an 11.5 foot that truly needs a large size sock as the generic "one size fits all" nonsense of today has the heel always coming up short on me.

Now, I've noticed many merchants only have one sleeve length. Incredibly, Ralph Lauren Purple Label shirts are all the same one sleeve length. Really? You spend $300+ on a shirt to get a sleeve that only fits if you happen to be a 34 - grrr!
I think the expectation on some of those shirts is you alter them at the time of the sale - granted most of the time those shirts have been more with a 36 inch sleeve.
 
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