Around Derby weekend, the seersucker suit gets all the attention.
But the fabric itself is so versatile—and cooling, with its uneven weave lifting the cotton off your skin and leaving hundreds of tiny pockets of air to cool you. So, in the event you’d like to outfit another part of your body with seersucker—say, your neck, or your feet—we’ve gone ahead and found enough gear to swathe you from head to toe in the legendarily cooling fabric. Now, we’re not saying you should try wearing every single piece here at once…
Here’s a timely reader question that landed in our mailbox this past week, paraphrased below:
Every Labor Day we’re told to pack up the summer gear and start acting like it’s fall. But it’s still hot as hell out and I want to keep wearing stuff that’s not going to make me overheat. Will I be committing sartorial sin by wearing seersucker in mid-September?
Playing by rules can be tough—especially when you’re faced with the sweltering prospect of heading into summer-like conditions wrapped in hopsack wool. In our estimation, your need to stay comfortable in the tail end of summer should supersede any obligations to uphold the vestiges of sartorial tradition—but we don’t want you walking around town giving the wrong impression. So we came up with a simple guideline to follow.
There’s nothing more indispensable during summer than a pair of swim trunks you can wear no matter what the weekend throws at you—swimming, drinking, eating, waiting 30 minutes, more swimming and so on.
And while there have been a few astonishingly chino-like contenders on the scene recently, we’re still partial to an old standby: the seersucker swimsuit. It’s got a lived-in summeriness that plays well with the carefree weekend vibe. (Think: Bill Murray, on his best behavior.) So we’ve scoured the shops for a handful of our favorites, from the European-leaning to the go-to-hell variety.
It’s already happening. This unseasonably warm weather just keeps on getting more and more unseasonably warm. So we’ve already had to kick our yearly quest for the ultimate summer shirt into high gear.
Enter: this new Franken-shirt from Brooks Brothers—it’s part polo (with a knit collar and ribbed armbands) and part seersucker sports shirt. And it very well could be “the answer.”
Or “the shirt kept reserved for the golf course.”
We’ve got good news and bad news.
The good news is that you’re coming up on a three-day weekend. The bad news is, you’ve got four days left before you’re honor-bound to put your white bucks back on the high shelf. Along with a few other items…
Speaking of seersucker, Andre Balazs gave a pretty thorough clinic on the uses of the seersucker suit at this weekend’s Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic.
If you’re not familiar, the Polo Classic is an annual polo exhibition that lures in celebrities, the occasional prince and a nigh unmanageable quantity of Manhattanite polo fans. And since it’s all happening on a Sunday afternoon in early June, with little to no shade…things can get a little bit warm.
So naturally, Mr. Balazs switches from his usual open-collared wool suit to an open-collared seersucker suit. (Trads will object to the loafers under a suit, but we’re willing to give him a pass given the occasion.) The touch that elevates it into MOTH-hood, however, is that umbrella—in case those storm clouds showed their teeth. Stay prepared, gentlemen.
It comes from Gitman Brothers Vintage (who have been killing it on the S/S/B/D front), with a secret weapon: seersucker. You might not notice without the telltale stripes, but it’s made from the same piped fabric as the more traditional version, and it’ll wear just as cool. The fit here’s close to perfect too, particularly the shoulder seam. Once things heat up, it’ll be a safer bet than your tee-shirt.
You have our permission to untuck.
Glenn O’Brien’s Bergdorf book launch last week saw quite a bit of sharp gentlemen come out of the woodwork. This snap catches the Style Guy flanked by Andre Balazs and GQ ed-in-chief Jim Nelson—and while none of the three is exactly a slouch, we’ve got to hand this one to the man in seersucker.
He’s a little more dressed-down than the two black-clad gents to his left, but Jim Nelson is the guiding light of casual seersucker style here. The weathered jeans, skinny tie and perfectly placed tie bar play up his elfin charm, while the thin peaked lapels set his jacket apart from the more traddish models you’ll find at Brooks Brothers. He even manages to pull off the loosened tie, a move that can come off as slouchy on lesser mortals.
On Friday, one of the great sporting events/lawn parties of our time is kicking off. We speak, of course, of the seersucker meetup known as the Kentucky Derby.
