Style Manual

The modern man’s guide to dressing well every day

What is Seersucker?

You’ve probably heard of it, you’re definitely seen it, you may even have it hanging in your closet, but the question still remains – what is seersucker? Let introduce you to this stylish and practical fabric, and discover why you should be wearing it all season… and beyond:

Navy blazer

What is the history of seersucker?

You can take our word for it – seersucker is the best fabric for warmer weather. Boasting a lightweight puckered texture, it will keep you looking and feeling cool. The iconic seersucker suit was designed in 1909 by Louisiana-native Joseph Haspel Sr. It was used originally as overalls to keep workers cool in the soaring heat of the deep South, but Haspel Sr. had the idea to take this blue-collar fabric into the closets of businessmen everywhere. Soon enough it became the suit of choice for men across warmer climates throughout the 20th century, and beyond... And if that’s not enough, the US government even coined a National Seersucker day!

Whilst seersucker was popularised in the US, it had more humble beginnings in 17th century India. Called “sīrsakar" in Hindi, it takes meaning from the words ‘milk’ and ‘sugar’, which allude to the two different (and contrasting) textures in the fabric. It is traditionally made with a slack tension weaving process on a loom, where threads at are held at different tensions to create that unique raised surface.

Why wear seersucker?

They might be a familiar sight in your wardrobe but materials like polyester and viscose are just not designed to be worn in the sun. In contrast, seersucker is a breathable fabric and keeps the air circulating. The raised surface provides a cooling effect against your skin, allowing you to go all day without becoming flustered by the heat.

Additionally, seersucker is as easy as ABC to take care of. You can wear it practically straight out of the machine, as it dries quickly after washing and holds its shape due to the crinkled surface – which means no ironing! Now, that's a winner for us… Practical and durable, it’s certain that seersucker will remain in your wardrobe for many years to come.

What are different types of seersucker?

Seersucker is traditionally known for its light blue and white stripes; however, this classic fabric has adapted to many trends throughout the years and can now be found in a variety of styles. Think grey and white patterns for a contemporary look, alongside fashionable pink shades. There’s no need to limit your seersucker to a 2-piece suit either - the fabric can be used to make a range of lightweight clothing items such as shirts, shorts and trousers.

How does seersucker fit?

As you may expect from a lightweight fabric, seersucker clothing often lacks in shape and can even add unwanted volume. It’s important to achieve the right fit, as the fabric is not sadly forgiving. In 2013, a Missoni state legislator even attempted to propose a ban on the suit on the grounds that “adults look ridiculous” in them. Avoid any near-criminal fashion mistakes and opt for a tailored version.

Where to wear seersucker?

A seersucker suit is perfect for outdoor events such as weddings. If you’re lucky enough to head aboard for the nuptials, its lightweight material is suiting perfection for a beach wedding.

Seersucker is often viewed as too informal for office environments. However, if you have a business-casual dress code, we say give it a go. Keep it work-friendly with toned-down accessories or with a navy or black stripe instead, as darker colours give a more professional look.

Seersucker separates are your best bet for casual occasions. From family BBQs to hanging out with your mates, the fabric offers up daytime style with ease.

Off on your hols? Remember to pack the seersucker. Dabble in a little nautical styling with a shorts suit and woven hat. For a more relaxed look, team with a Breton tee and boat shoes.

What to wear with seersucker?

The trick to styling seersucker is to wear it with fabrics similar in weigh. An instant style tip to add to your arsenal is the classic combo of cotton and seersucker. Whether it's a cotton shirt under a suit or chino trousers with a seersucker jacket, you really won't go wrong.

When it comes to colour - think pink. Not big on pink? A pair of white chinos is a great alternative.

How to wear a seersucker suit at the weekend?

When it comes to the weekend, a versatile seersucker suit works ever-so-well. Don’t hesitate about separating your suit. This will give you an even wider range of outfit options for casual occasions.

If you do want to commit to the 2-piece, start by switching up your white shirt. Make it look weekend-friendly and opt instead for a classic polo or plain t-shirt.

How to accessorise a seersucker suit?

If you’re feeling unsure about wearing it head-to-toe, darker accessories are the perfect way to tone down the distinctive design. Brown is an obvious accent choice – from shoes to ties, they’ll nicely work with the lighter hue of the fabric.

Going to a wedding? Dress your seersucker suit up? Go all out with formal accessories like braces, tie pins and cufflinks. Hats are always a considered option too. A good hat has the ability to take you look from zero to hero. Whether you choose a boater, fedora or even straw hat, it's a practical yet stylish way to complete your seersucker outfit.

One of the best things about summer is the opportunity to wear sunglasses 24/7 without looking ridiculous. Vintage style frames like clubmasters or wayfarers perfectly pair with the retro appeal of seersucker.

There’s endless options to pair with your seersucker suit. And even more ways to wear it. Whether you're donning a full suit or separates, it's a must-have for any man's wardrobe.

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