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How to Identify a Well Made Suit: Men’s Style Guide

There are certain scenarios where a suit can seem not only a good idea but utterly essential. However, making sure that you are wearing a good quality suit can be a surprisingly arduous process. Of course, vital to that task is checking the quality of the material and visual features – but the way that you personally wear the suit can also be heavily influential.

Look for Suits of Good Construction

Suits can greatly vary in price; however, a lot of the time, when you pay a higher price, it is really just the more prestigious brand, rather than a higher quality suit, that you are paying for. In a LinkedIn article, Dan Thomas, a “first impressions expert”, warns about the genuine risk of “paying an exorbitant amount of money for high end clothing brands which are no better in terms of quality than their competitors.” He notes what he deems true signs of a high quality suit.

Thomas, from the men’s style and image consulting firm Image Doctor, particularly draws attention to what to expect in a good suit’s construction. There are three major types of suit construction: full canvassed, half canvassed, and fused. He calls full canvassing the best quality of these types, as stitched to the suit jacket’s inner lining will be horse hair that lets the wearer’s body adjust to the outfit. Thus, the suit will form a naturally-draping shape.

Half canvassed suits, Thomas says, are “a very acceptable choice” despite their horse hair canvassing being limited to the chest and suit lapels and omitted from the jacket’s lower half. This is the only major difference between canvassed and half canvassed suits. Fused suits, Thomas insists, have the worst quality kind of suit construction – as in place of horse hair is a thin synthetic lining that is secured in place with glue. A fused suit is too rigid to adapt to its wearer’s body, he adds.

Wearing a Suit? Look For This In The Mirror

Thomas’s advice here is good for when you are initially shopping for a suit – and, perhaps, minded to pair it with some tough and authentic boots of complementary style. However, there are other ways of assessing the quality of a suit if you have already bought it and started wearing it.

Business Insider concedes that judging a man’s suit has become more and more difficult, as a low price does not necessarily mean a poor suit. However, the site insists that “one thing is a dead giveaway of a bad suit: the lapel roll of the jacket.” A reasonable quality jacket’s lapel will routinely show a gentle and curling roll that starts at the shoulder and collar line and extends down the gorge and to the place of the jacket’s button. 

At the UK premiere of Avengers: Age of Ultron, one of that movie’s stars, Chris Hemsworth, showed us how to do it right. His suit had a lapel that softly rolled to the first button despite his bulky upper body.

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