Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Jacket-on-Shoulders – Just for Italians?

I thought the pushed-up sleeves conversation was very interesting but here is an even more taboo-ish concept for Americans – jacket on the shoulders

I have seen a few young Americans doing it lately but it still seems so specific to the Italians.

Why don’t women do it more often?

let’s discuss…


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  1. Nicola

    September 3, 2008 at 9:55 am

    I think jacket on shoulders is really an Italian man, people should do it more often..i agree with you, Scott!

  2. Anonymous

    September 3, 2008 at 10:02 am

    I think most women have rounded shoulders and the jacket tends to slip off unexpectedly. i have broad shoulders so that is not an issue. i tend to walk too fast to keep the jacket in place…maybe i should slow down and perfect that negligent and sexy saunter:)

  3. Janne

    September 3, 2008 at 10:03 am

    In my part of the world (Norway) I mostly see middle-aged to old women wearing their cardigans in this way. Blokes tying their sweaters around their shoulders on the other hand…

  4. JFKJean

    September 3, 2008 at 10:04 am

    Italians are awesome. It seems no matter what they do fashion wise that could be trendy or the most aesthetically pleasing, most of the American population aren’t even open too. And I love it that way……

  5. Anonymous

    September 3, 2008 at 10:05 am


    Sart, we (Italians) only wear a jacket that way when it is very, very hot and moist. Otherwise we tend to avoid it altogether.

    And it is not something only smart looking guys do. People form all walks of life do it. But then again, only if the weather is really out of control.

    So not a cool thing to do, but a way of keeping cool, if I may so put it.


  6. Olviya

    September 3, 2008 at 10:10 am

    i cant say i like it…
    my father is wearing jackets like that only because of his broken arm.

  7. ritu

    September 3, 2008 at 10:14 am

    It seems to be an issue of practicality. It’s for those who are unfettered by bags and packages, which would rumple everything and ruin the look. If one was in a hurry, the jacket would fly off unless held closed. So it seems that it is a look for the leisurely.

    Personally, I don’t have the kind of shoulders that can support a draped, unfastened jacket or sweater for any length of time. Similarly, shoulder bags are constantly sliding off. I don’t like to fidget with those things or hunch up my shoulders to retain them, so I tend to avoid.

  8. Observer

    September 3, 2008 at 10:16 am

    From Italian origin, I have seen all the old women in my family wear jackets and cardigans this way since my childhood in the 70s. I have tried it myself a couple of times, but it is extremely uncomfortable, unless you go through life posing (or you have done it all your life, like my grandma).

  9. MadameSnob

    September 3, 2008 at 10:16 am

    Actually I’m italian and I often use to wear it this way :-)

    (it would be interesting also to speak about the romantic implication of it when a man offers his jackets to his lady and she can feel that special warmth… maybe to wear a jacket on the shoulders is something like this, I mean, a cuddle.


  10. Kyva

    September 3, 2008 at 10:16 am

    I like the look, personallly.I have experimented to see how it would look before leaving the house, but chickened out. I think the fit and length of the jacket/sweater and the other components of the ensemble determine whether that particular look is executed correctly. We (women) also have to consider the type of handbag that we would wear if we draped a sweater/jacket over our shoulders.

  11. Anonymous

    September 3, 2008 at 10:22 am

    Greek men often do this as well. It keeps you cool and looks cool.

  12. Percy Chatsworth

    September 3, 2008 at 10:25 am

    I’m a young male in Toronto and like doing this – it adds a littled difference to an outfit.

    I do it with cardigans and blazers, and do find that they can slip off from time to time, but that is a little risk you have to take!

    • Oscar Kam

      August 24, 2013 at 1:52 am

      Hey I’m from Toronto too and I also do this look a lot. I find it works much better with DB jackets as the extra fabric will help keep it on your shoulders.

  13. sj

    September 3, 2008 at 10:28 am

    looks aside, it’s just uncomfortable. sitting on a sidewalk cafe or a porch somewhere might be another story. but while walking? so easily slip off-able, especially walking at nyc speed.

  14. Dan in Richmond

    September 3, 2008 at 10:29 am

    I think this is a totally taboo look for men in most of the US for no other reason than that some (ignorant)people find it effeminate and object to that. I wouldn’t have done it in high school out of fear for my personal safety. It’s a “loaded” look here in an unfortunate way. It looks great on both these guys and there’s no reason not to do it (if it looks good). I’m happy that you’ve seen young Americans doing it lately.

  15. iadorechanel

    September 3, 2008 at 10:29 am

    Jacket on shoulders is a very fancy way to wear it..and not only the italians do it..i have seen french,moscow people..stylish ones of point is..who cares if italians,french or russians wear it ?..just wear it if your attitude allows you to do this.. .

  16. wilsonian

    September 3, 2008 at 10:32 am

    Yes, as has been said, for women it’s tough to pull off with a shoulder bag. And it is difficult to catch the jacket (when it slips, not if…) while holding a clutch.

  17. iadorechanel

    September 3, 2008 at 10:34 am

    Dear MADAMESNOB ..your comment is are so right about the romantic sense of jacket on shoulders/Italians do it better :)

  18. suzanne nelson

    September 3, 2008 at 10:35 am

    I have this image in my head of french women doing it all the time (i spent a lot of time there as a child) with one hand supporting the other elbow and holding a cigarette… As a woman i would love to wear my jackets like that but i am slightly built and they just fall off. I’m a great fan of capes on the other hand. The first gentleman in the stripey T looks cool and casual, his look is very natural and unforced. I think more men should consider this mode an option.

