Solaro fabrics - Germain Tailors - Shanghai - Hong Kong

Lapo Elkann, Gianni Agnelli, Matteo Marzotto and Luca di Montezemolo wear it in the summer. That's the one.

Solaro is an olive coloured wool cloth, which comes in a variety of weaves including herringbones and twill. Its defining feature is that it’s woven with red yarns on the underside, which show through the fabric to a greater or lesser extent depending on the angle of the viewer.

Solaro was originally designed as summer suiting. The idea that it’s summery stems in part from its shade, but more intriguingly from the myth that many years ago Western travellers in the tropics noticed that the natives wore clothes with red linings to protect their skin from the sun.

Sadly, solaro’s heat-repelling qualities are mythical, but with little lining, and linen or jersey shirts it will be comfortable in the summer.

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Some consider Solaro eccentric – you either ‘get Solaro’, or you don’t. This has given the cloth a cult status among tailoring aficionados, who like the fact that it’s not entirely business-appropriate. Ordering bespoke suits that can’t easily be worn to the office is a powerful statement of intent, and perhaps the distinguishing characteristic of the modern dandy.