The travelling English tailors will be visiting America again beginning next month, and I'm starting to think about queueing the next suit. One thing I know is that I want a bit of sheen in the cloth, as great summer suitings should gleam when the sun is shining. And to that end I'm pondering a Solaro suit for summer (our summer starts in September so it's the right time to be ordering clothing for that season).
A trademarked weave of Smith and Co (Woollens), Solaro is an open weave 11/12 ounce cloth that's actually heavier than most men's winter suits. It's the open weave that's important for summer wear in mild temperatures (I'm using the term summer in the English sense - Solaro would be too warm for truly scorching temperatures but that's OK as it never gets truly hot in the City) because it lets air flow through the cloth so it wears cool. Notice the red tinge to the weaves in the photo from The London Lounge)
That's because the underside of the weave is red to reflect the ultraviolet rays of the sun. Some unknown traveller first observed that natives in the tropics often used red and orange linings in their clothing to protect their skin and the idea eventually made it to Smith's, which turned it into a hard finished suiting that resists wrinkling. This photo is also from The London Lounge.
The final photo is one that I borrowed from the web site of Marc Guyot. His suit's styling is a bit extreme for my taste, but it illustrates how sunlight brings out the red threads in the cloth. It's a sophisticated look that's rooted in the past, just as I like it.
Of course, I won't be getting hacking pockets or cloth covered buttons, and I may be able to resist the lime green necktie. But I'll take the sunshine and the sea to show off my Solaro.