  19. Jorge from W Palm Beach

    September 3, 2008 at 10:36 am

    I would not try it with a blazer, unless it was made of fabric with some stretch to it. I would try it with a cardigan sweater or a track jacket, like your second example. It is a good look on women, whether it is the jacket that the man-on-her-life just offered, or her own. I just bought an inexpensive silk-cashmere cardigan from Banana Republic and that would be a good sweater to try this look! Jorge from W Palm Beach

  20. k

    September 3, 2008 at 10:37 am

    i’m a 30-year-old woman and i do the jacket-on-shoulder-thing all the time – just this morning for example :) i know it’s often perceived as a bit lady (old lady) like, but i think it’s a great mixture of elegant and relaxed… the falling-off-the-shoulder-thing is a bit problematic tho indeed!

  21. Dan in Richmond

    September 3, 2008 at 10:44 am

    To fully address today’s interesting topic I should have added to my comments above that I have seen women here wear their jackets, coats and sweaters like this all my life- maybe less now than I used to.

  22. Federico

    September 3, 2008 at 10:46 am

    reading the metaphoric thought of Madame Snob I just fell in love with her.

  23. Cheryl

    September 3, 2008 at 10:50 am

    How does adding a jacket propped on your shoulders keep you cool? I am under the impression it will keep you warmer. Is it that it will keep you cooler than actually putting the jacket on?

    While I guess it does look fashionable, I agree with a previous comment that it is only for the leisurely folks. It’s completely impractable for me to throw a jacket over my shoulders and try to keep it from falling off while carrying a bag and other items. I can just see the poor jacket falling to the dirty ground and me with no hands to catch it.

    Actually, now that I read that again and look at the pictures I think it looks kind of sloppy. Those poor empty sleeves.

  24. irene

    September 3, 2008 at 10:50 am

    Um … because I can’t run or *do* *anything* without the jacket falling off. And I don’t really walk very slowly/sit/stand around doing nothing that often.

  25. Stella

    September 3, 2008 at 10:52 am

    I would have thought that wearing a jacket over the shoulders is done for necessity or ease, rather than as a fashion statement.
    Anyone wearing it that way purely for aesthetic reasons is a little too self conscious in my mind (like wearing sunglasses indoors)

  26. Anonymous

    September 3, 2008 at 10:55 am

    all you need is a handbag and a gust of wind to spoil that look (or the jacket) on a woman…. and when it is a man’s jacket on a woman’s shoulders as some sort of chivalry it seems damsel in distress-ish. I wish it worked better as it is practical for layering…

  27. RP

    September 3, 2008 at 10:55 am

    Oh, this 'jacket-over-the-shoulder' style reminds me of the classic movies. I so wanted to carry my jacket like so when as a child, I first saw Audrey Hepburn do it in a movie. And yes I did try it when I started going to college, but the jacket kept on slipping & my bag which wasn't a small clutch one, kept on getting in my way. To cut to the chase, it was a disaster!

    I tried it later at work thinking that my newly-gained maturity in my dressing style & ability to multitask might help & I would be able to walk around non-chalantly, but it seemed a bit impractical then too. I had almost forgotten about it all until you posted these photos. (Thank you so much!) I think I'll give it a try again. Maybe this time it'll work! :)


  28. Hissy Stitch

    September 3, 2008 at 10:58 am

    I’ll throw a cardigan over my shoulders if I’m at my desk and feeling chilly (having your arms against your body is warmer than having them in sleeves), but a cardigan or a jacket will fall off my shoulders if I’m walking around with it that way. I don’t think there’s anything terribly wrong with throwing a jacket over one’s shoulders in a casual setting. It’s just not often practical, except perhaps draping a light jacket that way to keep the sun off yet let the breezes blow in.

  29. Anonymous

    September 3, 2008 at 11:00 am

    Its not only Italians. I was in Portugal a month ago and most men were wearing their jackets like this in the afternoon when it was rather hot.

  30. VRG

    September 3, 2008 at 11:06 am

    Women in the 50′s and 60′s used to wear their twin sets this way, with the cute little chain clip thingy in front to keep it from slipping.

  31. Anonymous

    September 3, 2008 at 11:12 am

    Many have already said this: it’s just impractical if you want to move around with any ease and/or speed. the jacket or sweater over the shoulders falls off easily and it hinders the mobility of one’s arms. And I think restricted movement is a detriment to any look.

  32. Miguel

    September 3, 2008 at 11:24 am

    I haven’t seen anyone doing so in PR but it certainly is a nice way to wear a jacket…

  33. Anonymous

    September 3, 2008 at 11:33 am

    I actually made a choice to wear a black tie jacket to my wedding dress this weekend.
    The weather got really cold and I didn’t want to mess up my look, a small white complicated knee length dress with a very arty draped look.
    So I decided to go for the gentlemen lending out his jacket look, just draped over my shoulder for the dinner and party (outside) and it felt that every one just took for granted that this didn’t belong to my outfit and I think it just turned out to look romantic.

