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Jul. 7 2010 - 11:09 pm | 167 views | 0 recommendations | 8 comments

The Sartorial Summer Challenge — Seersucker

Image of green/white striped seersucker fabric...

Image via Wikipedia

Would you wear a seersucker suit?

The sweetie, who is of Mexican ancestry, has one in blue and cream, bought at Rubensteins, one of New Orleans’ oldest department stores, founded in 1924. He wears it with classic white suede bucks, cream socks, a white shirt and light-colored tie. It looks great. I love the confidence it takes to wear this classic, southern, American style.

He last wore it on June 21 to honor a venerable New York Times tradition (where he works) — seersucker day. He got some funny looks on the commuter train, but a few nods and thumbs-up.

Here’s some advice how…


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  1. collapse expand

    Kelly, every time I leave the house clothed in something other than an animal skin, it’s a little victory. I’m not even real sure what seersucker is but I imagine a puckered palmreader.

  2. collapse expand

    I’m partial to leopardskin myself, but not the real thing. Seersucker is a sort of deliberately wrinkled fabric. I love the look of it but it’s not my style.

  3. collapse expand

    I would generally avoid wearing clothes that take “confidence” to wear or that would earn me “funny looks.”

    And while I’m sure “sweetie” looked great, I keep hearing my late dad’s voice in my head saying, “look at the putz in the seersucker suit.”

  4. collapse expand

    mmole, I avoid entire categories of clothing and accessory (like 6-inch heels, however trendy)that might make me look ridiculous. So I get your point.

    I think seersucker can look terrific — I think it depends on who’s wearing it and with what panache, myself.

  5. collapse expand

    Anything light makes me look like a balloon. Anything with stripes makes me look like an old TV set that’s vertical hold has gone haywire. So … God bless your sweetie for his panache. It looks terrific on the right man.

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    It’s not the easiest fabric to wear, for sure! Kind of like Spandex-wear for women, perhaps…

    • collapse expand

      Saw this a few days ago, hadn’t had the chance to be helpful. I think sometimes Seersucker is best worn vintage, as it looks its best a bit crumpled and frayed and faded. As to where it’s best worn, that all has to do with context. I doubt I’d don a Seersucker suit and swan about in Savannah, Georgia. I’d look like a tryhard or a wannabe. On the other hand, a Seersucker jacket slung over the chair in a cafe in Dubrovnik, and everybody is feeling good. There are said to be rules – like the wearing of white for example – but actually it’s all wonderfully personal and subjective.

      In response to another comment. See in context »
  7. collapse expand

    My partner wore his to a meeting at a Canadian newspaper. I doubt they’d seen much seersucker in that newsroom — while, as you point out, it’s ho hum in the South.

    The Globe and Mail recently wrote about this as well — and advised wearing black (!) shoes with a seersucker suit. Crazy.

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    Former reporter and feature writer for the Globe and Mail, Montreal Gazette and the New York Daily News. Winner of a Canadian National Magazine Award (humor) about -- what else -- my divorce. I've been writing frequently for The New York Times since 1990 on almost any subject you can think of -- yup, I'm a generalist. Author of "Blown Away: American Women and Guns" (Pocket Books 2004). Canadian born, raised and formally educated, I've lived in New York since 1989.

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