Seersucker Suits 5-23-2011

Summering in seersucker.

Everything you need to know about one of summer’s coolest looks.

Where are you summering? This is a question that gets asked a lot this time of year. Typical responses range from, “I’ll be summering in Newport” to “I’ll be summering in Hilton Head.” Well, even if you’re summering behind a desk in a cubicle in New York, you should be summering in seersucker. It’s one of the coolest things you can wear.



Say, what?

Seersucker. That’s a rather odd name we’ll admit. It comes from the Persian word, “shirushakar,” which means milk and sugar. This probably referred to the smooth (milk) and puckered (sugar) alternating textures found in the fabric. The name eventually became “sea sucker” and then “seersucker,” which actually isn’t too odd when you think about it—things get lost in translation all the time.


It’s the coolest.

We’re not knocking other cotton jackets and suits here, they’re a great choice for the summer, too. But the reason seersucker is the coolest is found in its “milk and sugar,” flat and puckered fabric. This texture allows air to circulate around and through, letting it “breathe” and keeping you cool on the hottest of days. In fact, seersucker was one of the first performance fabrics, usually found on the tennis court back in the ’30s and ’40s. It’s found there today, too, but in the stands.



Wearing it.

For your first outing, we recommend staying with the traditional seersucker in alternating white and blue stripes, although you can find other colors. The stripes themselves come in varying widths, from the traditional, most commonly seen wider variety, to the pincord version, which we’re featuring here. A plaid seersucker can also be found, but we’re not showing you that. On purpose.



A seersucker jacket with white pants, white dress shirt, and madras tie is a very dressed-up summer look. For more casual outings, pair the same jacket with jeans and a white polo. The seersucker suit, however, is the definition of summer cool. It lends itself to a variety of looks. From the traditional, with white dress shirt and solid or checked tie, to more daring shirt and tie combinations that bring in more color and pattern. Whatever you decide to go with, just be sure any patterns or checks you wear are larger than the stripes in your suit. If not, you’ll look like a walking optical illusion where your stripes appear to jump all over the place.

White bucks are the classic footwear choice to pair with seersucker, although other colors like tan and brown work well, too. If it’s a casual occasion, consider a pair of white or navy sneakers. As for socks, if you wear them at all, consider ones that match your blue stripe or that complement a bright color in your tie, but avoid bright white.



Why it’s not only cool, but cool.

Again, we’re not knocking other cotton suits, but seersucker is singularly summer. And only seen during one season. And it’s for the guy who wants to make the biggest statement during these few months. Speaking of which, here’s a guy known for making musical statements making a fashion one.


Start summering.

Wherever you plan on summering, make sure some seersucker is in your wardrobe. It won’t make your days behind that desk in the cubicle in New York any shorter or easier to deal with but you’ll look like a guy whose career path will soon have him summering in Newport or Hilton Head. And what could be cooler than that?

TAGS: Cotton | Fawlty Towers | Miles Davis | Milk and sugar | seersucker | shirushakar | Suits | Summer

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  • avatar
    Phillip Pinegar
    I would argue that pincord isn' seersucker. Seersucker isn't just an appearance but the actual construction of the fabric.
    44 months ago | Report abuse |