  34. Deja Pseu

    September 3, 2008 at 11:40 am

    I do it from time to time, in fact am wearing my crop jacket this way right now; with the a/c it’s too cool with just a blouse, but too warm with the jacket fully on.

  35. d2fang

    September 3, 2008 at 11:42 am

    I think people are losing sight that a lot of things done with clothing are for functional reasons, other than just to look a certain way. Kind of pretentious.

  36. Anonymous

    September 3, 2008 at 11:55 am

    I also remember having a piece of jewelry as a kid that was a chain with clips on either end to hold a sweater/jacket on when wearing it on the shoulders.

  37. Anonymous

    September 3, 2008 at 11:57 am

    A man wearing a jacket over both shoulders is too effeminate for most Americans. A man, however, can wear a jacket over one shoulder – perferably with a semi-automatic rifle in his opposite hand, a well chewed cigar, a days growth of beard, and a scantily dressed woman at his feet.

  38. Anonymous

    September 3, 2008 at 12:04 pm

    Anna Wintour is the only woman I can think of that does it nowadays. And she does it rather often. And to be honest, I never really liked it.

  39. Anonymous

    September 3, 2008 at 12:10 pm

    Italians can do it because they have style and Americans don’t.

  40. GD1891

    September 3, 2008 at 12:12 pm

    I definately like the look but have associated it with leisure. I will wear my jackets like this way while on vacation but have never attempted to in my daily life.

    Random? Who knows.

  41. lintmag

    September 3, 2008 at 12:15 pm

    I do this at times with both jackets and cardigans, though the cardi does seem more granny-like. I think if the rest of your look is great, it works fine. For men, I do agree there’s that insecure freak out that many straight American men seem to have, worrying about what others will think.

  42. Christina

    September 3, 2008 at 12:20 pm

    I think the look is great. I don’t know why more women don’t try it…for me, I’m just too clumsy and would end up struggling with my jacket the entire time, thus ruining the whole casual, nonchalant vibe intended by the whole look.

  43. Zakuro

    September 3, 2008 at 12:28 pm

    I like this way too.
    cool and chic.
    It depends on the persons or the clothes, although.
    but this is still taboo in america?

    yes, i think that women look nice in this style too.
    Carine Roitfeld really did it chic although her arm was broken.

  44. Olle

    September 3, 2008 at 12:35 pm

  45. Anonymous

    September 3, 2008 at 12:37 pm

    I don’t think it is too effiminate for men….it is just not practical for a busy person. The look lends itself to a leisurely lifestyle, one where you don’t have much to do but lazily stroll around looking fabulous. It is just too preppy for my taste.

  46. Joanna from Madrid

    September 3, 2008 at 12:44 pm

    This inspired me to reach into my closet today and pull out a cardigan to wear around my shoulders. Another wardrobe decision influenced by the Sartorialist.

  47. Kitschen Pink

    September 3, 2008 at 12:46 pm

    trousers have holes for legs, jackets have holes for arms – seems such a shame not to use either! t.x

  48. notanotherblog

    September 3, 2008 at 12:53 pm

    Dude, I’m in Canada, and I do it all the time! I’m the only one in a 100 mile radius who does it. Sometimes I look like a pyramid when I wear my jacket that way. But it’s more practical since it can be too hot when you wear a jacket “properly.”

  49. Liz

    September 3, 2008 at 12:58 pm

    i think it’s just what you do when you made the silly decision to wear a jacket on a hot day, and don’t know what to do with it since you can’t tie it around your shoulders or waist, and don’t feel like carrying it over your arm. i don’t think it’s a fashion statement, so much as the most practical way to wear it when it’s hot out. i like jackets and all, but if it’s hot out, leave the thing at home!!

  50. Caterina

    September 3, 2008 at 1:08 pm

    It looks smart, espeacially with a woolen cardi, but any time I tried to wear a jacket like this, I had a terrible stiff neck in the end.
    I simply couldn´t move or walk in a normal way, unless the jacket would slip off my shoulders.
    Still wondering how others manage to feel relaxed with “jacket on the shoulders”…

  51. Jack Daniel

    September 3, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    you’re not completely right about that.

    Uhm, I’m sure you’ve never been to Asia. But japanese men always do it. Well, at least…the yakuza maffia members are doing it all the time.

  52. Caterina

    September 3, 2008 at 1:20 pm

    + I remember, sometimes I close the upper button of my cardigan. + a bit like a cape, but at least the jacket won´t slip off…
    + hmm probably not suitable for men ;)

  53. Anonymous

    September 3, 2008 at 1:23 pm

    What? Pushed-up sleeves are taboo in America? My boyfriend and my colleagues roll up their sleeves all the time.

    As for the jacket-on-the-shoulders idea, I don’t think it’s practical. I do it once in a while when I’m sitting at my desk but walking around like this…. it can easily fall off your shoulders. I also think that it makes guys look rather feminine, which can work for some of them but definitely not for most men.

  54. Colleen

    September 3, 2008 at 1:25 pm

    I’m afraid I find it a little creepy – like they’re hiding something under there – maybe their arms are not really human (Eek!).

    I know it is silly, but, Italian or not, it doesn’t work for me.

