The Canali Sport Coat, A (Second-Hand) Review

Canali sport coat - A Review

There are three basic approaches to the construction and design of modern men’s suits. The British view the suit as a form of modern armor, Americans consider the suit a business uniform, and Italians see the suit as an art form. You’ve got to love those Italians! The Italian menswear brand Canali embodies the Italian tradition of constructing men’s suits and sport coats as modern works of art. This post offers my thoughts and review of the Canali sport coat.


Canali is an Italian family-owned menswear brand started in 1934. It has an enviable reputation for producing menswear with the finest tailoring, fabrics, and design in the Italian tradition. All of their clothing is manufactured by craftsmen in their seven Italian factories. Unlike many ‘designer’ brands, they have never put their name on a cheaply made ‘diffusion‘ line of suits to capitalize on their fame. When you buy a Canali suit or sport coat it is always made to their highest standards.

I have purchased second-hand suits and sport coats from top menswear brands for more than thirty years. For me, thrift shopping is a deeply satisfying way to gain access to the best of modern menswear without financial strain. Canali was a brand that I would overlook in the past because it was difficult to find bargain prices for second-hand Canali suits and sport coats. It has always commanded a premium price whether new or second-hand. Well, now that the tailored menswear market is in a state of free fall (sadly) it is a bit easier to find bargains prices on second-hand Canali suits and sport coats with a bit of patience.

Vintage Canali Design

The Canali sport coat shown in these photos was purchased second-hand on eBay for the irresistible price of only $8.00! This is the quintessence of vintage Canali design. It is double-breasted, with a trim masculine silhouette and fine subtly patterned wool nail-head micropattern fabric. The jacket is fully canvassed with hand-picked stitching along the lapels and breast pocket and a breathable Cupro Bemberg lining. It also features horn buttons and silk buttonholes.  I estimate this jacket to be about two decades old (the shoulder padding reveals its aesthetic age).

This sport coat is a work of art. The artistry is revealed in the hand-stitched details and exquisite tailoring. What is more, it drapes the body sleekly without feeling constricted. It is the sort of jacket you can wear buttoned all day with comfort. This is made for the mature man with good taste. I intend to take good care of this sport coat and expect to be wearing it proudly a decade from now.

Canali is now one of my preferred brands when thrift shopping for menswear. Because they are often over-priced on the second-hand market, I patiently hunt for bargains. They are out there! Canali is a brand worth seeking on the second-hand market by the stylish and frugal tailored menswear customer!