What is an unconstructed suit?
Posted on: 28th Mar, 2019
If you’re a regular reader of our blogs about cotton shirting fabric here at Acorn, you might have come across the term “unstructured suit” or the alternative, “unconstructed suit” before. (They mean basically the same thing.) Essentially, an unconstructed suit is one that is a trimmed down, simplified version. It is lacking parts of the construction that you’d normally expect to see in a suit, such as internal lining throughout, extra padding, a canvas, or fusing along with other elements like roping. In other words, while the basic fabric and design is present, much of the parts that give a suit its extra weight and form are intentionally and substantially reduced.
Minimal canvas, lining and padding
The canvas is the horsehair that’s usually part of a business suit. It is thicker and helps it hold form over the body. Over time, it moulds its shape to the natural contours of your body too. It adds some stiffness in doing so and avoids the suit flapping about in the wind. With an unconstructed suit, the canvas is substantially reduced, which lightens it but also makes the suit more breathable for hotter months.
The inner lining remains below the shoulders down each arm, but is usually not included much, if at all, in the interior of the jacket. Similarly, any trousers that accompany the suit jacket may have less lining than usual. The jacket’s padding is often still present in key areas like the shoulders, but it’s less pronounced to soften up the overall appearance while still providing a good form.
When is it appropriate to wear this type of suit?
The summertime is the best opportunity to wear an unstructured suit. The reduced use of fabric, especially lining and padding, makes the jacket far lighter and more breathable. This helps to provide some airflow to avoid overheating when wearing a suit jacket to keep up appearances at work. It’s also possible to wear an unconstructed jacket in winter when using it with other layers such as a waistcoat or pullover covering a shirt. Using multiple layers provides flexibility for keeping warm whilst the jacket can still look professional.
On the other hand, when attending more formal office environments or meeting important clients, it’s often better to play it safe when it comes to business attire. Going against the norm depends somewhat on the industry you work in, and whether it’ll be seen as acceptable or not.
Are there any body types it suits better?
With unconstructed suits, they lack some of the draping effect down the body, as well as much of the shoulder padding. For people who are barrel-chested, the suit will form around their larger chest. However, for slight people who are taller and slimmer, there’s a risk of them disappearing inside the suit because it doesn’t provide the usual strengthening of their natural form and outline.
One way to get around this is to use a shirt fabric from Acorn Fabrics with an attractive pattern to offset the typically plainer unconstructed jacket design. A striped, check, twill, Herringbone or Royal Oxford fabric will provide a strengthened appearance. Also, the thicker fabric may balance out less padding and lining in the suit too. And if you’re looking for the best cotton shirting fabrics to perfect your own personal style, you need look no further than right here at Acorn Fabrics. Feel free to browse your favourites across our site, or alternatively give us a call on 01282 698 662, and we’ll be happy to help however we can!