Wearing a Work of Art: Canali

When I don’t have garments made for me, I rely on a few tried and true brands that are very well-made and fit me well. When I tried on my first Canali suit, I smiled. As Franco slipped the suit coat over my shoulders, he, too, smiled. “Canali,” he said “makes you look like the athlete you once were.”

It was easy to overlook the back-handed compliment. He was right. After a few tailoring tweaks and a tan, I wore that suit to have my driver’s license picture taken. It remains one of the best photos of me ever.

Every time I wear that suit I get compliments, even though its cut is now out of fashion, and I feel great. That’s a fit and feeling that I crave now that I’ve entered my middle age. A luxury, an Italian suit, has become a necessity.  Which makes me want to try Canali’s more casual lines. As we become a more casual society, more and more men need help with what I call “the middle ground,” dressing well, informally. Why wouldn’t you turn to the masters of smart casual — the Italians?

I frequently travel with a navy Kei Blazer, it’s unconstructed, which makes it feel like a sweater, but keeps things smart. This season, as I experiment with a limited palette of pale colors, I would choose Canali’s “Ash Blue Linen and Silk Kei Blazer.”

The hot weather has me thinking almost exclusively of cream, white and beige trousers. Casual chinos in a cotton and silk blend sound like my favorite sort of low-key luxury.

Since the heat makes me ruin silk ties, I opt for an open collar. Rather than the expected polo, why not add a floral motif and a full buttoning placket?

And for the all-American touch — blue suede shoes. (Although rather more elegantly interpreted as a driving moccasin.)

“One should either be a work of art, or wear a work of art.” said the Wilde one. Why choose between the two? Especially when we have elegant interpreters of smart casual like Canali to clothe us.

(N.B. this post was written in collaboration with Canali.com. But only because I believe in the quality and wearability of this very storied Italian brand.)

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4 Responses to Wearing a Work of Art: Canali

  1. Todd Kunz says:

    Canali does produce some beautiful suits, but my experience is that they are made for a heftier man, not someone who is slim. I own three of their suits and a couple of their sport coats. They were expensive; really expensive. They are beautiful though.

  2. Connor says:

    Beautiful clothes indeed.I like the look of that fully buttoned blue shirt very much. There’s another interesting Italian brand that I have enjoyed looking at called Caruso. They have smart modern looks but make it fun too.

  3. Chris says:

    Todd, as I wrote: the athlete I used to be……. ah well. The suits and sport coat from Canali that I own are almost 15 years old. So, they are paying for themselves.

    Connor, I don’t have experience with Caruso, other than seeing the ads. I expect that most Italian brands have slimmed down and added some modern touches. I’m of the “buy evergreen clothing that will stay good looking for decades” school. I find that I spend less in the long run that way. That said, some “modern looks” harken back to London’s mod scene of the 60’s! Have some fun!

  4. Dearest Chris,
    Yes, your credo of buying evergreen clothing is in the end the very best deal one can get! It also is a great incentive for staying in shape for the sake of that investment.
    My husband has never ever changed over the decades and looks still spiffy in his decades old Brioni blazer and only last week received compliments on his Italian made Silk + Goat Cashmere blazer from Bergdorf Goodman. One loves to caress them.
    Enjoy the warmer season in your cotton silk!
    Mariette

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