It’s that time of the year again, when we start packing for the most anticipated season of the year: the holiday season! By now, every respected fashion publication has started listing their so-called “summer essentials.” If you are anything like us, then your daily summer routine revolves around hanging at the beach (swapping swimming for taking long walks flashing your high-end swimwear like another Grace Kelly in the French Riviera – minus the haute jet-set destination) all day and dancing wildly in beach bars all night. This immediately suggests two things: one, there is no time for changing clothes and, two, there is a only one true summer essential; a stylish swimsuit that fits perfectly and takes you from the beach to the beach bar – from day to night, that is.
Isaac Ross, founder of Solid & Striped, dislikes flashy swimwear cordially. A day spent by the pool on a friend’s house in Water Mill – while everyone was wearing heavy-colored wildly-printed swim trunks, his friend’s father was wearing a pair of navy blue and white striped trunks that immediately caught his attention – was enough to make him realize that there is a hole in the classic men swim trunks market. Not being able to find one for himself, he decided to make his own. He hired a designer from Band of Outsiders to help him design the first pair and, in 2012, he debuted Solid & Striped with men’s swimsuits, trusting that classic aesthetic “would stand out among the over designed and over embellished styles that had overtaken the market;” he was right. A year later, he decided to launch a woman swimwear line, with the help of fellow designer and Central Saint Martins graduate Morgan Curtis.
Inspired by the jetsetters who were cruising jet around Europe’s most luxurious destinations, such as St. Tropez, San Sebastian and Capri during the 50s and 60s – hence, the mid-knee, slim cut in the men’s swimsuits – and their vibrant-colored beachwear, they developed a collection that retains a strong retro vibe, but also appeals today. For Curtis, it was all about the fit; she wanted to create vintage-inspired pieces that embrace the body in a classic way with modern cuts and colors.
The company utilizes Italian polyamide, a quick-drying fabric developed in Lake Como factories, and soft cotton for the liner. While, when it comes to the styles available, the designer duo keeps it minimal, there is a considerable variety of color; choose among pieces which, as the name suggests, are either “solid” or a “striped”: bold reds and blues to pale pistachios and beiges adorn “The Classic” and “The California” trunks; in the women’s collection, blacks and whites, and hues of burgundy and blue paint the “Morgan,” “Chloe,” “Sophie,” “Veronica” and “Miranda” bikinis and “Anne Marie,” the only one-piece swimsuit, which we reckoned as the collection highlight.
The versatility and functionality of the line makes Solid & Striped pieces look great under a kaftan and over flip flops, but – for all the devoted, female menswear fans – swim trunks work undeniably great with tees and loafers, as well.