5.05.2021

SEERSUCKER

An old rule of masculine elegance states that it can be worn only between Memorial Day and Labor Day: from late May to early September.

Seersucker is a fabric native to India. The word seersucker is taken from the Persian shir o shakka, which means “milk and sugar”: its stripes being both smooth as milk and rough as sugar. British settlers bringing this fabric back to Europe anglicized the word to give it the shape we know today Seersucker was first worn by the English bourgeoisie in the 18th century during their Grand Tour in Italy.

Seersucker is historically woven with cotton fibers, however the more luxurious fabrics can be made of silk. The fabric is woven at very lightly alternating speeds. This weaving results in a waffled fabric: allowing better air circulation inside the garment because less fabric is in direct contact with the skin. This embossing makes seersucker ideal for warmer weather.

In the South of the United States, seersucker was worn by the working classes: it is often found in the outfits of railway workers from the beginning of the 20th century. It wasn’t until 1909 that a New Orleans tailor, Joseph Haspel, invented the first seersucker suit. Despite his efforts to dress businessmen in the warmer months, seersucker remained shunned from the upper classes because of its popular resonance.

In 1920, seersucker was worn by Princeton students, who enjoyed the contrast between this common fabric and their belonging to a privileged class. Ivy League students democratized the wearing of the seersucker suit among the upper classes of society. While university professors wore seersucker suits, students preferred to wear the jacket mismatched with loose chinos. These future bankers, engineers, lawyers or artists will continue to wear their seersucker suits on weekends.

HUSBANDS

SINGLE-BREASTED JACKET IN SEERSUCKER - WHITE AND GREY STRIPES
Brian Jones, London, 1964

Brian Jones, London, 1964

Laura Gemser and Gabriele Tinti, 1975

Laura Gemser and Gabriele Tinti, 1975

David Hockney, California, 1967

David Hockney, California, 1967

Philippe Noiret in Tendre Poulet, 1977

Philippe Noiret in Tendre Poulet, 1977

Neil Young, Los-Angeles, 1975

Neil Young, Los-Angeles, 1975

Max Ernst, Berlin, 1961

Max Ernst, Berlin, 1961

Miles Davis, NewPort, 1958

Miles Davis, NewPort, 1958