How to choose a bespoke suit?

How to choose a bespoke suit?

You are looking for a tailored suit. I’ll call it tailored for now because the debate of bespoke vs made to measure has become so clouded over the years.

Originally bespoke merely meant ‘bespoken’ to, which meant a piece of fabric set aside and exclusive to that person. The term then followed on to mean a suit that was made uniquely for one persons own measurements and body shape.


What is inside a suit jacket, is just as important as what is on the outside.

The canvas is what is placed in between the main fabric and the lining of the jacket and is what gives the suit its shape and determines how a fabric hangs.

Half canvas

Ideal for heavier weight fabrics. It gives a suit structure and longevity. You will find that a half canvassed jacket is fused and machine stitched and is more rigid and less flexible.

This may sound slightly un-appealing. However, this can be ideal for a business suit that needs to withstand more wear and tolerate more than suits for other occasions.

If you’re wearing a lighter weight suit, you may want to opt for a full canvassed suit, for the reasons explained below.

Full canvas

A full canvas allows fabric to flow with more ease and if you are opting for a lighter weight fabric this is a wise option to take, as it will work with the fabric well.

Because the canvas flows from the top to the bottom of the jacket, right through the pocket and is floating, it allows the fabric to move with it.

Price factors

A half canvassed suit is less expensive because of the fabric and the method of how it is constructed.

A full canvassed suit is more expensive as it is hand stitched, free floating and non fused so takes more technical skill.

Another thought is that manufacturers of suits tend to use a cheap glue to fuse a suit, that is why sometimes you may notice bubbling occurring on suit jackets that have been dry-cleaned.

A full canvas can again be a cheap fabric, or to the higher end of the spectrum, use horse hair.

The choice is yours. If you want solid, business suits that will take a good beating, it is probably an idea to opt for half canvas and if you want a suit of beauty and fluidity, full canvas.

If you’re still finding the decision tricky, ask to see the construction of a suit and have a feel of the jacket yourself.

Next addition we talk about the importance of knowing what you want from a suit

Written by Alexandra Wood