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Is this NWT Canali suit dated?

Svdharma

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I found this Canali suit NWT on ebay for ~500 bucks. Its the only 36L I've been able to find after about a month of searching, so I _really_ want to buy it. Can you guys give me a sanity check on the styling/age? I know Canali stopped using blue labels at least 10 years ago. I'm dying to buy this thing, so please talk me out of it if it's a bad idea.




The listing reads:
  • Chest Welt Pocket
  • Pick Stitching
  • Notch Lapels
  • Dual Vents
  • Flap Pockets
  • Full Lining
  • Full Canvas Construction
  • Single Pleated Pants
Material
  • Charcoal Gray Wool Fabric with Twill Pattern
  • 100% Wool
  • Lining: 100% Cupro
  • Medium Weight
Size and MeasurementsSize 46 Long European = Size 36 Long U.S.A

Drop: 6R
Measurements
Jacket:
Shoulders: 18"
Chest: 20.5"
Waist: 19"
Sleeves: 25.75"
Length: 31.25"

Pants:
Waist: 31"
Rise: 11.25"
Inseam: Unfinished
Leg Opening: 8.5"


My eye isn't great but the one thing I notice is that it doesn't look the the lapel rolls to the 2nd button as "3 roll 2" would imply. Am I off the mark on that?
 

breakaway01

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you are right that it doesn't look like a 3 roll 2. It is probably a "hard 3". I have a "3 roll 2.5" that I like but I personally would pass on a hard 3. In general you shouldn't expect to be able to press it into a 3 roll 2 because the internal construction isn't designed for a 3 roll 2.
 

Svdharma

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Christ thats expensive. For that money, I'd look at Suit Supply. Very dated, stay away.
I agree. The same suit worn once in 36R or 38R would sell for $150. However, it's the only decent quality 36L suit I've found in a plain conservative color in at least a month of searching (Although I'm sure I could probably find one at MSRP if I could afford that), so spending the money is very tempting.

Would a 26 year old wearing that suit scream Hand-Me-Down!, or is something most people wouldn't notice?

Besides the lapel roll, what makes it seem most dated? The lapel notches look like they'd land on my collar bones, although that could be an illusion. Do the lapels seem too wide? Obviously the button stance is high if it's a hard 3. From what I understand the pocket flaps can easily be removed and sewn into the lining to convert them to jetted pockets . Anything I'm missing?
 

A Canuker

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I'd skip it and have a look at the suit supply option. Hard 3, IMO, is dated and within a short time this suit will not be rotated once you purchase another item or two. Depending upon where you live I'd strongly consider the local chain type suit stores vs this unit, quality might not be the "same" as the Canali but value would almost certainly be better for the dollars spent. Is this going to be a first/main suit?
 

Caustic Man

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I wouldn't worry so much about whether the suit is dated as much as I would consider what features would best serve my particular body type and proportions. A "hard three" tends to make a person appear shorter than a jacket with a lower buttoning point because it breaks up the vertical line of the shirt and tie. This isn't necessarily a bad thing. Very tall people might welcome a feature that makes them look more proportional. Flapped pockets and a longer jacket length all serve to mitigate extreme tallness as well. If you are shorter (unlikely if you are looking for a suit in a "long" size) then these features become more of a liability. There are no easy answers without actually trying the suit on. This last point might be an argument in favor of buying in person, where you can try it on before paying, but it's not necessarily an argument against this particular style of suit.
 

Svdharma

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This will be my first suit and probably my only suit for a long time (I'll be a full time student for the next 4-8 years, then working in tech most likely). I don't want to go with suit supply, I'd rather wait until I can find a better one or afford a new or MTM one.

I wouldn't worry so much about whether the suit is dated as much as I would consider what features would best serve my particular body type and proportions. A "hard three" tends to make a person appear shorter than a jacket with a lower buttoning point because it breaks up the vertical line of the shirt and tie. This isn't necessarily a bad thing. Very tall people might welcome a feature that makes them look more proportional. Flapped pockets and a longer jacket length all serve to mitigate extreme tallness as well. If you are shorter (unlikely if you are looking for a suit in a "long" size) then these features become more of a liability. There are no easy answers without actually trying the suit on. This last point might be an argument in favor of buying in person, where you can try it on before paying, but it's not necessarily an argument against this particular style of suit.
Be careful now or you might convince me to buy it. I'm about 6'1" and 155lbs with about 4% body fat. Not extremely tall, but almost freakishly skinny. I think a higher button stance and moderately wider lapels look good on me because they create a more obtuse V shape that suggests heavier shoulders, and I can afford to loose the height visually. The flap pockets I'm not so hot on, but from what I understand it's not a big deal to remove the flats and either sew the pocket shut so the liner doesn't show or sew the fabric that used to be the flap into the top of the liner so that you don't see a flash of contrast if the pocket gapes open for a moment.

