Embrace The Solaro Suit
Today I felt like making a nice light article about my latest acquisition from Suitsupply. A Solaro Suit from their Custom Made Program that was my go-to outfit for the past couple of weeks. I didn’t have a cotton suit until now and as you will see it was a great chance to get my first one!
Not only that, but I also got the chance to test the Custom Made Program of Suitsupply after the revamp. I felt the Solaro fabric, color and pattern would be an excellent addition to my more casual wardrobe.
I will show you my favorite Solaro Suit Outfit and discuss the experience, the quality and the confusion behind Suitsupply’s Custom Made.
The New Custom Made Program Issue
Not so long ago I wrote an article explaining the differences between the MTM and Custom Made Programs of Suitsupply, including the different variations.
The New Program is confusing in terminology and to make matters worse, Suitsupply recently released an updated platform and interface. Now you can choose between Custom Made & Custom Made From Scratch.
I will not go into detail once more as the core of what I said in the previous article still stands. However it is absolutely ludicrous how confusing this is for your average buyer. And you still can’t add any tweaks like trouser rise or button stance.
Oh, and at the time of writing the dedicated Outlet Page now redirects you to the main page. They even integrated Suistudio to the website which has a massive Outlet with 30-80% Discounts for women’s suits. Let’s see if my prediction is write and they will soon close Suistudio in the next few years.
How Did I End Up With A Solaro Suit?
I am the kind of person to notice details and inconsistencies. Back when the Suitsupply Outlet opened up in secret a few months ago I was one of the first to pounce on the amazing deals. This time there was a massive mistake in their Custom Made Program with a lot of fabrics discounted to ridiculous extents. It happened because the person in charge added a “-” instead of a “+” in some of them.
Needless to say, this suit cost me 1000 SEK which is about $110 (or €90) instead of $450. Of course, someone decided it was a great idea to share it on Reddit and people placed thousands of orders. Most got cancelled but mine went through.
And this is how I ended up with a Solaro Suit!
Wait…What Is A Solaro?
One could write a whole article for the Solaro Fabric but I will keep it as simple as possible today. It is an iconic fabric worn by legendary fashion icons such as Gianni Agnelli.
The Solaro has a very recognizable weave and look often with a herringbone pattern. It is a medium weight fabric that makes a nice summer or breezy look with its sort of beige/khaki color. The most common Solaro fabrics use wool or cotton, but different blends with silk pop up here and there.
I should also mention that it has an open weave which usually means it breathes better making it great for hotter summer days. Does it do that? I will discuss it on the later sections!
In a bit of a trivia, the Solaro was initially a technical fabric aimed at protecting soldiers from harmful UV rays. Lanieri has a really nice article about it. Very interestingly, nobody else can really use the name “Original Solaro Made in England” even though the fabrics have all the characteristics.
What Did I Make?
Most of the fabrics on discount were cotton and cotton/linen blends but the Solaro stood out to me. It’s a great color with some pattern, 100% Cotton and look to be the ideal summer casual suit.
As I already have a few double breasted suits, I concluded that a classic single breasted with patch pockets and unstructured shoulders would be perfect. The jacket then is the Havana Model which is the only unstructured model Suitsupply offers.
My big issue with Suitsupply was always the trousers because they have such low rise. This was the perfect opportunity to try the Washington trousers that claim a higher rise. Did it make a difference? More on that later!
Riding along the previous statements of trademarking, this fabric’s name is Camel Herringbone. I also picked a fancy lining to go with my custom suit! Let’s look at the specs:
- Model: Single Breasted
- Fabric: Solaro (Camel Herringbone)
- Material: 100% Cotton
- Origin: China
- Pockets: Patch
- Shoulders: Havana Unstructured
- Lining: 64% Polyester/36% Viscose
- Trousers: Washington
- Turn Up: 5 cm
The fabric is not really spectacular at first glance if I am honest. However it is slowly growing on me and I am using it more and more. It also felt surprisingly heavy when I put it on.
One of the things I noticed immediately was that the jacket has longer sleeves than the regular Havana. I would say around 1 cm longer actually. This can cause a small issue if you usually shorten the sleeves since the max you can take is 1.5 cm.
The trousers fit rather well in my regular size (EU 48/US 32) but it’s fascinating that every company thinks the average man has 2 meters of legs. In other words, I had to chop 10 cm or so like every time.
One of the things that worried me a bit was how to style it but it turns out it is a rather versatile piece of suiting.
How’s The Fit?
It was a little amusing to see the look on my old Suitsupply colleagues when they saw the price of this. Especially when you take into account the free alterations included.
Regardless the price doesn’t matter if the fit is lousy. While I don’t think it differs from my usual Havana fitting, every fabric drapes a little different. I worried initially a little about the longer sleeves since I shorten max and these were longer. However it is cotton, a more casual suit and will crease around the elbows a bit so it’s fine.
The trousers fit very well, but I will discuss them separately later on. I always choose side adjusters as they give a far cleaner look that I prefer.
