Sucker for a lightweight suit
Yes, I do sense that after mentioning the name, corners of mouths turned up, just slightly.
And yes, I do recognize that a truly unfortunate name has befallen what I deem to be a truly great fabric.
Wearers of Seersucker beware, be ready to defend your lightweight vestments and may you come across any negative banter be sure to arm yourself with the next few facts as to dispose of it in an appropriate and timely manner.
Seersucker is a lightweight fabric whose title derives from the Persian words Shir O Shekar, meaning milk and sugar.
The aptly given name refers to the way the fabric is woven, in such a way as to create areas where the fabric bunches together, thus giving it it’s famous wrinkled appearance.
Those of you not familiar with the name will instantly recognize the fabric itself pictured in the images below.
Historians please bear with me as I attempt to squeeze hundreds of years in to a small paragraph.
The first known appearance of seersucker was around the 1700’s.
It was then picked up by the British colonies and was made popular for men in the warmer climates. The next time this distinguishable fabric resurfaces is in the United States.
At first, it was deemed a cheap fabric for the working class, until college students started wearing it as an act of reverse snobbery.
From here on in, it continues in popularity until it becomes an all American mainstay and a Brookes Brothers best seller for men over 50.
Times have changed. Designers are reclaiming this lightweight fabric and rescuing it from the depths of fashion faux pas. As a designer I see tremendous benefits in working with seersucker.
Apart from the fact that it is a wonderfully lightweight summer fabric, making it perfect for tropical climates, it also holds it’s shape well and needs very little pressing.
The likes of Thom Brown, Burberry, Neil Barrett, to name but a few are using their creativity and ability to cut an exquisite suit to bring this fabric back to life.
Here are the results of their efforts.
Thom Browne. creative, cutting edge, what else would you expect. Don’t fooled by the theatrics of it all.
Whilst these designs may be viewed unwearable to the untrained eye, Thom Browne is constantly attributed with bringing new menswear trends into the foray. One such attribution is the rise of the trouser hem.
Richard James likes to take classic shapes and finish them with his own signature. Here Richard James is surprisingly restrained with this on trend Seersucker Blouson jacket.
Nothing says understated Italian craftsmanship like Zegna. Here they show off their expertise in producing some of the world’s best fabric with a silk seersucker.
Seersucker is also represented in Hill’s Summer 2012 collection.
If the full suit is initially too much to muscle, here are some great examples of how to wear seersucker pieces separately.
Whatever your cut or colour preference it’s safe to say that seersucker is here to stay.
It’s a no brain wardrobe essential that is lightweight, machine washable and needs very little pressing.
I for one raise a glass to the return of Seersucker.
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