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NewsThe advanced guide to tailoring
Gentleman with well tailored suit

The advanced guide to tailoring

If you’ve been reading or seeing the trends in menswear this month, you’ll know that tailoring is making a return this year. Whether worn as separates or a full suit, a well-fitted outfit is a refreshing change from our slouchy home office looks for the past two years.

To help you ease back into tailoring, we’ve put together a primer on essential tailoring tips and tricks. Now we’re going deeper into suiting, so you know exactly what to order up from our tailoring partners.

Tailor cutting fabric with scissors

The canvas of a suit. Image by Riccardo Scauri, Unsplash.

Canvassing for the right suit

The construction of a suit determines its life span. A half or fully canvassed suit has a lightweight, intermediate layer that’s between the inner lining and outer suit fabric. Canvassing serves many purposes; it allows the jacket to move better and drape more naturally over your body.

Canvassing also means that your suit can be adjusted and reworked to fit your physique if it changes. This ensures that your suit will maintain its shape and condition for longer, making it a valuable investment in style that pays off over time. While a fused construction (gluing the suit material to an interlining) makes the production cheaper and therefore is less expensive, it’s pretty much a fixed frame which can’t really be altered. That means, should you bulk up or slim down, that suit won’t fit as well, or drape nicely on you.

Fused suits also experience delamination over time. Delamination refers to the appearance of bubbles or warping of the suit shell. This is due to the glue drying up and the suiting fabric separating from the fused interlining.

Close up of a suit made in Coventry OP 2160

A softer, more relaxed fit for the shoulders offers a better fit. Shown here is a suit made in Coventry OP 2160.

Watch the shoulders

While the chest piece is shaped and therefore conforms to your body, the shoulders define the fit of your jacket. In the past, suits emphasised structure and therefore used thicker shoulder pads for people with slimmer builds. However, as the world has become more body positive, a softer, more relaxed shoulder is popular in suits today. That means wider armholes and a more unstructured look in suiting.

The suiting fabric you choose thus impacts the style of your suit. A twill weave fabric such as Coventry OP 2160, or an English fabric with a classic handle offers more structure in the draping, while other fabrics may provide an unstructured feel.

What are the darts and vents for?

Darts are basically a pleat that’s sewn shut, and they are used to give a jacket or pant a three-dimensional structure. They provide a shape to the suit and are used in classic British or Italian tailoring in the front and back of both separates, depending on the type of shape the tailor is trying to create, that you want. A boxy suit will have fewer or no darts, compared to a more fitted outfit.

Vents are the openings that are on the back of the suit jacket’s hem. Depending on the style of suiting, you might have 2,1 or no vents. Vents allow the tailor to alter the suit body more easily in the future to take in or let out the suit. Typically, most tailored suits have 2 vents, which takes more skill to construct, and a single vent is more common in an American style tailoring. A non-vented jacket is most commonly seen in tuxedo jackets, as they are meant to fit close to the body.

 

With all this information about tailoring, all of which applies both to classic suiting or tailoring for any jacket or pant style or design, you’ll be able to navigate the world of bespoke suiting easily. To ensure a great bespoke suiting experience, consider working with our tailoring partners. And if you’re not sure of a look or fabric type to choose from, check out our lookbooks, which are filled with tailoring suggestions as well as excellent suiting fabrics.

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