Seersucker Suits

I was inspired to write this post by a dear friend of mine. He asked me, “if I buy a seersucker suit, will it be in style next year?” I told him definitely. Seersucker suits are actually a classic! What is seersucker? Seersucker is a thin, puckered, all-cotton fabric, commonly striped or checkered, used to make clothing for spring and summer wear. The word came into English from Hindustani (Urdu and Hindi), which originates from the words “kheer aur shakkar”, meaning “milk and sugar”, probably from the resemblance of its smooth and rough stripes to the smooth texture of milk and the bumpy texture of sugar.

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Tips on buying a seersucker suit for men:

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1. Look for a color you like. While seersucker usually comes in light colors, such as cream, khaki, gray and light blue, you can also find a seersucker suit in black or navy blue for a dressier business suit, appropriate for the office.

2. Find a suit that fits well. Seersucker is meant to keep you cool, since it is made of cotton and highly breathable, but it won’t keep you cool if it’s baggy or too tight. Choose a size that will flatter your shape, but buy a size larger if you’re in doubt.

3. Consider other accessories and clothing. Men’s suits made of seersucker are typically more casual than a linen suit or a business suit, therefore, less formal shoes and accessories are better when wearing seersucker clothing. Purchase a simple white-collared shirt to wear under your suit and wear it with or without a tie, depending on the occasion. Brown or black dress shoes or oxfords look great with both seersucker clothing and a linen suit, and you can add vintage flair by adding a straw hat, too.

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4. Buy a suit you can wear on many occasions. Like a men’s linen suit, a seersucker suit can be versatile and stylish at various events. Look for a men’s suit in grey or cream for a style you can wear to work, church, business events and outdoor parties throughout the spring and summer. Find a men’s seersucker suit that is appropriate for business casual dinner parties, too.

Tips on how to style a seersucker suit for women:

1. Shorts- seersucker shorts are widely available in a variety of lengths and colors, and can be dressed up or down from spring to late summer. Pleat-front women’s shorts look cool and fashionable with a crisp white shirt, and the same goes for men. Pulling in a third color, for example wearing a pink button-down with blue and white seersucker shorts or a pastel yellow T-shirt with gray and white Bermudas is an easy look that adds a lot of options for a single pair of shorts. Even pulling in a fourth color if you need to layer into sweaters as temperatures drop works well.

2. Miniskirts- While suits may offer the most square inches of seersucker fabric, miniskirts probably bear the least. Women in the East Coast have long worn longer versions of the seersucker mini by keeping lengths at about or just above the knee. More recent versions take it to micro-mini shortness or to several inches above the knee. Pairing seersucker with funkier blouses, ironic T-shirts, fitted solid blazers and even cotton tanks is trendy with a touch of class — a combination that rarely fails. Wearing flats in a solid color or even in a clashing pattern, for instance with flowers, animal print or polka dots, keeps a seersucker miniskirt looking cute, while high heels notch up the sexiness. Simple pearl strands and thin hoop earrings pair well with both the stripe patterning and the lightness of the fabric and look, for day or night.

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3. Capris- Capri pants have become an essential part of a woman’s warm-weather wardrobe as shorts and dresses, and seersucker capris fill a gap between the very casual to the suitably formal depending on how they’re dressed up or down. Full-length pants in seersucker are still in fashion and arguably a lot more wearable for women than men, but shorter capri lengths have become widely available and workable. Boxy T-shirts and boat-neck, three-quarter-sleeve tops suit seersucker pants and most any capris, and thin-weight cardigan sweaters of short, linen blazers elevate the look for going out at night. And as with miniskirts in the crinkled stripe, flats or heels are OK as long as they fit the occasion and carry the overall look.

4. Jackets- Although women can sport the look, too, there is something almost iconic about seeing a man in a seersucker blazer with pants or shorts. Where a seersucker suit can sometimes get it wrong by being over-the-top, a jacket most often adds just the right touch of both warm weather casualness. Flat-front chinos in shades of tan and khaki or white are staples for the seersucker blazer, but well-tailored black pants or even jeans — in black, blue or even white look great with a loose but not over-sized blazer of any color combination. Light suede bucks also are the more traditional choice but black or brown leather with pants or boat shoes and sandals for shorts work well depending on the destination and activities!

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