First, the basics: you have the choice of leather or linen, with two front button flap
pockets, knitted cuffs, a waistband, and stand-up collar – but most characteristic are the luxurious horn buttons
(‘no, this wasn’t a design choice… Zips just weren’t invented yet’, laughs Matteo). The jacket comes in a range of
colours to suit your personality and setting. Matteo is sincerely passionate about the Valstarino; much in the same
way many Italians are with national icons like the Fiat 500 or Vespa, which – consequently – were celebrated
alongside the Valstarino at a recent Design Exhibition in Milan. This is a timeless part of Italian sartorial
legacy, and people take it very seriously.
If you plan on flying with your Valstarino jacket (like our friend in Lake Como) we can’t
imagine it’s possible to look any cooler thousands of feet up. If you don’t yet possess a plane (we won’t hold it
against you) The Rake – with Matteo’s help – are here to share a few of the settings you can enjoy wearing
your own Valstarino.
‘There are people who like to wear their Valstarino when racing in the Mille Miglia’. It
makes sense. Classic car, classic jacket. Paired with a beautiful flat-cap, a pair of driving gloves, and –
seriously, what else? – a Speedmaster, you can feel yourself blending into the gorgeous villages and windy highways
of Northern Italy – radio turned up, and engine roaring. ‘The Valstarino may get as many looks as your car’,
suggests Matteo. Even if you can’t make it in the Mille Miglia (or Le Mans) it will give off serious Steve McQueen
vibes at home. And that is always a good thing.
Business, with Pleasure
‘Of course, the Valstarino looks great with a tie and smart shirt, too’. Italian
businessmen can be credited as the most immaculately dressed on earth, with an undying respect for the classics
(sorry, Paris). It’s easy to imagine the Valstarino worn over a suit, a smart white shirt, and tie – adding a dash
of nonchalance to a formal ensemble. Matteo is one such gentleman; seen wearing his personal Valstarino during daily
meetings. ‘It always looks elegant, and it can be dressed up or down – which makes it versatile when meeting with
all kinds of people on a busy day’.
Yes, really. ‘One of our friends actually wears his around the seaside, with a
high-quality t-shirt and beautiful, floral swim shorts’, says Matteo. ‘He is known for it, and finds it easy to
transition from lazy afternoons by the sea, to a fancy restaurant once the temperature drops’. The linen Valstarino,
in particular, works as a light and breathable over-shirt – perfect beach-bum attire when your feet are planted in
the sand. If you are planning a trip to the sea sometime soon (perhaps while taking around a boat) try a Valstarino
in the place of a linen blazer, a la Maurice Ronet in the 1960 film Purple Noon.
Flying (sort of)
We would love to see all the ancient Valstarino jackets worn by pilots over the years -
like Matteo’s friend over in Lake Como. Imagine them, proud-patina’d specimens of decades spent soaring in the
clouds - all lined up… For many of us, the closest we can get is wearing our Valstarino in a checked-in passenger
seat. Since the jacket is a utility item, it is crafted with tightly contained pockets to store your passport,
boarding card, and mobile phone. ‘The materials are also lightweight enough to circulate and manage heat, too’, adds
Matteo, helping make those uncomfortably hot (or cold) cabin journeys more bearable. ‘Of course, no matter where you
are’, he says, ‘the Valstarino suits any occasion’.