The Natural Shoulder Jacket

"With its minimal padding, a natural shoulder jacket is much lighter than most mass-produced jackets and it looks less formal and stuffy," says Chris Callis of Norman Hilton—who, along with the founder's son Nick, has relaunched the all-American brand for a new generation of young men. "Put one on, and you feel much more like you're wearing the jacket rather than the jacket is wearing you." That increased range of motion and comfort is one of the main reasons why the softly constructed jacket became so popular in the '50s and '60s. There are no darts in the front, the lapels are trim but not too narrow and the three buttons naturally roll to a two-button stance. The shoulders? They're basically your shoulders—not the wide puffy pads found on more European styles. The jackets are made in New York's garment district from premium materials (think Scottish tweeds and horn buttons) using a pattern from 1963 found in the Norman Hilton archives. "Of course, there's been some updating to modernize the proportions, but these are definitely the real deal," says Callis. "If you're looking for the kind of jacket your dad was wearing when he was at Princeton, you're not going to find anything closer than this." And now the jackets, along with Norman Hilton's entire range, is available on the brand's new e-commerce equipped site. Herewith, a few of our favorite pieces.

  • Norman Hilton was one of Ralph Lauren's first investors.







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