What is Seersucker?
The word 'Seersucker' is derived from Persian "shir o shakkar", meaning sugar and syrup, the original seersucker was lightweight Indian silk made with alternating colored weft threads and white warp threads. Although it is typically associated with the Southern US, seersucker outfits are common among men in Africa and Southeast Asia.
The History of Seersucker
Seersucker was first introduced into the United States by French colonists in New Orleans around 1835. It quickly became a favorite of Southerners because of its ability to regulate body temperature throughout the day.
Seersucker is worn in the summer by men who are looking to stay cool and be fashionable at the same time. Early seersucker was usually white with black or navy stripes, this style became known as businessmen's attire because it was practical but also looked professional.
The modern version of seersucker is much more colorful with several different patterns available. Seersucker is typically worn in the early spring and summer months.
Seersucker is made from cotton but unlike normal cotton, it doesn't stick to the body when it's wet, instead, seersucker releases moisture and allows fresh air to circulate the wearer's body which results in a cooling sensation.
In addition to regulating body temperature, seersucker outfits are popular among men because of their sleek look and comfort.
Why is seersucker in the limelight in the US?
seersucker in the limelight in the US because it is a quintessential summer fabric and the US is obsessed with all things summer. In the US, Southern-style ranges from preppy to casual. Seersucker can be both of those things at once, which makes it the perfect summer fabric.
It began as a fabric for poor people. In the American South, it became a fabric of choice for those who could not easily afford to have more than one suit.
It is commonly worn amongst men in the southern states of America and also has a long history as a uniform for children attending southern boarding schools. The most common colors are blue and white but seersucker suits can be found in other colors.
How this pattern has evolved
From its origins in ancient Persia, seersucker is now a pattern that has come into the limelight once again for its airy fabric. This material can be found all over the globe with different countries or regions producing their version of it. It was originally used to keep people cool during warmer seasons, especially in places where there was no air conditioning.
Recently, seersucker has become a trend to be seen for males and females because of the playful feel that it invokes. Seen on young children as early as six months old, it is now popular with people of all ages.
The pattern consists of alternating puckered and un-puckered stripes which have tiny slubs. Seersucker garments are also known to look different after they have been worn for some time because of the soft, fluffy texture that is caused by the puckered rows.
Seersucker has enjoyed a recent rise in popularity particularly in the US especially with younger people who are more open to experimenting with fashion.
The pattern has been traditionally worn in the South East region of the US to work and school because of its practicality and comfort. The lighter fabric is especially helpful during warmer seasons and gives a cooling effect when it gets hot out.
Women's seersucker clothing has become more mainstream with designers like Marc Jacobs, pairing the pattern with other preppy elements such as argyle sweaters and penny loafers, to create a stylish yet vintage look.
Seersucker is also the official pattern of the US state of Kentucky because it was originally worn by Kentuckians in the early 19th century. It has now become an iconic symbol for their state with popular products like clothing lines and seersucker dresses being sold throughout the country.
How to Wear Seersucker in the Modern Day
To wear seersucker, you have to know how to handle it. Seersucker is a summer fabric that requires a certain amount of care in handling, especially if you want a clean look. With a few small adjustments in most cases, you can wear this old-school favorite at any time of the year with most dress codes.
The most common kinds of seersucker, which are usually all you can find in stores, are classic stripe and check. Striped seersucker is the more traditional kind of the two, but both look sharp if they're done right. The key to pulling it off without looking too gaudy (yes I said it) is by balancing your outfit.
For example, a striped blue and white seersucker shirt with khaki chinos and white sneakers will give you a cool, summery look that passes for casual Friday in most offices. Just make sure not to match your tie or pocket square to the shirt if you want to avoid looking clownish.
On the other hand, a seersucker blazer and trouser combo with a solid shirt and dark tie will make you look like an up-and-coming young professional. This is one occasion where you can get away with pairing blue or pink shirts together, but keep them darker if you're going for the classy look.
If any of this advice seems too daunting and you're worried about making a mistake, stick to monochromatic outfits. Khaki chinos and seersucker pants will give you the same effect without worrying too much about matching or balancing different pieces together.
Remember that seersucker is not an excuse to dress like a goofball at work. It's perfectly acceptable in most offices now, but if you choose the right pieces it'll still look sharp. On seersucker days at work, wear a shirt that's toned down with no patterns or prints.
You can even wear solid white to make sure your outfit doesn't go overboard. Don't wear ties on these days either; they're not expected and will make you look like a clown if they don't match your shirt.
As for shoes, keep them simple. Sneakers are perfect because seersucker isn't appropriate for formal occasions anyway. On the other hand, loafers (preferably in brown or with other earth tones) can also pull off that preppy style while still looking professional. Just make sure they're polished and clean.
