ASK DAN: Full vs Half Canvas, Adding Adjusters, Tailor Chalk Curse

October 26th, 2016

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Half Canvas vs Full Canvas

Q: I’m a long time reader of your website and actually ordered one of your shirts about a year ago. I’m currently enamored with some of your new fall suits and sportcoats. However, I’m skeptical regarding the construction of said suits/sportscoats. I’ve compiled a decent size collection of suits over the years, and all of them are fully canvassed. Everything I’ve read has affirmed that fully canvassed construction is superior in terms of fit, quality and durability. Yet I notice that all of your suits are half canvassed, which is a step up from fused, but inferior to fully canvassed based upon my research. I understand that the economics of your venture may require a sacrifice on the construction levels. Is it your contention that the half canvassed suits are of superior or equal quality? Any further information you can provide would be greatly appreciated. As stated earlier, I am interested in some of your products , but I want to ensure that said product is comparable to the other fully canvassed pieces I own. ~Leon.

A: Hey Leon, thanks for your message. I get where you are coming from – much of what is written online is “full canvas or nothing” which, frankly, is a bit silly and old school. AoS garments are designed with a half-canvas because, as the designer, I personally prefer my jackets this way and, more importantly, because it allows our jackets to double as casual jackets, which is the key to building a versatile wardrobe. The advantage of a chest canvas is in the chest – it serves to add dimensional shape to the garment (the canvas will mold to your natural posture over time) and it keeps the fabric around the shoulders/clavicals nice and smooth. Having a canvas in the bottom half of your jacket only serves to keep the front panels stiff and rigid, which is it’s own style of “power garment”. AoS garments are designed to be lightweight, flexible, and – above all else – versatile. That’s why we do a soft natural shoulder (no padding), an unlined jacket, and yes, a lightweight half canvas. We prefer the bottom half of our jackets to flow and drape naturally (without the added stiffness of canvas). I’d like to make it very clear that we have not made any “sacrifices” on the quality of our garments. The proof is in the pudding; we have zero returns to date and have delivered multiple garments to hundreds of clients in more than 10 countries. We also offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee to all of our clients, so if you are not happy with your AoS garments or fitting experience, for any reason, you can always return for a full refund. Hope this helps!

From Belt Loops to Side-Adjusters

Q: I am a 28 year old Marketing Assistant, living in NJ and working in Midtown. I am still at the beginner stages of my growing bespoke collection, and currently I am stumped on trousers. I enjoyed your article on self adjusting trousers, and at this point I really aspire to have that classic look to my wardrobe, and belt loops are ruining it. My question is, would I be able to have side adjusters “added” to my pants once I have them tailored in the waist? Would I ask the tailor to cut my belt loops off and add side adjusters? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. ~Thanks, James.

A: Hey James. I like where your head is at. Side-adjusters can be a real game changer, both functionally and aesthetically. The wrong belt can ruin a good tailored trouser, and I can’t tell you how much time and energy I’ve saved by never having to worry about how to keep my pants up. This switch can be done by a decent tailor, but you need to find two things. First, you need the hardware. Your tailor may already have two of these clasps laying around, if not a tailoring supplies or fabrics & trims store should have them. The second thing you need is a small amount of fabric to create the side-adjusters themselves (which will be sewn on to each side of the waistband). If you’re lucky, you may have enough additional fabric folded under the hem of the trousers (if you have a cuff on them, you can score the fabric by removing the cuff and changing to a plain hem). If that’s not an option, you’ll have to try to find a 1/4 yard of matching fabric – or experiement with making adjusters out of a contrasting fabric…could be something cool here. Once you have the hardware and fabric, it’s just a matter of having your tailor remove the belt loops and get crafty (there are different shapes/styles to side-adjusters, so maybe bring him/her a picture of what you’re going for). Good luck!

Tall, Slim & Belted?

Q: Hey Dan. Most of the suits I have gotten from you have been without belt loops. I like the look of the suits without belt loops when worn as a 2 or 3 piece suit, but I would like to wear the pants as separates from time to time. As a 6’6″ very slim guy, I think I need a belt to break-up an otherwise beanpole like appearance, when wearing the pants without a jacket. What are your thoughts? ~Matt

A: Hmmm, good one Matt. I think this comes down to personal preference and what makes you most comfortable. I personally LOVE side-adjusters and haven’t worn belt loops on trousers in years…but I’m only 6’1, and getting less and less slim it seems. We can certainly do belt loops on your next order, and see if you find yourself wearing the trousers more as separates, although I don’t know how much a belt is going to add “bulk” to your overall appearance (sometimes a belt can actually accentuate the thinness of the waist, because the belt looks small in relative circumference…think of how some women use odd belts over dresses and sweaters to accentuate the waistline). In general I prefer to lean toward function over asthetic theory… Food for thought, looking forward to your next order.

The Curse of the Tailor’s Chalk

Q: Dan, quick question for you. I picked up a grey suit at a sample sale a few months ago and only recently noticed some very subtle chalk markings on the back of the jacket. While they are faint and only visible under certain lighting, I wanted to know your thoughts on the best way to remove the markings without damaging the wool fabric? I’ve tried rubbing with a damp cloth, but it seems to be a wax chalk making it a bit more stubborn. ~TJ

A: Hey brother. Uh-oh, you may have been bit by the sample sale bug. There are two primary kinds of tailor chalk – one is waxed based, the other is not. If you press too hard on the fabric with the waxed chalk, you can permanently damage certain cloths. This is lesson #2 in tailoring school (after #1: never leave the iron on). Steam is always the answer to removing chalk (both kinds). Hit it with as much steam as you can. If the marks are still there, bring the jacket to a dry cleaner and have them spot treat the affected areas. If they are still there, you got got my guy.

 

Thanks, as always, for reading.

Yours in style,

Dan Trepanier

  • https://mrjenks.com Mr. Jenks

    Very informative post this, I referred to this article a few times while in the process of getting my bespoke suit. Have also passed this on to friends of mine :-)

    Thank you!

    Regards,
    William Jenkins | https://mrjenks.com

  • somethingnottaken

    I’ve seen half-canvas used to describe jackets with a sewn structure in the chest and a fused interlining for the lower structure, and full-canvas used to describe jackets with a fully sewn structure. This interpretation may well be incorrect, but it seems to be fairly prevalent, thus I believe it is this association with a partial fused interlining which leaves people thinking half-canvas is lower quality.

    If I understand your posts correctly, AoS jackets are made with a sewn chest structure and no bottom structure.

  • LarsBrown.

    Side adjusters are possibly my favourite thing about a tailored look. Glad they’re getting some love.

  • AdamE

    Great question about the slide adjusters. I might consider having them added to a few of my suits.
    And I’ll second the steam for tailor’s chalk… I had a suit nearly ruined when I had it altered by a tailor (changed tailors after that) who mashed some waxed chalk into the fabric… I was able to save it by hammering the spot with steam, and then blotting with a damp cloth,