Looking for the quintessential warm-weather fabric? Look no further than seersucker. In all likelihood, you’ve probably seen plenty of it but never knew the name or what it’s all about. Seersucker is a truly great material, bringing much-needed comfort when it’s hot. So let’s get into it.
Seersucker is characterized as a lightweight cotton fabric that’s stripped and puckered. There’s a wide range of colors out there but most consist of a combination of white and colored stripes.
Its puckered texture is created by pulling wraps of yarn together, alternating in their tightness in what is called a slack-tension weave. This leaves permanent wrinkles and helps you forgo the need to iron. Better yet, the process creates extra space between the layers which gives it greater air circulation.
History of Seersucker
Seersucker first comes out of India during the time of the Mughal Empire. Later coming into western notoriety with the British colonization of India. By the turn of the nineteenth century, seersucker had made its way over to America. Joseph Cannon popularized it when on a hot summer day he met with President Roosevelt, skipping the stiff and stuffy black coat in favor of the looser and breezy seersucker jacket. The look made waves across the style world of early nineteen hundreds America. Soon politicians and socialites had elevated the status of the humble seersucker.
Seersucker became increasingly popular in the South where hot and humid weather scuttled the desire to wear normal suit materials. Today, it’s a staple of warm weather menswear. Luckily for us, the style is back in trend.
Wearing Seersucker Right
Seersucker comes in many shapes and sizes. Navigating the looks can be tricky. Here are your three best bets for styling it right.
Shirting Up Seersucker
Seersucker Shirts are the easiest way to get into this look. If the heat is destroying your button-down game, then this is your answer. Its perfect balance of casual and class make it the answer for navigating business and off-hours style.
Colorwise, we opt for the always flattering blue and white. The classic combo is simply unbeatable and the two colors stand in excellent contrast to each other. That being said, there are plenty of interesting color combos out there. Be careful with some colors though as you can end up looking like a candy stripper (i.e misjudging the red and white combo).
Shorts Made Interesting
With unrelenting heat waves, it’s time to keep pants on part-time duty and swap some shorts into your rotation. Doubling down on the cooling, seersucker shorts are breathable warm-weather style times two.
With shorts, the color options are much more doable. Instead of the traditional stripes, solid seersucker shorts make for a great choice. The style can lean preppy if you’re not careful and while that’s some guys style, we prefer the universal appeal that comes with colors like white, blue and black.
For those days it’s too hot out to wear anything other than a plain white tee, a pair of solid navy seersucker shorts will give you ample style success.
The Southern Gentleman Staple-The Seersucker Suit
Seersucker is best known for its role in suits. In America, seersucker suits were first considered to be the poor man’s suit. Luckily that ridiculous notion was soon expelled as people from all backgrounds learned to appreciate the style for all its breezy glory.
Seersucker suits are ideal replacements when it’s sweltering out for your typical suit rotation. They’re much lighter than their suit brothers and their colors are refreshing under the hot sun. This makes them a dream for summer suiting. With it, the fit is even more important than with your average suit. Those stripes create shadows, so any bad fits are going to highlight all the wrong things. On the flip side, a tailored suit will give the stripes everything they need to slim down your silhouette.
Now for colors. Seersucker suiting comes down to how adventurous you want to be. If you feel uncomfortable showing off baby blue seersucker shorts, that’s going to be amplified when it comes to a whole suit. So suiting with this is all about being relaxed while standing out. When going for this look, we like to go with a light grey or navy. Both these colors give the look room to shine and are just the right amount of bold.
Top it Off
Hats probably aren’t the first thing you think of when you think about seersucker. That just goes to prove how truly versatile this material is. Don’t stifle your creativity by just going for the obvious choices. Seersucker hats are a very cool, subtle nod to the style and bring something interesting to the hat game.
Pair seersucker hats with your all-American outfit, a t-shirt and jeans. Opt for color, standout colors like pink or blue to really show it off.
Go Buy Some Seersucker
Go forth friends and get yourself the very best warm weather material. Don’t sacrifice style or comfort when it’s hot out. Classically cool seersucker should have a place in your wardrobe for life.
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