It’s official: Armani is everywhere. Well, the essence of the great Italian designer’s Heyday, anyway. Today’s hottest brands are taking their cues from Giorgio Armani’s supremely relaxed ’80s tailoring, catalyzing a seismic rejiggering of the suit’s defining proportions in the process. Call it the Richard Gere-ification of the menswear landscape or a long-overdue Perry Ellis reprise. Or if you’re Fear of God’s Jerry Lorenzo, simply call it chasing Kenny G.
But unless you’re the beneficiary of old money or a recently-minted cryptocurrency tycoon (aka, new-new money), copping the Luxe Louche Lewk full price is probably out of the question. That’s okay, though, because the best way to get Armani’s golden era vibe is, well, to get it from the actual golden era (Obviously, we’re talking about buying it secondhand, not time traveling.) Not only is shopping vintage way easier than hopping in a retrofitted DeLorean, it’s a hell of a lot cheaper than going to a brand like The Row. Just plug in ‘vintage Armani’ into eBay, Etsy, The Real Estate, or Grailed and you’ll be met with a glorious cavalcade of red carpet-worthy suits.
Don’t limit yourself to looking exclusively for Armani tags, though. Plenty of other labels did the whole artfully-oversized tailoring thing with just as much panache. Heck, if you were a designer in the ’80s, it was hard to get away from the look—jackets with wide lapels and extended shoulders, trousers with full, billowy legs and a pleat or two. And FYI: As with any suits, vintage or not, they’ll probably still need some altering, so be prepared to take your come-up to the tailor.
We know better than anyone that it can be a slog fishing through an endless stream of vintage clothes in search of the hidden grails, but thankfully, there are stores that specialize in the exact type of rarified garms we’re talking about. So we rounded ’em all up here, in one handy guide to the very best shops that’ll help you get Gere’d up in style.
Hanger Vintage boasts one of the largest selections of ’80s sportcoats on the web, but they also know how to style them in a way that feels both of the era and of today. (Take notes, folks!) You might be the one actually wearing the gear on offer, but a little help from the pros goes a long way in crystallizing the look.
The Vault’s vintage selection isn’t limited to the hippy stylings of Woodstock’s anaugural year. They’ve got a deep stock of Armani suiting and hordes of other goods from adjacent designers of the era.
Noise of Carpet’s range of sportcoats and blazers stretches back to the ’70s. You can find a grip of perfectly oversized jackets from the likes of Armani, Pierre Cardin, and Donna Karan, accented by plenty of custom vintage suits tuned into the same wavelength.
Vogue Vibe is another great place to score vintage menswear in general, but the site’s deep backlog of suiting includes a slate of big-name designers, along with a few brands you might not expect.
Don’t forget eBay. Never forget eBay! Tons of sellers focus on suiting, but a few specialize in the type of specific ’80s tailoring we’re talking about here. Instead, plug in a general search for vintage Armani suits. (Pro tip: Set an alert for the term and you’ll never miss out on the come-up of your dreams.)
The RealReal plays host to a hefty selection of authenticated Armani tailoring. Not all of it comes from the ’80s, but the era-specific gems are easy enough to spot—just look for those telltale lapels.
You’ll find an endless supply of designer goods on Grailed, including from Armani. If you find a piece priced on the higher side, save it down and check back later—sellers often discount their wares as time goes by.