South America has brought us many things - great food, incredible tourist attractions, beautiful music, vibrant people - and not least iconic fashion. This journal entry will detail what goes into South American style, and suggest how you can bring elements of this fashionable continent to your day-to-day wardrobe.
An important element of South American style is the use of pattern; often used to reflect the colours of regions, these vibrant patterns are used in woven wool in sweatshirts, ponchos, blankets, and also used in more lightweight shirts. Here at pampeano, we were inspired by these vibrant, sometimes geometrical patterns to create our iconic pampa diamond motif across our range of famous polo belts - you’ll find all colour schemes from the oceanographic inspired Coralino, to the rainbow coloured Igualdad. This emphasis on pattern brings a real vibrance to any outfit, creating a talking point or just something great to look at.
Another great aspect of South American fashion is the importance of using high quality, natural materials. From the hand-woven wool to hand-picked flax for linen, this connection to nature and the old ways of hand making garments really shines through in traditional South American dress. We also share these values at pampeano, making sure we only use top-grain Argentine cow leather handpicked by local artisans in Argentina - once chosen, we ensure we only use traditional methods of vegetable tanning and hand stitching to not only preserve the ancient ways of South American style, but also to retain the quality of these gorgeous natural materials.
Now, how to add some South American style into your wardrobe? The easiest way is to accessorise. There are some truly iconic examples of South American accessories which can really add a sense of adventure to any outfit. Firstly, consider a panama hat. Now these hats actually originate in Ecuador, and their lightweight, breathable design makes them the perfect summertime hat. If you’re a fan of headwear, maybe consider a boina - made famous by Argentine revolutionary Che Guavara, these hats are now popular with men and women all over the world, and adding this to an outfit will inject a sense of urban rebellion. For your feet, consider a pair of espadrilles - originally a Spanish peasant shoe, these rope-soled footwear gained popularity when artists such as Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso wore them in the 20th Century. They’re great on a summer’s day on the beach or in town. For colder days, scarfs are very popular - patterned or otherwise. We stock a range of lovely cashmere scarves in subtle patterns, which are lightweight yet extremely warm and comfortable. Of course, we also have to mention our most popular accessory - the Argentine polo belt. This is an iconic part of South American accessorising, and an important staple of the wardrobe of anyone who wishes to add some Latin style to their life.
Another way to add some South American style into your day to day life is to create some Latin inspired outfits based on key pieces, or using entirely South American garments. Common ways to do this would be to invest in some vibrantly printed shirts - these go very well with the more toned down Cincha fabric belts, available in a range of single-tone styles. Also consider a nice polo shirt inspired by the home of polo, Argentina. A simple polo shirt can really be brought to life by one of our more striking classic polo belts. You can pair these with a pair of linen shorts, very common in the hot climates of South America. Or for more formal occasions, perhaps opt for a full linen suit, with one of those Ecuadorian hats we mentioned; these go well with our Gamuza suede belts - simple and effective.
All in all, the key to unlocking South American style is in the pattern, the lightweight clothing, the vibrant colours, the natural materials, and the respect for the rich history which has brought the fashion into the 21st Century. With all of this, and with our help, we’re sure you’ll be able to bring some of the brilliant fashion of the Americas into your wardrobe.