Cavour has been making inroads into my closet for a year and now makes up about a third of all my tailoring. As such, I thought it was time for a review so I can share my thoughts on this still relatively lesser-known brand. I own three tailored pieces from Cavour, a Navy Hightwist Suit (similar) I purchased during last year's seasonal sale, a Gray Winter Hightwist Suit gifted to me this season, and a Beige Check Jacket I purchased during this year's seasonal sale.
Cavour stocks a number of well-respected international brands, such as Ring Jacket and Ambrosi Napoli, but also makes their own line of tailoring. Cavour's house line is made in Italy. The suits are fully canvassed and fully lined. The sport coats and are half canvassed and fully lined.
What really separates Cavour's house line is the cut of their jackets. The lapels are full without being overly wide, the chest has nice drape to it, and the natural shoulders slope attractively. Most impressively, the jackets excel at providing shape without being tight in the waist. The normal configuration for suit is single-breasted, two buttons and a three-roll-two button for their sport coats, though some recent suits have been made in this cut too. This season Cavour also introduced a double-breasted suit model.
I've had my navy suit for a year and it has held up well. The sleeves are lined in charming light gray viscose striped with yellow and white. Each side of the jacket has one pocket, with the right buttoning closed. This is a perfectly functional design, but it would be nice to have another smaller pocket inside the jacket for holding items like pens and business cards. The trousers have a zipper fly and a standard button closure. The waistband has belt loops and an after-dinner split.
The sleeves feature faux surgeon cuffs, and while this provides an attractive likeness of a functioning cuff, the additional complication it adds to altering sleeve length makes me think this may be a design detail worth reconsidering.
Sizing on my three jackets has been same (36R), but the fit has been slightly varied through the back and chest. Kevin at Cavour tells me they change the pattern a little each year to try to improve it. This likely accounts for the difference in fit between the two suits, and this year’s pattern does strike me as an improvement. One specific change I appreciated was a tighter collar to prevent a collar gap, something I previously had to alter on my navy suit.
Still, there was a difference between this year’s pieces too, minor but extant, but this is likely explained by differences in the fabric used or possibly by production in Italy, which while famed for its quality, occasionally struggles with consistency.
The suit jacket is a slightly closer, and I think a better, fit. Oddly enough, the back of the suit jacket is only just slightly off, but maybe looks worse because the minor flaws are highlighted. The sport coat's back however, is roomy enough that no one imperfection stands out and as a result looks pretty clean.
Cavour's jacket is about an inch and a half shorter than ideal, but I know Cavour has mentioned on Style Forum that they are lengthening the jacket pattern for next season, and Cavour's jackets are no shorter than those from other brands such as Spier & MacKay or Suitsupply. Cavour’s planned lengthening of the pattern will only make their jackets even more appealing.
The trousers offer more room for improvement. Starting with the superficial, offering more trousers with side adjusters and pleats would be highly desirable. Cavour is already offering a few suits in this configuration and may be expanding this style of trousers soon.
Cavour refers to their trousers as slim and they are, more so than most classic menswear guys will like. The trousers I have measure 7" at the opening, 8.5" at the knee, and 11" in the thigh. The rise is medium, right around 10.5". I would personally like to see a higher waist and fuller leg combined with pleats and side adjusters. However, I think the classic menswear community underestimates how foreign pleats, side adjusters, and fuller legs are to the average guy who just needs a suit or two for work, so I understand why Cavour chose this design for their trouser.
Still, I think there is room to widen the pattern some without driving away the lay customer. Doing so should with drape and trouser break. Update: Cavour just announced on Style Forum that the trouser pattern is changing to have a wider leg and slightly higher rise. I'm excited to see these changes, but I think it's a step in the right direction.
My forward hip posture often gives me trouble in RTW trousers and these are no exception. In the photos below, when I forced myself to stand with rear hip posture, the trousers drape quite nicely, especially given their slim cut. However, as you can see in the full length suit photos above, when I revert to forward hip posture, I get some slack under the seat. This isn't a fault in the cut or fit, just a posture problem driving me towards MTM.
One thing I think Cavour deserves real credit for is fabric selection. The fabrics on all my pieces are interesting without being overly bold. The fabric on my navy suit is gorgeous mix of different blues, but dissolves to a plain navy with a little distance (which may explain why I haven’t been able to capture the fabric well before). The fabric of the charcoal suit has a nice, dry hand and texture that gives it depth. In many ways it's similar to the fabric of my Anglo-Italian suit, but slightly different in shade.
This sport coat purchase also gave me an opportunity to evaluate Cavour's pattern matching and I'm impressed. You can barely even see the bottom of the patch pockets on the sport coat because the pattern is matched so well. The pattern matching isn't as perfect on the sleeve seams, but is still quite good.
At $700-800 a suit, Cavour's house line is fairly priced and only slightly more expensive than mid-line Suitsupply suits, but is fully canvassed, made in Italy, and features a more attractive cut with better drape. As such, I think Cavour is the natural stop for men who wanted to move slightly higher on the quality ladder than Suitsupply or Spier & MacKay. At 50% off during Cavour's biannual seasonal sale, Cavour suiting offers a value that cannot be beat. Many of the items highlighted throughout this blog post are still available and 50% off, so if you haven't already, go check out the sale.
As always thanks for reading and if you have any feedback, I'd love to hear it.