Seersucker is a fabric that’s talked about every year around this time. It’s touted as the solution to summer’s dreadful heat, especially in the south.
The first thing you need to know about seersucker is that it’s a fabric, not a colour pattern. It’s characterised by its puckered texture and is made of 100% cotton, which creates a striped, slightly rumpled look.
Here’s the problem: No one knows how to wear seersucker suits without looking like a salesman from 1923. When worn as a full suit, the tight stripes and bold colours can look garish.
Check out this photo of a bunch of US politicians wearing seersucker jackets and pants (the wrong way) for National Seersucker Day.
How much play do you think these suits get on a monthly basis, apart from this venerated national holiday? Probably not much, as it’s literally being worn as a costume for a holiday that’s basically summer’s version of Halloween.
But there is a better way to wear this summer staple. Instead of wearing the full suit, wear only one part of it. A suit separate or a pop of seersucker in an accessory can give you that relaxed summer vibe while steering clear of a wardrobe anachronism.
The seersucker pants might look good on their own with a navy polo, while a seersucker blazer could be paired with navy or tan chinos for a preppy summer style. Seersucker blazers in particular are useful for both men and women in settings where a jacket is required.
A few other tips for wearing seersucker, as pointed out by the men’s style blog Art of Manliness:
- Fit is critically important for a modern seersucker outfit. If it’s too baggy, the soft, unstructured material will look more like a costume. But don’t make it too trim — a tight fit clashes with the relaxed, rumpled vibe.
- Stripes are the hallmark of the seersucker suit. Fatter ones are more traditional, while skinnier stripes are more modern and look slightly less preppy. Slim stripes can even fade into a solid colour, depending on the angle and distance they’re viewed from.
One thing you’re not going to be able to avoid while wearing seersucker is the association with prep style. If you want to avoid that, you’ll sadly need to ditch the seersucker altogether.