  55. Anonymous

    September 3, 2008 at 1:50 pm

    My mom has a longtime habit of wearing coats this way. They tend to slip off or shift so that after walking for a few minutes it looks like somebody threw the coat at her. Definitely not practical. If you’ve got a jacket and it gets hot, it looks better just to take it off and carry it on your arm or thrown back over one shoulder.

  56. Marianna

    September 3, 2008 at 1:57 pm

    ya, i have to agree w some of the comments up there, i see this a lot in mediterranean countries-also mainly on the older guys. it seems so “natural” on them as if it were a habit that has been around for years… but the younger guys cant always pull off the look that easily. anyway, i love jacket on shoulders. sometimes i do it here in paris, but i can get some odd stares as if im trying to imitate some retro-glam icon.

  57. Anonymous

    September 3, 2008 at 2:05 pm

    With the SoCal heat in the day, but cooler temps at night, I have been wearing this look quite often the last couple of weeks.

  58. Quinn

    September 3, 2008 at 2:09 pm

    I guess I’ve been doing the taboo thing for awhile now. I enjoy jackets on the shoulders and the way that it looks. I usually wear it like that when it’s too hot to have your arms in the sleeves.

  59. Anonymous

    September 3, 2008 at 2:23 pm

    maybe more women wore their jackets/cardigans this way before the pashmina?? Although pashmina’s aren’t exactly where it’s at, fashion-wise, at the moment i have a big cashmere knitted throw i often use and never fly or travel without it. Hard to think of a male equivalent though…

  60. Lucy

    September 3, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    My French father in law (65+) does this too. I must admit that I do not like it…

  61. Shaina

    September 3, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    Hmm…i don’t like it. it’s just the feeling of the jacket falling off of you. i mean, you have to have incredible balance in the shoulders and your arms slanted at a certain angle it’s just too much work!:0 in addition, you could try wearing that look on a “mellow” day, but on a “hetic” day, it certainly wouldn’t work.

    *also style in America is very practical, for both men and women, and i’ll admit, that can get a tad “boring,” but its whats wearable now, “PRAC-TI-CALI-CI-TY”. ^^

  62. Etta

    September 3, 2008 at 2:34 pm

    Maybe they just need their shoulder to hold the jackets for a minute. It might not even be a deliberate decision, its not a photo shoot… Why is it even taboo? Who care where the jacket sits? Men or women that have their jacket on the shoulder is just fine.

  63. Jazzbuff630

    September 3, 2008 at 2:49 pm

    Works best when your name is Marcello Mastroianni. Anybody else looks like a poseur. Or like they’re making pretend that they’re a superhero. “Here comes Fashionman!”

  64. Anonymous

    September 3, 2008 at 2:54 pm

    I find the look to be unattractive. Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should do that thing. People who wear jackets in this fashion remind me of people who wear their pants with the waistline below their hips.

  65. Easy and Elegant Life

    September 3, 2008 at 2:57 pm

    VRG, I love that look with the twinsets and the little clip thing.

    As a man, I’ve worn my coat that way when dashing in or out of a car or building or “on the sidelines,” but have never attempted the same with a sportcoat/blazer here in the States. It is a tough “leisurely” look to pull off, in my opinion. If my suit coat is off, it is folded over my arm or slung from a finger over my shoulder.

    Sweaters get tied around the neck.

  66. dirtydirtylaundry

    September 3, 2008 at 3:21 pm

    I think more women don’t do this because it causes women to look frail. This is one of those looks that only very slim-figured women an pull off because on any woman with a curvier body, a jacket off the shoulders just adds bulk.

  67. Anonymous

    September 3, 2008 at 3:50 pm

    I think Bruce is more ore less allowed to do whatever he wants.

  68. Nadine

    September 3, 2008 at 4:10 pm

    I can’t get past the impracticality of this look. It would make it impossible to raise your arms. Too confining.

  69. Minniti

    September 3, 2008 at 4:14 pm

    to be honest, it just doesn’t seem like a relevant modern concept. in todays fast moving pace, it just doesn’t hold up. but, we are talking fashion, which, as we all know is not always action-functional but is certainly decoration functional. i guess i am a more form=function girl. but i must admit the trend would work on the young girls.

  70. The Storialist

    September 3, 2008 at 4:18 pm

    It’s interesting how looking less put together can actually appear more elegant.

    It also depends on the length of the jacket or sweater. I have a cropped cardigan that seems to stay a little better than longer jackets.

    I have to echo the posters who have commented about the practicality (with both the losing the jacket and trying to figure out where to hold one’s purse!).

  71. squajo

    September 3, 2008 at 4:45 pm

    Jacket-on-shoulder is a good way of keep cool in very hot and humid weather. I do this quite often where I live–in Los Angeles.

  72. nowaks nähkästchen

    September 3, 2008 at 4:47 pm

    Women already wear handbags on their shoulders.. :o

    (And personally spoken: If I want a cape, I wear one. And yes, I do own a cape. And use it, if I feel like it.)

  73. Anonymous

    September 3, 2008 at 4:52 pm

    I love it on ladies. It suggests an elegant “lady of leisure” pace.
    Probably better if the chaps leave it to their Italian brothers though.

  74. Ryan Mac

    September 3, 2008 at 5:11 pm

    I think it’s a great look. I do not see how it’s impractical. I’ve worn my jacket over my shoulders before and function just as well.