With that being said, it doesn't matter how well I think something complements my figure if it also makes me look like a clown. If people who have been following the trends for the last 15 years (IE: The guy giving me my interview or advising me on my thesis) would instantly associate that suit with a dated trend, then it's not going to do me any good.
 

Caustic Man

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Remember when you asked people what makes this jacket dated other than the three button configuration? You didn't get a response, did you? I suspect that that's because no one can point to anything else. Not that they necessarily need to. To some people a three button "anything" looks dated. Those people are wrong, but everyone has the right to be incorrect. Bottom line: If you are having these doubts maybe it's best to just wait. $500 is a lot of money to buy something without knowing if it will fit you well enough to spend the money on tailoring. In any event, the choice is yours alone.
 

Svdharma

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Oh, and I would suggest that something that compliments your proportions necessarily couldn't make you look like a clown.
I believe that's true assuming your being judged by somebody without preconceived fashion ideas. The first example that comes to mind is that apparently in Britain wearing brown/oxblood shoes with a charcoal suit is considered a faux pas, but tell me these shoes don't work with this fabric color:

Yet I am sure there are people who would see him and think "Jeez, doesn't he know burgundy shoes don't go with a grey suit" (I'm not saying his outfit is perfect, but I certainly wouldn't fault the color coordination)

<edit: oops, now that suit looks navy instead of charcoal :p I'm sure you get the point though.>

And this half million dollar watch by a revered watchmaker as the conjugate argument:

I would contend that unless your wrist is bigger than my bicep and your skin tone and outfit both match the face perfectly this thing is going to make you look like a clown to anyone who isn't a horological nerd. Oh and you'd probably still need a much thicker strap to keep the thickness of the case in proportion.
 

Caustic Man

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The first example has little to do with complimentary proportions and is more of a custom that is either adhered to or challenged.

The second example is spot on. It’s simply too big to look proportional on most people. All this is coming from the standpoint of the Brummellian ideal, of course.
 

Svdharma

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Sorry for the tangent, but even deeper than Brummell (although that did send me down an interesting rabbit hole, thanks!), I believe that a lot of what we consider visually pleasing is instinctual, perhaps derived from our instincts regarding mate selection and food procurement. I don't have any research to back this up, but I believe that proportion, balance, symmetry, rhythm, contrast, and probably large parts of color theory are innate to humans. I bet if you had a group of subjects raised in void without any cultural interaction they would mostly agree on what looks good and what doesn't. I also think that fashion, formal or otherwise, often contradicts what is naturally appealing and that without a certain degree of participation it's difficult to discern where a style departs from what is naturally appealing.

I defense of my first example, I would contend that the combination of charcoal grey and burgundy is naturally appealing to the eye, but for some arcane reason Brits are culturally conditioned to find it unappealing. I could be wrong about either example though, it's difficult to train your eye to distinguish between innate and cultural appeal.

<edit: I just re-read your post and I see that I didn't address your viewpoint directly, and that I agree with you on the first example in the context of geometric proportion.>
 

Svdharma

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I'm still interested in other opinions on that suit, by the way. I don't intend to come off as already having made up my mind, if that was the case I'd have bought it by now.
 

Caustic Man

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Well, the Brummellian ideal isn't necessarily based on science nor is it even necessarily rational. It's just a simple idea that says that most men will look good, for a variety of reasons, if their body proportions appear to tend toward the average. That's why we recommend that tailoring the very tall needs to make them look shorter and tailoring the very short needs to make them look taller, etc. There are a slew of cultural reasons why the British (and most other people of European descent at the time) decided that this was true. Far too many to list here.

Anyway, if you are interested in a much more in-depth argument about this subject I suggest Roger Scruton's excellent Beauty: A Very Short Introduction. About fashion he makes the argument that it is fundamentally dependent on the audience. It can never stand apart from that. But beauty, generally, is not dependent on audience but rather on rational contemplation for the sake of the object itself. So can fashion be beautiful in anything more than a cursory sense? You'll have to read it to find out Scruton's answer.
 

Svdharma

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So can fashion be beautiful in anything more than a cursory sense? You'll have to read it to find out Scruton's answer.
I tend to chaff at the idea that beauty is rational, but that book will be on my shelf and 3 days and maybe I'll change my mind. I find the topic of aesthetics very interesting.
 

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