Archives: Guy Knowledge

Fused versus canvas construction – what’s the difference?

fused construction sport coat

There’s a horse in your suit jacket, did you know that?

Well, if your suit jacket is constructed with what’s called canvas, then the statement above is true to an extent.

But I’m getting ahead of myself a bit.

This week, we’re talking suit construction. More specifically, we’re talking about what I would call the very foundation of a suit jacket – whether the suit has a fused or canvas-style construction.

This is important because the drape and “hang” of your suit will be directly impacted by its construction technique. This includes how the suit conforms to your body over time and how it will stand up to dry cleaning.

Is one method inherently better than the other? Well, it really depends on what your needs are.

Canvas construction

On our suits webpage you may have noticed that we offer what is called canvas horse hair construction. So, what exactly is that?

Horse hair canvas is springy, but strong and resilient, and is used to develop that “soft roll” when shaping garments. This is in stark contrast to a crease – something that is common in off-the-rack suits.

It’s actually made from horse hair that has been fused together to create a thin sheet. Much like your suit fabric, it’s cut to the appropriate pattern and then stitched with the fabric. Since we are a Colorado company, allow me to explain this further in terms of cold weather coats. When you buy a warm ski jacket, you’re generally going to have two parts – the outer shell (water and tear resistant) and the inner layer that is more about keeping you warm via insulation. Similarly, men’s suits typically have two layers – the outer wool fabric and the inner canvas. The job of the canvas is to keep the shape of the suit.

horse hair canvas suiting

The takeaway is that horsehair canvas has some integrity. That it stands up on its own (say, when folded over) and will help give your suit jacket some life.

And at BE, our canvas construction is always treated with cold water to keep the canvas from shrinking.

Fused construction

Many manufacturers have gone the way of fused construction. This method involves fusing an interlining to the woolen shell. Early industry attempts at fused construction have led to mixed results. Critics like to point to “bubbling” in jackets – a phenomenon that occurs after repeated dry-cleaning where the fused material will delaminate (the glue losing its adhesion) resulting in an unsightly rippling of the fabric.

But like so many things in life, a fused jacket is not just a fused jacket. That is, some manufacturers have developed very adequate techniques for manufacturing fused jackets.

At BE, we are very pleased to say that our fused jackets have never shown any signs of bubbling. They have shown excellent shape and contour.

The difference

So, what does all of this really mean? If you’re in the market for a suit, you’re going to need to make a decision. If you’re on a budget, then a fused construction will save you some money and still serve as a great introduction to bespoke suiting.

However, to get the real experience of what a fine suit can be, we recommend opting for a full-canvas construction. The coat will have life, hold its shape superbly, and best of all, it will conform to your body after repeated wearings.

Wrap up

If you’re looking for the best looking suit available, one that will conform to your body and last a very long time, then there’s no doubt that a full canvas suit is the best pick. There’s a lot of history behind horse hair canvas construction, and the fact that industry is still manufacturing men’s suits in this way, is a testament to the inherent quality behind a canvassed suit jacket.

Have more questions on this topic? Here’s how to get in touch with us.

Further reading

Fused vs. canvas suits – The Art of Manliness

Interior design basics for guys

lighten-wood

Interior design can be a sensitive topic for guys. It can seem intimidating and even emasculating for a lot men. But what are the interior design basics for guys? What’s a good starting point?

Consider this: If you put thought and effort into how you dress – and I know you do because you’re reading this blog – then why stop there? Why not put some effort into the environments that you spend so much of your life in?

I’d hazard a guess that your home and/or office could look a little better. Bachelor pad or not, I bet you could use a little guidance.

So, this week we are touching on interior design basics for guys. And we teamed up with interior design guru, Liz Finkelstein, of Mile High Style. Liz works with a range of clients in the Colorado area to create beautiful and livable spaces.

