A Bow of Gallantry: Volume VIII

by TYLER HAMPTON

Summer and its joys have come and gone. Vacations are memories and kids have returned to their classrooms. It may be a bittersweet time of year for many, but I, for one, can’t help getting excited for the upcoming Autumn and Winter seasons; they are my favorite seasons for style, but also bring to us a plethora of reasons to dress up… Whether for weddings, galas, holidays, or parties, numerous occasions will present you with opportunities to look your best.

Speaking specifically about the more formal of these events, chances are, they will require you to wear a suit or tuxedo (or at the very least, a sportcoat). If you haven’t worn yours in a while, you may want to try it on just to make sure everything still fits. The last thing you want is to need something last-minute and be required to settle for what’s available, or worse: being and looking uncomfortable.

Suits and tuxedos seem to have such a negative connotation with a multitude of men, but I cannot understand why. I’ve always wondered the reason for such an aversion to them. They’re just clothes… So long as they are made well and fit properly, there should be no discomfort in wearing a suit or tuxedo. Additionally, the amount in which they elevate your appearance is unmatched. Neither of the two has to be boring, either… a textured or patterned suit can be just as formal and professional as a solid, and a tuxedo isn’t limited to just plain black. There are plenty of ways to tastefully broaden the horizons of tailored clothing.

Emphasizing the importance of make and fit in a suit, the construction and fitting patterns are key differences between a well-made suit and one where corners are cut. You have probably noticed a large cost disparity between what most department stores carry and the products hanging in specialty retailers. They may look the same on the hanger and may even have fabrics by the same mills, but they are absolutely not the same garments. The three main jacket construction types are fully canvassed, half canvassed, and fused. A fully canvassed coat features a layer of horsehair canvas between the outer fabric. This canvas is light and breathable, and has countless handsewn stitches in it to give the jacket its body, retain its shape, and create a proper drape. Horsehair also has conforming properties, so the jacket will fit better five years from now than when it is new. This is the gold-standard of jacket construction and gives the best feel on your shoulders. A half canvas is essentially the same as a full canvas, but the canvas itself stops at the top button of the jacket instead of extending the entire length. Fusing is the cheapest way to make a jacket. Rather than having the canvas and any stitching, everything is just glued together, creating a stiff, uncomfortable, and hot coat. Anyone can put a great fabric on top of shoddy construction. This is where the costs differentiate the most, and the reason that a good suit should be viewed as an investment. It may cost more up front, but the difference in cost is far outweighed by the additional comfort and longevity. Swing by the store sometime and I’ll be happy to further educate you and let you feel the differences.

If you tried on your suit and it doesn’t fit so well anymore, or you just want to update your collection, come to Hampton’s on Main Street and let us take care of you. We have plenty in stock and endless options when it comes to custom clothing. Additionally, if you’re one of the guys who detests wearing a suit, I challenge you to put one on again. You might just find that you enjoy it… your wife won’t mind, either. 

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