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What is an unstructured suit?

Have you heard either the term “unstructured” or “unconstructed” before in the context of men’s suiting? When shopping for a suit or jacket these days, it’s becoming more and more common that you’ll have a choice between structured and unstructured (unstructured, by the way, is the same as unconstructed). But what is an unstructured suit, and more importantly, is it right for you and your needs?

In short, an unstructured jacket is one with minimal canvas, very little lining inside, and a thin shoulder. The resulting jacket is lightweight and breathable and has a more casual look. This style of suiting has become common in recent years and makes for a particularly great looking summer suit or sport coat.

Let’s take a look at the unstructured jacket in a little more detail, with the aim of learning if it’s a worthwhile investment for you.


You might recall that a full canvas suit is one that is manufactured with canvas throughout the chest portion of the jacket. It helps your suit or sportcoat to form to your body over time and also gives the suit some life. A traditional canvas is made of horse hair and the result is a springy, yet strong and resilient, material that makes possible that “soft roll” that we like to see when shaping garments.

With an unstructured suit jacket, the use of canvas is minimized. For instance, it might not cover as much area as it would under normal circumstances, or it might be thinned down. As you can imagine, it’s a bit of a trade off. On the one hand, you want the canvas there to give the jacket some life, but sometimes you want a lightweight and breathable jacket, where shedding layers would be a good thing.

Be sure to ask your clothier how much canvas will be used in your unstructured jacket. Better yet, ask to see a finished jacket, if possible.


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