This is an interesting AskAndy discussion on the history of the roped shoulder. From what I could gather at the “A Rakish History of Menswear” exhibition in the New York Public Library, roped shoulders were featured in men’s jackets and coats from at least the 1830s, probably earlier.
So when should modern odd and suit jackets have roped shoulders? That’s a question which I hope to address more systematically in my book project. But suffice to say it works most effectively with slim to average builds with sloping or half-square shoulders.