A fused suit, or the concept of it, can be confusing to someone new to the suit world. A lot of style afficiandos will dismiss them, but are they really that bad? Let’s examine it a little closer.
Fusing refers to the way the canvas in a suit is constructed . This is the piece of fabric that sits beneath the outer fabric layer. It’s a way to provide some structure for your suit jacket so it doesn’t just sag, it holds its look. Canvassed suits use standard stitching to connect the pieces together. Its more labor intensive, but is known to give jackets a more natural fit. If your suit is fused, then this inner piece of fabric is glued to the suit jacket. This gives the jacket a little bit of a stiffer appearance. The issue is that like all glues, it tends to wear down over time. Chemicals from dry cleaners or moisture from rain or snow can also break it down. This can cause the suit to bubble.
Most department and mens suits stores are fused, especially if you are looking off the rack. It’s cheaper to produce. You’ll easily pay several hundred dollars more for a similarly styled canvassed version than the fused style.
You can check by feeling the fabric at the bottom of the jacket near the front. Rub and then pinch the front and back layers. If you can feel a third layer, that means it is canvassed. No layer means it is fused.
For a first suit, I think fused is fine, especially if it will only be worn sporadically. As with most things clothing, the look and fit are everything. With most men, you really won’t know the difference. As you get more sophisticated with your wardrobe, definitely look into a canvassed style. They will wear for a long time.