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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Everything Old is New Again.

A quick perusal of runway photos and the newest items at Mr. Porter tells me that the pleated trouser is back! It makes sense. The original skinny jeans hipsters are a bit older, and those who have to dress in something more than “athlesiure sweatrousers” still want to feel comfortable.

The good news, for those of you shuddering at the thought of a full-on triple-pleat, balloon-legged revival, is that the cut of these trousers is more modest and perhaps, influenced by the well-tailored silhouettes of the immediate past.

Remember that the key to wearing a fuller-ish cut trouser is to combine it with a more tailored blazer and shirt, or sweater, and an appropriate shoe. Happy days are here again!

Pleats and a classic look done right!

From TheStyleForum.@TheNordicFit’sBucket

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Write, Beautifully.

The aesthetic movement of the late 1800’s held that all the objects which surround us should be beautiful and functional. Probably in that order. After all, the aesthete required that all his senses be entertained. It is a seductive philosophy.

Yesterday, Mrs. E. became a demi-centarian in her own inimitable way. And, as usual, she gave me only an offhand “I’m really enamoured of mechanical pencils at the moment” comment when asked about her gift. So, I made sure to get her a mechanical pencil. (Fear not, dear reader, something much more sparkly also arrived.)

When it comes to mechanical pencils, it is function which normally follows form. And form is frequently dictated by comfort. Writing in longhand is a physical as much as a mental act.

But, who’s to say that something as pedestrian as the pencil can’t be a work of art? Especially if it is crafted by Caran d’Ache. Add engraved initials and you have a personalized work of art with which to create your own works of art.

I carry a far less expensive, but every bit as satisfying to write with, ballpoint version of their classic 849. Pick one up here.

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