And to give you some idea why we’re so excited, we’ve put together a visual guide to the julep-soaked revelry descending on Louisville this week. Apparently horses are somehow involved…
Hentsch Man, one of our favorite British labels, just unveiled their High Summer catalog—and given what the weather’s been doing to our heavier blazers, it’s not a moment too soon.
Our favorite pieces so far are this gentleman’s linen shirt, their double-breasted seersucker jacket and an eye-popping madras, but it’s worth flipping through even if you’re not likely to buy anything listed in pounds.
We’re particularly taken with the elegant rumple in the arms of the jackets, or the generous break in the pants—touches you don’t see much in the cropped and pressed stateside styles. It’s a more restrained, raffish kind of style, and there aren’t too many places you can find it in the U.S. just yet. But there’s always London…or the internet.
Sometimes, the weather calls for more lightweight shorts…and magically the marketplace responds. Welcome to the summer, Recession Rags. We’re glad to see you.
Granted, it’s an odd name for shorts running upwards of a hundred bucks, but if you’re jonesing for black seersucker it might be well worth it. Add in some brightly patterned liners (stitched together from salvaged overstock cloth) and you should have something to get you through July.
Not to mention any racetrack visits you may have lined up.
The bowtie is already a pretty advanced item, so adding a little extra flash isn’t going to change anything too much. This version comes from Brooks Brothers, with a little inspiration by way of Social Primer founder K. Cooper Ray, and we’re pretty pleased—particularly with the madras-seersucker combination. It may be tiptoeing into J.Press territory, but nab the right tweed jacket and you should be all set.
Other than periodic sea changes—most recently from silk to wool and from wide to narrow—the tie world doesn’t have much in the way of innovation. Which makes the exceptions all the more interesting.
C. Chauchat is a tie line based around one of the more interesting fabric innovations we’ve seen in quite some time. The pictures don’t quite do them justice, but here’s the gist: classic fabrics like seersucker and checked poplin covered up by a sheer layer of cotton voile. The result is an item that looks a little different every time you glance at it, and probably one of the more compelling fabrics in your closet.
So far it’s only at two shops—Bblessing in New York and Creatures of Comfort in L.A.—but we won’t be surprised if that number starts growing before the winter’s up.
We just got a peek at the latest Fall/Winter gear from southern gentleman Billy Reid, and it looks like he’s been spending a little time on the water.
He hasn’t lost his affinity for seersucker suits and elegantly cut slacks, but now there are a few more nautical pieces mixed in, including a Roguish anchor sweater and an eye-catching bright yellow slicker, which might be our favorite of his outerwear pieces. It’s more Newport than Tupelo, but we’re certainly not complaining.
Kanye West is one of the pricklier style icons out there, so it’s good to have a guide to exactly what he’s after. (Other than, you know, the blog.) And if his latest Ten Essentials are to be believed, a lot of it boils down to this seersucker dinner jacket.
In Mr. West’s words: “I could wear it in Hawaii with a t-shirt, I could wear it in New York with a dress shirt. It embodies everything I like to be and do in fashion, riding the line between luxury and casual. It speaks volumes.” We hate to say it…but he’s right.
Wearing a t-shirt under a suit jacket is hardly a sartorial feat, but when it’s this jacket, things get a lot more interesting. And there’s something to be said for taking an amazing item and wearing it in every context imaginable. If we’d just dropped a couple grand at Lanvin, we’d be excited too.
We’re pretty big seersucker fans, so we’re always ready for a new iteration. The wallet, however, hadn’t quite occurred to us.
Unruly Heir, the same people that brought you the seersucker hoodie last summer, are teaming up with the walletteers at Timo to bring you what the world had been wanting for so long: the seersucker wallet.
*Photographed by our fearless lensman, Patrick McMullan.*
John Waters wasn’t the only one to surprise us with his stylistic splendor at the *Cry-Baby* musical premiere the other night. Waters’ fellow Baltimorean Adam Duritz, the Counting Crows frontman and record producer, blew in like a breath of fresh air with a preview of coming attractions, sartorially speaking, swathed in summer suiting befitting a southern gentleman.
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