Originally Posted by recentgrad
If you're implying that higher end suits will outlast cheap suits, my understanding is that fusing has improved to the point that any bubbling is very rare on modern suits, which seemed to be one of the main durability problems with cheap and fused suits in the past. Hence, the benefits of a fully or even half canvassed suit being primarily comfort to the wearer and any improved appearance, if any, to other observers.
I've read and heard the salespitch on modern fusing and Im not convinced in the slightest. I've recently seen some absolute atrocities from bubbling on lapels and chests that make me want to cringe and I genuinely feel bad for the wearer as Im certain it has a lasting impact on public perception of that person in a business meeting as well as on a date for example. To me it is akin to showing up with a moth eaten hole in your suit jacket. If possible within budgetary constraints I would avoid a fused suit at all costs to avoid the potential bubbling not to mention the difference in appearance. I consider it a very poor value and a means for manufacturers to boost profits at the expense of the consumer. And, if it happens, a suit that has to be thrown out is rather expensive and not a very good value. As has been mentioned fused suits are stiff and lifeless, the shape and movement of floating canvas is distinct as is the lapel roll and shoulders of a higher end garment. I find it really disturbing that some high end RTW have started using more and more fusibles/ half canvas and still charging big $$$ for what to me is an inferior product relative to their previous seasons garments that were full floating canvas.
To the OPs question I think it is obvious and I really don't think it's the suggested 98/2 ratio of people who will notice. The average person might no be able to tell you why but they know within seconds of seeing it, somewhat to the "Je ne sais quoi" point above. And women notice whether they mention it or not, they are certainly looking, in NYC they definitely can tell. From my experience if you are standing in a large conference for example you can tell immediately across the room who is wearing a nicer suit, it is usually the fabric that stands out first from a distance. Typically the texture and color are distinct and not similar to what you would see with off the rack stuff so they stand out and not in a flashy "pimpish" way, it is subtle but nonetheless obvious. The fabrics are more unique and not mass produced on a level that a full production run of a large RTW brand. Usually higher end suits fit better if you are talking RTW it will involve seeking a good alterations tailor and purchasing the right size and brand for your body, which people are generally more motivated to do when they spend significant amount of money. Spending more money doesnt ensure you will look better but it is generally correlated. I have a Brioni suit which is very nice and I wear it and enjoy it but the fit is no where near as nice as bespoke and therefore can never be as good to me regardless of handwork and quality of fabric but it is still obvious how much nicer it is than Canali for example. RTW is a compromise because I am not the fit model.
If you are talking bespoke the fit should always be better than RTW although Im willing to concede this is not always the case. When it is done right, the fit and fabric standout to a level that I believe the average person whether they care or not will notice. They might not appreciate the level of workmanship and fine details but they will notice the difference. And the more handwork that is involved tends to lend itself to being noticed even by the average person because the garments move more naturally rather than stiff and constricted which is usually the case with tight machine stitching.