Origin of the "Rope Shoulder"

Discussion in 'Suits' started by BellyTank, Jul 24, 2008.

  1. BellyTank

    BellyTank I'll Lock Up

    I was thinking about Rope/d Shoulder/s, perusing the BT jumble archive and came up with a possible origin for this Tailoring feature.
    Whether this is before or after the fact, or totally unrelated, I don't know.

    But.

    I know for a fact, that actual rope was sometimes sewn into the shoulder of some military jackets, for the practical purpose of stopping equipment straps from sliding off the shoulder.

    I can't find a very early instance of this but here is an example from a WW2 vintage, Italian army pullover Jacket/Parka:

    [​IMG]

    There is a small length of actual rope sewn into the edge of the shoulder.
    Did the "Fashion" of the "Rope Shoulder" spring from actual practical origins..?

    Comments... more information...?


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  2. I've never heard of the term, but I could sure use a feature like that to keep my purse from sliding off! Very ingenious.
     
  3. Feraud

    Feraud Bartender

    Messages:
    17,193
    Location:
    Hardlucksville, NY
    See here for examples and discussion of roped shoulder on suits.
    Note Tomasso and Marc Chevalier's comments..

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
  4. BellyTank

    BellyTank I'll Lock Up

    I'm sure Mr. Okisaka's purse never slides off.


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  5. Rittmeister

    Rittmeister Familiar Face

    Messages:
    97
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Here is an illustration of a rope shoulder suit from 1937. My tailor confirms that an actual piece of rope is sewn into the should to create the look.
    [​IMG]
     
  6. BellyTank

    BellyTank I'll Lock Up

    Anybody..?


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  7. Matt Deckard

    Matt Deckard Man of Action

    I just always loved the look. Most everything is military inspired, sometimes functional sometimes just decoration. Epaulets with shoulder boards are an extra layer to keep a blade from cutting through. Double breasted overcoats made a better closure to keep the elements from coming in. I think the rope was just a construction detail to enhance the look of the wearer's form. Not really a functional feature, but a flourish.

    I like the look because it gives a bit of an attached arm effect which neapolitan or the more rounded shoulder don't carry. It ads to the man's build. The rope look did takeover after the 20's.
     
  8. BellyTank

    BellyTank I'll Lock Up

    I'm personally thinking it's a case of "Fashion steals from Practicality" but I don't have the proof- I'd like to see or hear about some other, particularly pre-'30s "non-fashion" examples that support my theory.

    The Epaulette? I've never heard of it as a protective feature before.
    I know it as a rank device, a place to put a rank device and for the purpose of securing a shoulder strap/equipment strap and keep it on the shoulder.


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