  75. Scott W

    September 3, 2008 at 5:27 pm

    Silly if planned, nice if out of necessity.

  76. Anonymous

    September 3, 2008 at 5:32 pm

    I don’t wear jacket on my shoulder because I have small shoulder and the jacket falls off easily….

    besides, putting the jacket on the shoulder is so “suggestive”, I prefer being more direct.

  77. Straniero

    September 3, 2008 at 5:46 pm

    If I may venture a theory…

    As an American, it has always struck me as…”unusual” (relative to our habits here in the US) how the average Italian seems to observe the more traditional ideas of “seasonal dressing.” That is to say, many (most?) Italian folk will wear their winter clothes right up ’till the very day before the first day of spring; it may be hot and muggy as all get-out in Firenze the day before the new season officially begins, but I’ll be darned if folks aren’t still wearing their winter garb.

    So, if you’ve only/mostly noticed this practice happening right before spring, or right after summer, I might speculate that it’s a means by which one might keep cool(er) whilst still observing proper dressing conventions.

    Of course, if you’ve seen this practice in the middle of winter, my theory gets shot to hell. :D

  78. Anonymous

    September 3, 2008 at 5:53 pm

    If a guy here in Sacramento ever tried to wear this look, he’d better be able to run faster than the usual sub-human around here who just would not appreciate it.

  79. Anonymous

    September 3, 2008 at 6:46 pm

    Being from Australia we see this as a predominately feminine way to dress, but the Italians always have a tendency to wear a ‘look’ with such ‘gusto’ that they make it masculine simply because of confidence.

    To me it always suggests a casual approach to covering up from the evening chill – a very spring or autumn look, don’t you think?

  80. Anonymous

    September 3, 2008 at 6:53 pm

    My teacher of physics in high school always wore her jacket that way… It reminds me of her and this is not a very pleasant memory:D

  81. Anonymous

    September 3, 2008 at 7:12 pm

    I had to laugh when I saw this discussion! I do this all the time. I’m a gal and I find this the most practical thing to do with A/C and still keep my look going. Sometimes a jacket is too stuffy both literally and figuratively.

    I don’t care that my co-workers call it my old lady look! I’m down with old ladies!


  82. -E

    September 3, 2008 at 7:30 pm

    I love the jacket on the shoulders, but feel it comes off as a “Hamptons Wannabe” look too often.

  83. la sartorialista

    September 3, 2008 at 7:49 pm

    Great discussion about a life or death matter!

    Indeed, it does really only work if your name is Marcello Mastroianni or a fiorentino boulevardier on a Vespa- if you’re male.

    if you are female, the bag issue is only an issue if the bag has to be on the shoulder. Not a problem though if you choose throw a vintage Chanel tweed over your shoulders and wear a black alligator Birkin in the crook of your arm. Think Anouk Amee (sp?).

  84. Anonymous

    September 3, 2008 at 8:20 pm

    very Percy Dovetails*

    If you don’t know Percy Dovetails you should.

  85. Dan in Richmond

    September 3, 2008 at 9:09 pm

    I’m very surprized at how much this discussion has focused on practicality rather than male vs female employment of the style, or broader sociological implications. I think practicality is relative to the specifics of the garment in question. I could put some articles of clothing on my shoulders like this and they would just fall to the floor; others would “grab on” and stay put. It might be easier for a man to wear a trenchcoat or a constructed jacket in this fashion than a silky sweater, for example. So if practicality is relative, where/when/on whom is it more acceptable, or is there no difference? The latter would be my preference but I’m not sure it’s true.

  86. Daniel

    September 3, 2008 at 9:14 pm

    Looks like Ganesh. Hot.

  87. Sal

    September 3, 2008 at 9:22 pm

    I would rather see them wearing capes personally, but they look good either way.

  88. Anonymous

    September 3, 2008 at 9:55 pm

    i do it whenever i can. it just feels natural. i’m an old-fashioned, mid-western, non-sartorial woman. who knew?

  89. discrepant awareness

    September 3, 2008 at 10:17 pm

    North Americans don’t wear it for one simple reason: we’re conditioned by mannequins, not runways. Other than sweat-shops, it’s the most tragic part of consumer society.

  90. Ridonkulus

    September 3, 2008 at 10:43 pm

    i think americans don’t do this because it looks “stuffy” or “pretentious.” americans do wear these types of jackets and blazers. as for why women don’t wear their jackets this way; you lose the waist and the hips! it makes you look boxy from behind. if you are large chested, it drapes weirdly in the front. if you’re less endowed, this style makes you look even smaller!

  91. Mar'

    September 3, 2008 at 11:11 pm

    I witnessed jackets on shoulders in Madrid, Spain on men of all ages during the summer and fall seasons when I was there 30 years ago.

  92. Alex D.

    September 3, 2008 at 11:18 pm

    I personally always wear my jackets on the shoulders whenever it gets a bit too hot for sleeves. It is a much better and more attractive way to carry a jackets rather than the other options of over the arm or flipped back over the shoulder.