In general, keep seersucker outfits simple and you'll be fine. There's a time and place for this fabric, but it should only be reserved for summer at the office or other formal settings. If you don't feel like wearing it to work, save it for casual occasions when paired with the right pieces.
At the end of the day, seersucker is an old-school fabric that brings you back to simpler times. It's perfectly acceptable to wear this outside of summer because it's a classic pattern that can't be beaten when trying to pull off a classy look. Be aware of how you're balancing your outfit though; seersucker is a summer fabric after all, but you can still pull off that preppy style when done right.
The Positive and Negative sides of Seersucker?
The Positive Side of Seersucker:
People have turned to wearing seersucker in the summertime due to how light and comfortable it feels against their skin. It also has a stretchy feel that allows for comfort in daily activities.
The looseness of the fabric helps to reduce sweating and friction between clothes, which is why it is chosen over other materials for summer dresses.
Seersucker's comfort and stretchiness make it a perfect material for summer wear
The Negative sides of Seersucker:
Due to the looseness of the material, it can get wrinkled easily.
May not be seen as attractive because it is not a common fabric choice for young people.
What is seersucker clothing made of?
Seersucker is typically made of 100% cotton fabric that has been dyed with indigo. This process leaves behind small puckered dimples in the cloth that makes it very puffy and soft.
Seersucker is traditionally worn during the warmer months, however, modern fashion trends have developed more formal seersucker apparel for any season. Seersucker clothing is also made of cotton and comes in a variety of different colors and patterns.
The Perfect Seersucker Shirt
Menswear has this mysterious quality where nothing goes out of style, but many pieces do. The current sartorial craze is everything prep, and brands such as J. Crew and Ralph Lauren are raking in the dough with their seersucker suits, shirts, and ties—a color that is back with a vengeance.
What separates this classic piece from the rest of your summer wardrobe is not just its prep roots but also its ability to withstand the humid weather better than other pieces in your closet. Sure, seersucker can be worn on any occasion, but there are certain guidelines that you should follow to guarantee that you're rocking it right.
Fit is Everything
This is why it's not advisable to buy seersucker off the rack even though you might be tempted by its low price point. The fabric stretches out pretty easily, meaning that now your favorite summer shirt can't accommodate your love handles or stomach.
As a result, don't hesitate to size up for example if you're a medium, buy a large instead. You can always taper the shirt at your local tailor but you can't stretch it out that easily.
Narrow Down Your Pattern
This is where seersucker gets tricky because there are just so many variations of it. The most popular ones are the classic stripe and the more recent polka dot version.
The stripe is good for people who want to look preppy and pulled together yet understated, while the polka dot version is a little bit more daring and unafraid of standing out. You can't go wrong with either one as long as you're not trying to be matchy-matchy and wear both at the same time.
Go With A Solid Tie
A plain tie is the safest bet for this summer classic. It's daring enough not to seem too preppy but it doesn't overwhelm whatever shirt you wear with seersucker. And if you're feeling less adventurous, go for a patterned pocket square instead! Just make sure that your pocket square and your tie are complementary, not too similar.
Accessorize With Care
Since the seersucker shirt is already light and airy, you don't want to weigh yourself down with heavy accessories such as a heavy watch or bracelet. The best way to pull this off is by sticking with thin leather bands for your wrist because they contrast against the shirt's fabric. It's best to avoid a belt because it might make you look bigger due to the seersucker's breezy nature.
Don't Suit Up
The seersucker can be worn with anything from shorts to jeans, but if you really want an effortless and carefree summer look, go for casual pieces such as a white T-shirt, khaki shorts, and boat shoes. Of course, you can dress it up for a casual wedding or other special events as long as your tie is crisp and clean.
It's easy to take advantage of those sunny days by wearing seersucker just about everywhere you go—and now that you know the right way to wear it, you don't have to worry about looking like a clown. Just remember that no matter how you wear it, seersucker projects the image of its wearer's coolness and carefree nature!
If you have your friends who do not know about seersucker—or are trying to come up with a new summer shirt idea for him—give them the best piece of advice you have. Get them one simple, white seersucker shirt. This is a shirt that never goes out of style. It is an instant classic.
Since it has been around for so long, there have been various trends surrounding this item. During the early 20th century and in the southern parts of the United States, it was popular to wear a seersucker suit with a straw hat. However, when someone is talking about this fabric, they are most likely referring to a shirt with long sleeves worn by gentlemen during summers.
There is an art behind wearing a seersucker shirt. You will find that this fabric looks best on men who are tall and slim since the stripes run vertically instead of horizontally. Furthermore, it has to be worn properly with a dark suit for business purposes or with light-colored pants during the day.