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Hart Shaffner "gold" line, are they half-canvassed?

6177 Views 13 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  jefferyd

Thanks in advance to anyone who knows.
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They are not canvassed. This has been discussed at length all over this forum - run a search. That being said, TonyP makes a very good and interesting point with his semantics by failing to differentiate between "canvassed" and "half canvassed"; as I was reminded a while ago by the well-respected forumite a tailor, there really isn't such a thing as half-canvassed. A jacket either features canvas construction or it does not. Most people are implying that a jacket has a floating chest piece when they refer to it as "half canvassed". This is not really an accurate description of quality because nearly every jacket on the market has a floating chest piece. It follows that to simply group all jackets with floating chest pieces only is to unfairly group some very well made jackets in with some poorly made jackets.

For example: Southwick and Brooks 1818 jackets are what many would call "half-canvas" - they have floating chest pieces but use fusing in the body. These are generally considered to be well made jackets despite the fact that they aren't made to the old standards of "full" canvas. It is unfair to lump them in with a jacket from, say Banana Republic, that also could be described as "half canvas" even though it doesn't approach the quality levels of the Southwick or BB 1818.
I had a long talk about this with the owner of my preferred shop. I'm looking to get a John H Daniel custom suit this fall, and we went through all the features, fabrics and grades of tailoring. He seems to believe its better to buy the best fused suit you can buy, then to buy a "half canvassed" suit with a floating chest piece. His reasoning is that the chest piece can move to a position that causes the suit to look horrible when worn. It usually occurs when the pressing has been botched or the jacket is in a suitcase for a long period of time.

Apparently if a jacket is full canvas, like a Samuelsohn or Hickey Freeman, this movement of the chest piece is not a problem. I didn't get in detail enough to have that answered, but I was hoping someone here did. Has anyone heard of this view of floating chest piece's and different levels of canvas?
I don't argue that a well made half canvassed suit is better then a fused suit. A Southwick or a BB 1818 is hard to beat for value. The question is whether the best fused suits, like Hart Schaffner Marx regular label and Gold label, are better then a mediocre half canvassed suit, like a Burberry, Hickey Freeman LTD, Z Zegna etc. The argument my salesman was making is that its better to spend $800 on a great fused suit then $900-$1000 on a mediocre/poorly made half canvased suit.

As I said we were comparing grades of tailoring that are available for John H Daniel. He seems to believe the fused level is a better value then the half canvas level, which is almost $400 more.
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