  93. Anonymous

    September 3, 2008 at 11:43 pm

    As a woman I wear my cardis over my shoulders quite often, especially in summer when the A/C is cranked up. Button the top so it does not fly off. Does it really seem old fashioned? Seems practical and easy to me.of

  94. iain russell

    September 3, 2008 at 11:57 pm

    why go jackets over shoulders when you could do cape…

  95. Anonymous

    September 4, 2008 at 12:06 am

    I remember seeing photos of CZ Guest wearing jackets or sweaters in this casual, but complete, way. Marvelous.

  96. Anonymous

    September 4, 2008 at 1:11 am

    They fall off.

  97. Esti

    September 4, 2008 at 2:38 am

    Well…it was pretty common for women to wear it like that in Spain, but I´m talking about fifteen years ago. Nowadays it looks kind of old-fashioned to do so, both for women and for men.
    It might become cool again, I´ll let you know!

  98. SImona Heidempergher

    September 4, 2008 at 3:49 am

    Hi from an Italian woman living between Milan, London and Brussels (in finance not in fashion sorry). Well, as an Italian woman you are only allow to wear a jacket like that if a man has given you his jacket to keep you warm (and you do not want to look ridicolous wearing it with long sleeves and looking like an orphan out of a Rossellini movie). Otherwise when it’s hot and Italian men have to keep the jackte like that not to sweat too much you have the privilige of dressing nicely and not having to wear a jacket

  99. IRENE

    September 4, 2008 at 5:05 am

    My mum used to. It was very chic with her hand bag nested below her elbow. I never thought it was taboo in America. She didn’t! Oh, I might try it once the fresh autumn winds settle in. Thank you.

  100. São João

    September 4, 2008 at 5:11 am

    My grandma and grandpa use their jackets like this all the time. Here in Portugal it’s very common specially among rural and older people. About the bags, my grandma usually wears a handbag with a small handle on the forearm, never a shoulder bag.

  101. Ellen

    September 4, 2008 at 5:17 am

    I agree with the Italian posters that living someplace hot and humid makes this style logical, not just fashionable. I live in London, and, well, I wish it would happen here – the weather AND the fashion – but I just don’t see it on the horizon. The cardie version repels me for some reason, except as a humorous allusion to the jacket style. I like that more as a spontaneous thing, not as something you’d walk around all day trying to carry off. Though, now that I think of it, a whippet-thin Shoreditch boy with a little beard and a floppy barnet might look quite good with a thin cardigan draped on his shoulders. That’s it – I’m a convert! Thanks, Mr. Sart.

  102. macaca grava-por-cima

    September 4, 2008 at 6:31 am

    My mamma used to do it all the time… In the 80′s I personally deslike it. But it all depends on the attitude.

    MGPC, Portugal

  103. denixxx

    September 4, 2008 at 6:44 am

    i’m from Turkey and it’s a common usage in Turkey as well.. especially in villages. so i think this should be a Mediterranean tradition of some kind, which came out from the climatic conditions in the first place.

  104. Anonymous

    September 4, 2008 at 7:00 am

    as a woman (and italian) i say that we don’t wear jackets on shoulders, because you maybe looking like a square washmachine (if you have wide hips, like most of italian women have…). Only chance: if the jacket is deconstructed and made in a soft smooth material.

  105. Anonymous

    September 4, 2008 at 7:34 am

    As Italian I think this is not a fashion thing. We just do it when is too warm for the clothes we are dressing or too cold.

    C’mon, don’t you do it in US as well? It is a very normal thing…

  106. maggie_hogan

    September 4, 2008 at 7:53 am

    i love it, i love it… i have boxy shoulders and as a lady, this is usually less than ideal, but i’m excited to have this super laid-back, slouchy idea. i think it may even hide broad shoulders a bit….

  107. Charlie

    September 4, 2008 at 8:07 am

    It looks cool (in the phisical sense of the word) and relaxed. You have to wolk and move slowly, gesticulation is restrictet, my grandfather dir it, my uncles did it. I do it when I feel don’t feel the need to look cool. Yes, I like it a lot. You never look industrious though.

  108. sammy wammy

    September 4, 2008 at 8:22 am

    It seems rather affected to my anglo saxon eyes. A bit stagey and upper class. My theory is because it’s effectively turning your jacket into a cape or a cloak.
    However, when I was on holiday in Italy earlier this year I realised that my tolerance for the boundary of what I considered an acceptable level of male posing had been increased by continuous exposure to the general level of it there.

    • Lithops

      September 2, 2015 at 12:20 am

      Pretty much echoes my mind-frame exactly!
      The last time I spent a week or so in Rome with my wife, draping one’s jacket over the shoulders whilst strolling (very casually) along the Via Veneto seemed almost “de riguer”. However, trying the same thing in mid-town Manhattan in early Spring will only make you a target (and an easy one at that!) For the roving gangs of young gypsies…..I think the Macy’s clerk’s that hand out those bright red bags are in league with them….For one thing, I’m guessing as a natural defense, New Yorkers tend to walk at a VERY brisk pace. I’ve seen 70+ yr. old women walking SO briskly in fact, that it was hard keeping up with them!

  109. jaci

    September 4, 2008 at 9:21 am

    i do this purely for a warmth issue. sometimes it’s too hot and stuffy for a jacket but too cool for whatever i am wearing. i get the granny thing a lot too, but i like the way it looks and feels, so i do it still.
    if we’ve learned anything from you, it’s to do what feels and looks best for you!