1. Make your bed

[Liz Finkelstein] The room that needs the most help in a man’s house is the master bedroom. Start with a headboard+footboard combo, then remember that bedding should come from a set, the box spring needs a cover, and pillows should be plentiful: a queen mattress requires 4 pillows, a king mattress requires two king-sized pillows and 2 regular pillows.

make your bed interior design for guys

2. There is nothing wrong with decorative pillows

I promise you, adding a few additional pillows to the bed won’t diminish any of your masculinity. Obviously there are many pillows with fringe, embroidery, sequins, and I’m not suggesting these would be the right choices. But a few luxe faux fur pillows (photographed) either behind or in front of your pillow stack adds tremendous warmth and style.

throw pillows interior design for guys

3. Buy art

If you’re a music lover, save up for an original print of your favorite artist or band by one of rock’s best photographers. Morrison Hotel Gallery in New York City’s Soho has the best selection. Additionally, support your local art community by buying from up-and-comers.

4. Lighten up on the wood

I think that many men would be shocked to learn that furniture can be made of materials other than wood. Too much wood makes the room feel heavy and look boring. Try incorporating some pieces in metal (see featured image).

wood

5. Just say no

To overstuffed leather sofas and armchairs. I know they’re comfortable, I know you love them, but they are eye sores and can, literally, ruin the whole room.
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Wrap up

At BE, we like to encourage our clients to find their own unique style in their clothing. To wear what makes them feel comfortable and confident.
I think the philosophy also applies to the interior design of your home or office. The design points above certainly aren’t absolutes – this list isn’t intended to be a checklist. Rather, I hope it gets you thinking about interior design in a new light.
It’s fun picking out fabrics for a new suit. Or selecting a contrast fabric for your dress shirt.
Similarly, it can be fun to arrange your living room or coffee table in an expressive way. And by incorporating only a couple of the design points above, you’ll be well on your way to living in a beautiful space.
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About Liz:
Liz Finkelstein is a top Home Stylist in the Boulder and Denver area. Her work has been featured in 5280 magazine and Boulder Lifestyle magazine. She has a great eye for design. If you need a little help with your home or office, definitely get in touch with her.
liz finkelstein
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Further reading: Check out the excellent blog on TRNK for an additional perspective.
Images courtesy of Mile High Style.
Did you find this post useful? Know someone who could use an interior design nudge? Please consider forwarding this article to them!

Pick Stitching – what it is and how to find it

pick stitching on a custom suit pocket

Pick stitching is a term that gets thrown around a lot, but not many guys really know what it is. When shopping for a new suit, specifically a custom suit, the question of whether or not to include pick stitching on some area of the jacket will surely come up.

As you probably know, bespoke clothing offers you the opportunity to take advantage of several benchmark standards in the world of fine suiting, such as surgeon’s cuffs, full canvas construction, and a high level of hand finishing. Another feature of a quality suit or jacket is, you guessed it, pick stitching.

Hand picked stitching refers to the small and unobtrusive stitching that runs along the lapel (the collar of a jacket), around the pocket flaps, and sometimes the breast pocket detail. It’s a classic feature of a high-end jacket and a clear indicator that you’re wearing a handmade garment.

And here’s how you can check to see if it has been done by hand. There will be a slight variation in both stitch length and alignment with each adjacent stitch. These are clear indicators of custom handwork. A hand pick stitch is difficult to accomplish and can only be achieved by experienced craftsmen. At Bespoke Edge, our clothing is made by tailors with many years of experience and who fashion our clothes with painstaking detail. Consequently, skilled pick stitching work is often barely visible:

pick stitching on a custom jacket

On the other hand, machine pick stitching is often just an attempt to make a lower quality garment look handmade. But don’t be fooled, true hand pick stitching is certainly an art and when it is crafted correctly, the suit or jacket takes on a sophistication that is one-of-a-kind.

pick stitching on a black custom suit lapel

I should also note that pick stitching can be used as an accent on your jacket, at your discretion. For instance, if you only want a subtle pick stitching on the lapel, that’s perfectly fine. It doesn’t need to be on the pockets or on the bottom of the coat too.

The key takeaway is that pick stitching is very much an accent on a fine custom suit or jacket. It’s yet another way that you can build a story around your clothes and stand apart from the crowd.

pick stitching on custom pants

Take a peek at our gallery and see if you can find some jackets with pick stitching!

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About Bespoke Edge: BE is a leading men’s custom clothier, serving the Denver and Scottsdale area by appointment.

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