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Spiff Magazine Logo
April 11
Author: Spiff

The past few weeks I have been spending the time on my couch at home daydreaming about how well a Solaro suit would feel combined with a denim or chambray shirt. Solaro, not Solano; those are the candies, and at the moment they don't keep me up at night. The reality is that the Solaro-Denim combination has turned into something fateful. You can barely clear your mind for anything else, even to come up with a shopping list. I even keep thinking about it there.

This outlandish thought is beginning to worry me. Instagram and some of the Italians that I follow and that I often see with some of these clothes, do not help to dissuade me; quite the opposite. The shirt should be vintage or failing that, replicating vintage. I have fallen into the snobbery of not liking the denim shirts that are made today, I like the ones that were made yesterday, or those that brands such as Levi's Vintage Clothing, Real McCoy's, Bryceland, or Barbanera reproduce, trying -I suppose successfully-, to imitate the old ones.

It is a combination, which despite having it linked earlier to Italian influencers today, because the Solaro itself is very Sprezza. It reminds me of French singers from the 70s. The Jacques Dutronc or Serge Gainsbourg, who completed their double-breasted suits with low-cut denim shirts. Something similar to what the French brand Husbands transmits in each look, an excellent way to break the rules of classic elegance, without breaking elegance itself.

Sebastiano Guardi in a Solaro suit

A digression. Sometimes your body asks you for that, tear apart the monotony, those canons of what is right and what is wrong. Navy blue is great, yes, we know, but sometimes you feel like dressing up as Agnelli or his grandson. We often resort to this expression - and I include myself - with contempt. Probably in many of these cases the subject in question had crossed the line. You probably think he's in disguise and even he knows. But what difference does that make? Our wardrobe should be something that gives us character, personality, and not all characters have to be the same. Sometimes one lacks some spontaneity, trying not to copy the guy next door, even if the guy next door is very good at what he does. Monotony turns us into robots, and except for Robocop and Wall-e, there is no other that has dazzled me.

One of the most outstanding qualities assigned to the Duke of Windsor was that of being oneself. But Edward VIII also suffered reproaches from someone. To be exact, from his father, who saw it too garish to combine brown suede shoes with blue suits. Despite this, he continued to do so. While everyone wore satin, he wore thick silk bow ties; he wore suits with large checkered prints, breaking any rule that related to physiognomy and patterns. He was barely 170 cm tall, and many would have advised him to leave the checkered suit in his wardrobe, but no, he had enough personality to wear them and make them a hallmark of his identity. Today the Duke of Windsor is one of the most important style icons in history.

Excuse the diversion, it was conveniently necessary. The Solaro has been a trend in classical circles for years, but it is the Valentino Ricci, Luca di Montezemolo, Matteo Marzotto, Lapo Elkann and Max Poux, -the latter French, not Italian-, who in my opinion know best to give them that character of the ones I have spoken about to you. All of them, even without sharing their nationality -the exception is Max's-, bring together those absolute adjectives of the Dolce Vita, the same one that the aforementioned Gianni Agnelli dominated like none other.

Matteo Marzotto solaro

Matteo Marzotto in a Solaro suit

This is because this fabric is conceived for that type of personalities. For all the bon vivant adherents from the Amalfi Coast or the French Riviera. A fabric that works best in spring and fall. Something too heavy for summer and too light for winter; Their weights range from 310 to 350.

Its origins, like almost any other cloth, have a functional foundation. At the beginning of the 20th century, with the colonization of the tropics, Louis Westenra Sambon, a member of the London School of Tropical Medicine, spent hours studying to create fabrics and garments that would make the hot and humid tropical climate more bearable, but which in turn might protect soldiers from possible tropical evils.

The scientist came to the conclusion that the color that best defended those interests was khaki green, to which he would add a red pattern, given that it repelled ultraviolet rays from sunlight.  

Originally the Solaro was manufactured in the shape of a spike, but its current repercussion is such that today we can find it in other structures, although given the choice, there is nothing better than authenticity. Continuing with this premise, there are those who say that if the Solaro is not by Smith Woollens, the forerunner brand of this fabric which currently is a part of Harrisons, it is not a Solaro. Here we are not going to be so picky, especially considering that practically all brands make it.

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