  110. Mens designer clothing|ESPY Menswear

    September 4, 2008 at 9:40 am

    Very camp style

  111. Anonymous

    September 4, 2008 at 9:50 am

    I love the look… if you can pull it off. Seems to fiddley though, always having to adjust it.
    I think I like the idea of it more than anything.

  112. fabio

    September 4, 2008 at 11:01 am

    In the right occasion I will go mad for the pushed-up sleeves on a man. On a woman but in different occasion. Good.

  113. Claire

    September 4, 2008 at 11:05 am

    If I wore my jacket over my shoulders, holding my handbag would be much too tricky…

  114. bomb.ass.ting

    September 4, 2008 at 11:06 am

    It looks pretentious.

  115. Rachel

    September 4, 2008 at 11:14 am

    If you’re going to wear a jacket then wear it. It’s not shawl or something. I don’t like the look. Italian or not.

  116. Kerri Rose

    September 4, 2008 at 2:58 pm

    I’ve loved the look of this for ages, and sometimes do it with an oversize pea coat I have, but I think it tends to make most women look really chunky. You almost have to try it with dark, super clean cut slacks and heals.

  117. Karin

    September 4, 2008 at 3:06 pm

    I do it quite often actually…and I am a woman. Sometimes I don’t feel like putting my jacket or sweater on all the way…or if it’s just a tad bit chilly…then I don’t need another full-on layer. I don’t do it as a fashion statement though…I do it for function and comfort.

  118. Anonymous

    September 4, 2008 at 3:46 pm

    I live in the UK and I would both push up my jacket sleeves and wear it on the shoulders without thinking about it. Is America really so conservative (dare I say backward) that these things are ‘issues’ which even merit big discussion?

  119. Najee

    September 4, 2008 at 5:50 pm

    For me cardigans on the shoulders are more appropriate , you know if you are feeling chilly or if you need to go from outside to inside without completely taking off the sweater. For me this is not about being fashionable it’s about being pragmatically correct.

  120. Anonymous

    September 4, 2008 at 10:41 pm

    i don’t do it because the cardigan always slips off and i hate having to constantly fiddle around with my clothes over the course of the day. the cardigan over the shoulders thing is great when you’re perfectly still but just not practical for people on the go. (and i don’t know how the guys in your photos do it.)

    clothes should look effortlessly good on a person, not fiddly and contrived.

  121. Anonymous

    September 4, 2008 at 11:12 pm

    I love what madamesnob said. It’s what I love about the Italian way of thinking, and why I am going there next week. :)

  122. Anonymous

    September 5, 2008 at 12:27 am

    I think this is sort of silly, and not really like any kind of fashion. It doesn’t look like they are wearing the jackets at all, just sort of hanging them there for safekeeping, or maybe like they were in a hurry and had no time to put the thing on properly. Not that this is a problem, it’s just not a fashion statement.

  123. Anonymous

    September 5, 2008 at 5:14 pm

    Anonymous at 820, I think it’s Percy Dovetonsils (not Dovetails) and the coat on shoulders does have a theatrical effeteness that recalls him (boy do I feel old, but I only saw Ernie Kovacs in reruns, I swear).

    I love cardigans on the shoulder for women of a certain age. It’s very Mad Men when you think of it–Miss Finerty in accounting or something.

  124. hannah

    September 5, 2008 at 6:58 pm

    I do this a fair amount, not because i dont have the time to put the jacket on, but because i’m really picky about body temperature and this is the “im not quite cold enough to put it all the way on” middle ground. But on the man above, it looks hot! Like he’s just passing and at any moment he could throw it off and jump on a rollercoaster, or pull a car out of a ditch.

  125. Michael

    September 5, 2008 at 7:15 pm

    I find it a bit feminine. I actually like the look with cardigan sweaters or light weight jackets for women. For men and I believe Italian as well men, it’s more about the weather than it is fasion.

  126. gaudwen

    September 5, 2008 at 8:12 pm

    my french teacher ms. collingnon does this with her jacket . coolest lady ever.

  127. Botany's Desire

    September 6, 2008 at 5:40 pm

    I am quite torn. I like it when it is done by women who are wearing very simple elegant slacks with a nice blouse. But for me I too walk too fast especially when I am NYC so it would just go flying off my shoulders.

  128. Anonymous

    September 7, 2008 at 1:26 am

    I often wear my jacket on my shoulders at work. It allows range of movement at the desk without fabric bunching under arms. I also think it feels more cozy – somebody said cuddly – than the jacket properly buttoned does. It’s not very practical to walk around in much unless you button the top. Doing so makes it much more like a cape, which is a style that will hopefully resurface soon, making this conversation all but moot.

  129. Joanna E. Reyburn

    September 7, 2008 at 2:56 am

    I just want to say that I was inspired to wear my sweater like that after viewing this post. I felt like my grandma, but it was a nice apple red alpaca sweater and it stayed on the shoulders nicely.

  130. elseplace

    September 8, 2008 at 1:49 am

    turks wear it like that a lot. you are supposed to carry yourself like an underground personality…

  131. Terri Shea

    September 8, 2008 at 2:20 pm

    If I am going to wear a garment as an accessory, only draped across my shoulders, I would rather wear a shawl. They are much more graceful, and I knit myself one to go with every season and every mood.

