Ever why some suits look different from others? It is not only the fit but it is also the construction of the suit. Now that we’ve gone through the first part of buying a good quality suit - selecting the fabric - the next part we should consider is the construction of the suit. The common mistake that people make when purchasing their first suit is to go directly for a brand name that they recognize without considering the finer details about the construction of the suit. This is one of the most important aspects of a suit and coupled with the fabric, will determine how your suit sits and drapes on your body. The below diagram shows the difference in the front panel between a fused suit, a full canvas suit and a half canvas suit.
Traditionally, all men’s suits were constructed with a layer of canvassing (cut to the shape of the jacket) that was stitched to the wool. This layer of canvas aided with holding the shape of the suit, maintaining a certain level of “stiffness” and preventing it from sagging or going out of shape. As suits were generally quite expensive, a person tended to wear their full-canvassed suits daily and over time, the canvas would adhere to the suit-wearer’s body shape, creating a perfectly fitted suit.
With time and the increased demand for suits in general, full canvassing on every suit was no longer viable and this brought about the introduction of a fused suit. Rather than using the traditional horsehair canvassing, a fusible interlining is glued to the suit to create the “stiffness” that came naturally with a full canvas suit. You will typically see these method used on suits at places like H&M, Zara etc.. which help them to drag cost down.
One major issue with fused jackets is the fact that the fusing / glue diminishes over time especially with the normal processes of dry-cleaning and pressing. Sometimes the fusing can come undone creating a “bubbling effect” on the lapels and front panels. Although these issues are rare given the advancement in fusing technology in this day and age, a fused suit generally will not last as long as a full canvassed suit and does not fit the suit wearer’s body better over time.
The lapel of a fused suit typically has no inner construction making the not have that "je ne sais quoi" as a half canvas or full canvas suit. The chest as well typically has no support which makes the suit look odd in general.
The downside to having a full canvassed suit in the modern age is that it is not only expensive but also, quite heavy and bulky.
The middle ground between a full canvassed suit and fused suit was introduced - the half-canvassed suit. A half canvassed suit means that rather than having a piece of canvas the size of the entire front panel, there is only canvas running through the chest and lapels of the jacket. This reduces the cost of a suit, makes for a lighter garment and does not have the same “bubbling” risk of a fused suit.
At DeBonair Suave, all our suits come half-canvassed but you can also request for a full canvassed suit for a supplementary fee. A half-canvassed suit, whilst priced higher than a fused suit has its advantages in that it generally will last and hold its shape for a longer period of time. It will drape better on the body and thus will look better on you. It’s important to note that when you’re comparing prices of suits online or at a suit shop, the construction of the suit plays a huge part in the price even though it’s not something you can necessarily see straight away.
You get the quality you pay for. Good things are not cheap and cheap things are not good. A suit is an investment. This is an investment you will never want to also depreciate. So if you are purchasing your first suit, I recommend you to go for a half canvas suit. Then later you can try out a full canvas suit if you wish, but never go for a fused suit because then you will be wasting money and these suits typically will need to be replaced frequently - because they do not last very long.