The Washington Trousers
I was a bit short on time, but I will try to shoot some close ups and update soon but I am glad I went with the Washington Trousers. The rise is definitely higher, but not as high as they proclaim. Which means that If I did it in store I could lift them up 1-2 cm more.
These have what seems like a slimmer cut and more tapered leg which I enjoy but not uncomfortably tight. Personally I think the 5 cm turn up works excellently with this style.
The hidden zipper/fly closure is an interesting concept and overall works well, however one of the buttons next to the speed hooks is incredibly frustrating to fasten and I end up skipping it.
From their RTW Trouser fit this is the one for me from now on as all the others sit way too low.
Quality & The Solaro Fabric
This is your typical Suitsupply quality suit. Made in China with a full canvas and fabrics from reputable mills. Angelico is the mill behind this fabric with a weight of 270 gr/m2. As aforementioned it doesn’t feel very light, but also not unbearably heavy.
Sweden has rather mild summers but even here we had 20-28 degrees every day. If you are looking to get the performance of a linen suit for a Mediterranean like climate, this would probably not be your first choice.
Love/Hate Relationship With The Lining
There is one part that bothers me, but is also one of my favorite parts of this suit. That is the lining with the alpacas! Why though?
Generally, Suitsupply uses viscose lining but it seems that when you choose a patter or custom lining it is a polyester blend. Come on Suitsupply, 64% Polyester really???
I can totally understand that it might be off putting for some people. An otherwise expensive suit with synthetic lining? It is already a little heavier but polyester doesn’t breathe well, making it a dangerous combo for some.
While it doesn’t bother me much, me and the other Styleforumers found out about it. Maybe if they were more transparent about it? Make sure to ask if you do your Custom Made in the Shop!
How To Style Your Solaro Suit?
You already saw the pictures, but this is a rather light brown tone with the textures of cotton and a herringbone pattern. Since this is a more casual style of suit you have a few options.
Go with a shade of lighter blue and white for a bit more formal/dressy look. Maybe a nice Button Down or Oxford weave to match the textures, or even a nice classic twill/poplin shirt is a safe option. I believe it will look great with a denim/chambray shirt as well.
It starts too look a little busy if you add more patterns to your shirts, so I would choose something solid and focus on the accessories. It is possible though!
Feeling like Gianni? Add a nice tie or a fancy contrasting pocket square. Or skip the tie altogether for a relaxed sprezzato look.
One of the best styles of shoes to finish of the outfit is dark brown suede. Especially tassel loafers look fantastic in my opinion. Choose a darker shade of brown than the suit of course and another choice could be navy or even very dark green. Chukkas, Belgian loafers and Chelsea boots are excellent candidates.
Keep it simple!
My Favorite Outfit Of July
My favorite Solaro Suit Outfit from the past few weeks is very simple as well. The base suit without a tie and the awesome MTM Turquoise Linen Button Down from Apposta! It’s so vibrant and works in tandem with the lighter shades of brown.
Paired with a vintage yellow/blue pocket square and Dark Brown Chelseas to complete the look. I don’t have currently Suede Tassels of my own, but here’s an excellent fit for this suit.
To be honest I am not sure which is more true! Is the Solaro Suit growing on me, is it how much I love this Linen Shirt or both?
Regardless I feel that this fabric is heavy enough to get a lot of wear year round even on colder countries. And the color makes it perfect for spring, summer and autumn.
Should You Get One?
I will be very straightforward with you and say that I wouldn’t buy this full price at the moment. It was not my priority or goal to get more suits, but it was a bargain. If you on the other hand still love to dress more casual or have the basic suits covered, this can be a great choice. My recommendation would be to do it in the Suitsupply Shops though if you choose Custom Made since you can choose much more things.
You won’t be disappointed if you take the plunge however. The fabric is good, the overall quality great for the price and it all boils down to what your wardrobe lacks.
If you decide to get one, I recommend to keep it simple! Choose textures and experiment with patterns for a superb effortless outfit that will garner some compliments!
What do you think about the way I styled it? How would you wear yours? Let me know in the comments down below! Take it easy and I will see you next week with the Shoes News from July 2020! Oh, and if you are new to the blog consider subscribing!
Thank you for reading,
Do the Washington fit trousers compare to the Spier & Mackay slim fit trousers regarding fit?
I’ve been contemplating giving suitsupply another chance with custom made, this time doing Washington fit trousers instead of Brescia.
Your opinion…worth a shot or stick with Spier & Mackay?
Hi Josh, I never wore the Washington suit because it was extra slim. The trousers they have fit slimmer and lower rise. I would stick with Spier for trousers unless you can custom make them with a higher rise. I buy all my stuff from Lanieri now.
I was referencing just the Washington trousers….I was curious if you liked them enough based on them being slimmer with a higher rise.
I find Suitsupply trousers already too slim. I’d hard pass personally and their quality and service has dipped hard lately.
Thanks for confirming my thoughts. I tried a few RTW items recently and the inconsistency in fit is really bad….
It’s a shame…used to be a really solid buy…things change I guess.