  132. Anonymous

    September 8, 2008 at 2:32 pm


  133. [email protected]

    September 9, 2008 at 1:22 am

    I live in Vegas where it’s hot as heck. I also like to wear blazers, so, often I throw my jackets on like this. I always get major compliments when I do it.

    The trick is to not look like you’re having trouble keeping the jacket on your shoulders. Relax.

  134. Kent Johnson

    September 10, 2008 at 3:14 am

    I used to wear jackets like this in my teens but I had fogotten how!

    Thanks for the reminder.

  135. Anonymous

    September 11, 2008 at 2:32 am

    i work at a high end department store in nyc, and they force me to wear a jacket, despite the fact i work on the advanced designer floor of the mens department. although i had a cape clip made a few years ago so i could pull off this look and still move about without worrying the jacket would fall off, i wear my jacket this way at work to spite the executives. they think i look ridiculous. i beg to differ.

  136. Mira

    September 11, 2008 at 2:02 pm

    I think the reason women don’t do it lies in the fact that they take clothes far more seriously than men. It’s more of an insitutionalised matter for women – that’s why things like cardigan on the shoulders appeal more to men. Am I right?

  137. K. Sundari

    September 12, 2008 at 2:30 pm

    Love the patches on the second jacket. Great stuff.

  138. Anonymous

    September 12, 2008 at 3:31 pm

    Occasion is key. With a little short dress for evening, a great little structured jacket or cardigan would be perfect and a big clutch purse you can tuck under your arm. preferably the new, larger sized clutches appearing on the scene with embelishments or metallics

  139. Anonymous

    September 13, 2008 at 2:04 am

    Jacket on shoulders, definitely for those who can’t decide whether they are hot or cold. With the jacket, it may be too warm. Without, it may be too cool. Jacket on shoulder, perfect….just the right temperature…with a added sophistication to the look. What’s not to like? I am thinking it may be more suitable for women. Men, don’t be lazy, just put those arms in the sleeve. Unless you have a broken arm…

  140. Anonymous

    September 13, 2008 at 10:23 pm

    Women in Spain wear their jackets and cardigans like this all the time. But mostly old matrons and middle age housewifes, not very trendy. Maybe it´s a mediterranean thing! Personally, I think it looks dump.

  141. Alice V.

    September 15, 2008 at 1:10 pm

    It seems to me that the whole handbag problem could be solved by just carrying a handbag with short handles that hangs from the crook of the elbow.

  142. Anonymous

    September 17, 2008 at 7:58 am

    I have to say that after browsing through this discussion I’m surprised no one has mentioned the “other” problem, over and above slouch shoulders. bag carrying, etc. As a Spaniard I agree that its a necessity to wear a jacket this way when the temperatures escalate, or when you’re being lent a man’s jacket at a party but… How can you avoid it falling off if you talk as much with your hands as you do with your mouth? I still haven’t found a solution to that problem.

  143. Sandra

    September 18, 2008 at 3:53 am

    is the first guy bryan adams??

  144. Anja

    September 21, 2008 at 4:49 am

    i think it is chic but for men who really have time on their hands to have a slow walk etc, cause once you fasten up, it will be very disturbing… i’m a girl, and i’m always in a rush, so i only put my cardigan like this when i’m freezing in an outside café in the evening…

  145. denis from Brazil

    September 27, 2008 at 9:01 am

    I always drop my jacket on the shoulders. It´s a habit of my family: when we are suited and tied, and go out to have lunch, for example, we use the jacket over the shoulders. It´s elegant and the best way to carry the jacket when you aren´t wearing

  146. Pallatso

    October 4, 2008 at 10:39 pm

    Sorry all, but a jacket over the shoulders is, well, too affected for words. Seeing men and women “wear” their jackets or cardigans that way, or, god forbid, a sweater or pullover tied around the neck (erk!), always makes me cringe.

  147. Sage

    October 11, 2008 at 12:12 am

    i like this look, and i myself wear it. i think you need the right blazer, outfit, and confidence to wear it. for the bloggers saying women don’t do this because of their bags, well, carry a tote — they look better anyway. this is a nice look for men, too — very handsome and classic.

  148. swtos

    July 2, 2009 at 11:11 am

    wearing a jacket like that, usually with one arm in the sleeve n the other just sitting under the jacket is a custom that greek "manges" (a work that means macho or rough men) used to do back in the 60' perhaps even earlier. they would keep a moustache and they smoked hash, usually in water pipes, and listened to rembetiko music. they were chased by the police, and once caught, their moustache was shaved, and their sleeves cut off, as to humiliate them.

  149. The Blasphemous Fiendess

    November 4, 2009 at 8:34 pm

    I put my sweaters or jackets over my shoulders like this;I got that from my British mum (I an Canadian) but for my generation it was a considered a bit fuddy duddy. On men it looks feminine to me.

  150. TheDean!

    April 14, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    I’m a 20 year old northern irish guy, and i do this. It’s bitchin’ cool

  151. Name*

    July 25, 2013 at 3:50 am

    I love it! Personally I prefer masculine clothing, but how do you keep the darn jacket on without it slipping of your shoulders?

  152. Harvey Lee

    September 14, 2018 at 1:33 am

    Nice styles! I like this article so much. Thanks and keep sharing.

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