Happy Memorial Day — summer is here. It’s been a mild spring, for the most part, but we will soon be forced to embrace the heat. Seasonal suits — lighter wools and linen blends — perform great through the warmer months, but the old-school American choice for warm weather fabric is seersucker.
Cotton, while light, is not the most versatile fabric. It doesn’t flex much and, when it gets wet, it stays wet — not great for sweat relief. But seersucker is different. The fabric is woven with puckers that are designed to promote air flow, and if you have ever stood in front of a fan, you know that air flow is cooler than no flow.
The puckers in a seersucker create a unique, rough, casual look. And while Mark Twain and Colonel Sanders may be the most famous seersucker wearers in history, there is room for modernization. If you are looking for a seersucker this summer, I would recommend a slimmer cut than Kentucky chicken baron preferred — never too slim, but a lightly nipped waist can do wonders for a silhouette.
Consider different color schemes, too. White and blue are classic, but there are other combinations that can remove the stodgy stigma seersucker carries. White and grey work great for a modern classic look, and navy on navy is a great summer substitute for a navy wool — perfect for weddings in warmer climates. And if you want to go formal, a full white seersucker dinner jacket is a great way to make a subtle statement.
You don’t have to be from South Carolina to wear seersucker. And if you are, according to Mark Twain, owning one is your birthright. So have some fun this summer — and dress for it.