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Style Advice

The best spring jackets for your broad shoulders

The best spring jackets for your broad shoulders

It’s a tireless job, being a jacket. You're often thrown on in a mad rush out the door, and yet you're still meant to look stylish and provide just the right amount of warmth in any season – no pressure or anything. To make it easier for your jacket to achieve both of these things, you need to nail the fit. And part of that is taking your unique shape – like your broad shoulders – into consideration. 

Nope, we're not mind-readers: you told us about your shoulders upon signing up. So if you haven’t already, you should factor them in when you choose your next jacket – it will look so much more flattering, you'll regret not doing it sooner. Not sure where to start? It all comes down to knowing the right details and features to consider, and then looking for jackets that tick all those boxes. And luckily for you, there are plenty of styles that do.

The best features for broad shoulders

Raglan sleeves

You might not have heard of a raglan sleeve, but you’ve probably worn your fair share of them – not just because they’re super flattering for guys with broad shoulders, but because they’re a prevalent feature in casualwear like sweaters, hoodies, and oversized tops. And trust us: once you know what to look for, you’ll have no problem finding raglan-sleeved outerwear, either.

Unlike a set-in shoulder seam in which the sleeve is fully separate from the body of a garment, a raglan sleeve falls from the neckline to the armpit. It means the sleeve will follow the line of your shoulder, preventing your clothes from pulling across your arms and chest. This wonder-feature can also even out the appearance of your torso, highlighting your shape in a more natural way so your frame doesn’t appear bulky and your shoulders don’t look too square. 

Though it’s a common feature in more casual clothing, the raglan sleeve goes a long way to ensure the chest and shoulders of your jacket sit flush against your body – which ultimately looks much sharper than a set-in sleeve that doesn’t fit well. You can thank us later.

Flattering fastenings

As a broad-shouldered guy, you’re probably no stranger to the issues a simple fastening can cause. Fabric gaping between buttons; zips pulling across the chest; hems feeling too loose or too tight. And you’re not the first to face these woes: broad-shouldered bikers have been there too. They solved the issue by introducing two-way zips on their jackets, which allow the front to sit clean against your chest and can be opened from the bottom to avoid puffing out when you’re seated. And if leather jackets aren’t your thing, don’t worry – plenty of other, more versatile styles have since adopted this flattering feature.

Like raglan sleeves, two-way zips are most often found on casual jackets, but the natural and easy silhouette they provide – whether you’re seated or standing – will look much sleeker than a smart jacket that’s all bunched up. If you prefer a button-up jacket over zips, try unfastening the bottom two buttons for a similar effect.

Our picks for you

Chore jackets

Chore jackets have become something of a menswear must-have over the past decade, and though they can feel structured and refined in their own rugged way, a dropped-shoulder version can be easy to come by. If you’re a fan of pattern, this Raf Simmons jacket features a printed yoke, which might seem contradictory but actually works to soften your silhouette. The printed panel emphasises the shape of the dropped sleeve, following the seam down your arm rather than cutting off harshly at the shoulder.

Shop more chore jackets

Photographed: Cole Buxton Zipped Bomber Jacket ($231)

Bomber jackets

A drop-shouldered bomber jacket can have a similarly flattering effect. Drop-shoulders are  technically set-in, but they begin further down your arm so are less likely to stretch over the widest part of your shoulder. This Cole Buxton bomber, for example, looks fairly structured, but the relaxed silhouette of the sleeves will draw attention away from your broad shoulders and will fit easily across them without pulling. If you have a longer torso and arms, avoid bomber jackets with a cuffed or elasticated hem and sleeves as they can pull up and elongate your shape even further.

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Utility jackets

The beauty of the utility jacket is its versatility. In its own right, it’s one of the most reliable pieces in your wardrobe that can be dressed up or down, and even worn in place of a structured blazer when the dress code allows for something a little more laid-back. But it’s especially great for broad-shouldered guys as the relaxed silhouette, spread collar, and V-neck lapels offer a narrowing effect around the top half of your torso that feels gentler and more flattering than more structured cuts.

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Words: Ella White
Photography: Jack Batchelor
Styling: Toby Standing