Men’s Suit Basics – Details Of The Blazer/Jacket

While we covered the basics of buying a men’s suit in general here, it’s now time to go into detail about the suit blazer for those who want to understand its construction. It may not be a very important factor when buying ready made fashion suits, but for made-to-measure or bespoke suits or even when buying a ready made ‘expensive’ suit, it is good to understand what you are paying for. Read further about the basics of the suit jacket design that should help you find a high-quality suit.

fused or canvassed suit jacket

  1. CONSTRUCTION OF THE JACKET

Differentiated by construction, a jacket is mainly of two types – fused or canvassed with a half-canvassed type in between.

  • CANVASSED JACKET VS FUSED JACKET

Canvassed jackets employ the premium construction method and are known for well-structured look and longevity. The canvas holds the shape of the jacket and prevents it from losing shape with time. The canvas is cut according to the jacket’s shape and size and then the fabric is sewn on top. Overtime the canvas relaxes a bit and shapes itself according to your physique providing the perfect fit. The other term sometimes used for them is stitched lining.

fused or canvassed jacket
Image Source: www.suitablee.com

Fused jacket on the other hand features a stiff material that is glued together to the fabric. This glue deteriorates with time due to body’s movement and heat and impacts the shape and longevity of the jacket. It may also get unstuck during dry-cleaning process and may cause the fabric to ripple around chest and lapels, making the jacket fit to throw away. While this is a common offering of fast fashion brands, many high end labels also make fused jackets to save themselves money and take advantage of customer’s ignorance. And no doubt that any menswear aficionado will be able to quickly spot you’re wearing a cheap quality jacket by the way of its appearance and fitting.

  • HALF-CANVASSED JACKET

As the name suggests, this compromised jacket type features a canvas near the chest and lapel area, where there is a need for more structure, and fused material towards the bottom half. If you want a good quality product but do not want to spend a lot, then this is often a good choice. It will be expensive than fused but will also last longer. 

half-canvassed suit
A half-canvassed suit construction (Image : Indochino)

How to recognize the jacket quality while buying?

Pinch the sleeve to get an idea of the thickness of the fabric as that will have no canvas. Then pinch the jacket around chest and pockets and gently pull the layers apart. If you feel a third layer in between then jacket is canvassed, or else most probably it is fused. While fused will not last you as much, it also comes at a fraction of cost of a canvassed jacket. The latter is therefore usually preferred by men of high taste for their craftsmanship, and this does not mean blindly going for the most expensive designer brand.

  1. LINING

Lining the suit gives it structure, weight and warmth. Not very visible to others, the lining can be of any color and pattern according to the wearer’s preference and is used to provide a smooth fit while wearing the jacket and avoid any friction with the shirt. A suit can be unlined, fully lined or half lined. A fully lined suit will sit nicely on the body unlike the unlined suit which can look limp sometimes.

suit jacket lining
Image source : Beckett and Robb

Silk linings are most comfortable but also most expensive. Polyester linings are durable but is not a breathable fabric. Ensure the lining is properly stitched throughout and moves comfortably with the body movement.

  1. LAPEL

Lapels are mostly matched to the proportions of the wearer and come in three types – notch, peak and shawl. When tailoring the suit jacket design, the height and width of the lapels are adjusted to give the wearer a taller or shorter, wider or slimmer look.

suit jacket lapel types
Image Source : Indochino

Notch lapel, the most common one, has a v-shaped opening at the point of intersection of the collar and lapel whereas the peak lapel points upward. The shawl lapel on the other hand goes on smoothly from neck to front. The peaked lapel has a higher level of formality among all while the shawl lapel gives a timeless formal look that has forever been used for black-tie events. 

double breasted suit style
Sarang Patil creating a sauve gentlemen look with a double-breasted suit with peaked lapels.
  1. POCKET

While the detailing can vary greatly giving to a variety, the pockets are mainly of three types – patch, flap and jetted.

suit jacket pockets
Flap, jetted and patch pocket

Patch pockets are the most casual as they are not focused on maintaining the sleek look of the jacket and stitch a separate patch on top to give actual outer pockets. It is common to see them on casual day out or summer suits. Jetted features a pocket sewn into the lining with just a slit appearance visible, which makes it a great choice for sleek formal wear. Flap being a close cousin to jetted is a good all-occasion option.

  1. VENTS

Vents are flap like openings at the back bottom of the jacket. Their purpose is to provide some ease of movement in an otherwise closed jacket and also to give easy access of pant’s back pockets. They are mostly differentiated because of their source of origin (as discussed here in suit styles) and are of three types – no vent (Italian style), single vent (American style), double vent (English style).

suit jacket vents
The English, American and Italian

Vents allow for easy movements, especially while sitting, and the double vent option is considered to be the most maneuverable, well-structured and elegant option of all (The English way is more often than not the way of defining classy!). Favored for its sleek back appearance, the absence of vent should be avoided by men with excess weight in the mid-section as it can give a tight look.

With this we hope you are able to understand whether a jacket you like is worth paying a certain price or not. Check out some popular suit designs and styles

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