Full canvas | Half canvas | Fussed | Deconstructed
The four options above are the options you have for a suit or sport coat. They all differ in quality, the way it looks and also the style of the jacket. . .
First off… Canvas… What's that? Well that is what goes inside of your garment. Usually made of horse hair and sometimes a mixture of both horse hair and camel hair. Some companies that like to manufacture there garments a little cheaper will usually use some synthetic wool or canvas that isn't made of the two hairs I listed above.
This here above is a photo of the canvas that goes inside of your suit. This piece is stitched (or should be stitched but we'll get to that in a little bit) in the front part of your suit shown below.
The canvas should be stitched here like so and also on the lapel of the jacket. The canvas is such an important part of the jacket and you can't even see it. But you can feel it, you can feel how the jacket lays on your body. A stitched canvas garment is always the way to go. The great thing about the canvas is that it starts to shape to you the more you wear, so when the tenth time comes around, the garment is going to look better then the first time. Also the longevity of a full canvassed garment by far outlasts a half canvas or fused garment… I guess that also depends on how you care for your pieces.
You also would like for your canvas to be stitched by hand, or actually in general you would like your suit to have a lot of hands on work done to it, reason being is because that stitch is going to be stronger, and I believe that the stitching is more accurate. Also, it shows the piece had time, care, and precision to finish the garment. Brands such as Ermenegildo Zegna will have a premium line that will most definitely have a stitched canvass garment. Now these pieces might be up there in price, but we all know know you get what you pay for. Also in the end… If you take care of the suit, it'll take care of you.
Now that I have described a little about canvassing and the importance of it, we can move forward with describing the four different constrictive pieces for a suit. Let's start with Full Canvas.
Full canvas, in some opinions and also my own I would say is the best construction for your garment. It shapes better, lasts longer, and usually these pieces are always a higher quality garment all around. There is absolutely no fusing (glue) done to the garment what's so ever. It gives you a nice constructed drape, and also moves and shapes to your body so well. Now in some cases a full canvas garment can put some weight to a garment that some people aren't a fan of. Also some people like to have some natural drape to their garment, so a lot of times they'll go with a half canvas garment or even a deconstructed garment. Full canvas seems to also be more durable and last longer than most garments. Taking it to the dry cleaner, you don't have many worries about what happens on the inside because there's absolutely no fusing done to the garment. Here are some brands I would recommend that are full canvas, Hickey Freeman, Hart Schaffner and Marx ( made to measure only), Ermenegildo Zegna, Canali, and Samuelson. All great brands I would recommend for a full canvas construction suit. If you want to go over the top then Kiton, and Brioni would be that, but to be honest whatever you can find in those brands you can also find in Ermenegildo Zegna.
Half Canvas,it's usually the most popular constructed suit. Most brands usually make there suits half canvassed. Now that's not bad thing at all. Most of my suits I would say are half canvas. A good stitched canvassed suit is never a base thing. There is usually a little fusing done to a half canvas suit on the bottom end usually. But for the most part you get a nice natural drape form half way down. Which can look on a lot of guys. It's cheaper for companies to make a suit half canvas then full canvas, therefore that's why a lot of companies choose that option. Here are some companies I recommend when it comes to half canvassed suiting. Hart Schaffner Marx, Strong Suit, Todd Snyder, Peter Millar, Ted Baker, and some Suit Supply (some of there pieces can also be fussed).
Fussed suiting is going to be the worst suit you can get out of the options I'm talking about today. Now does that mean it's the worst suit in the world? No not necessarily. Brands like Hugo Boss and John Varvatos star USA use very strong stock glue which actually keeps the garment together to for a really long time, and as long as you never dry clean the suit, it can last you even longer. No where nearly as long as a half or even a full canvas suit could. But aside from longevity, the garment isn't going to lay on you properly. The stock glue isn't light o move swiftly with your body, it's going to feel stiff and feel like everything is moving in one stiff motion, and on top of that, bubbling can occur on the suit. That's where the glue separates in certain areas of the garment and it can look terrible. I know one time the synthetic canvas used in a fused garment one time actually felt to the bottom of the suit. That's terrible construction. So the next time you're getting this AMAZING deal on a buy one get one free from menswear house or Jos A Bank, remember that suit is made to not last at all. And as a matter fact if your buying a fused garment suit you probably shouldn't be praying more than $200 dollars for it. You get what you pay for gents. Don't make the mistake in thinking a cheap suit is a great deal.
Deconstruction or unconstructed, is a very comfortable suit in my opinion. Or not really the a suit but the jacket is deconstructed. It's where there are literally no shoulder pads in the suit, no canvass, really there's just no overall construction to the suit. It's one whole natural drape on your body. And there usually worn more casually. I own a few unconstructed jackets and I love them. And also believe it or not, I've even had some tailors tell me it's very difficult to even make a deconstructed jacket as well. There is little to no lining in the jacket, so they have to spend a good chunk of time making the inside look as pretty as the outside. Every brand for the most part actually makes deconstructed jackets, I haven't really came across a good quality brand that hasn't.
There you go Gents, this is some of the advice and some of knowledge that I have to give to you about the suits you may be purchasing, if you have any questions or remarks please leave them in the comment portion below. Or go ahead and fill out a form on the contact page with any questions you might have. I hope this was helpful, and stay tuned for more advice and tips on clothing in the future to come. Have a great day Gentleman.