Well over 100 years ago in New Orleans a business garment was invented that could stand up to the Louisiana heat. The British used this strangely puckered cloth called seersucker in India and one Mr. Haspel thought it could translate well from a laborer’s outfit to a hot-weather-ready suit. As he put it, "hot is hot, no matter what you do for a living.”
The world agreed, and quickly seersucker suits became synonymous with summertime soigné and the jazz hot, cayenne kick of the Crescent City style. Prepsters at Princeton were not far behind, snapping up the subtly striped apparel and spreading it throughout the Ivy League as the signifier of a true gentlemen. Lawn parties ensued.
Soon professionals and politicians alike traded in their dark wool suits for this model summer attire. Gregory Peck wore a seersucker suit famously for his role as Atticus Finch in the movie To Kill a Mockingbird.
With the advent of air conditioning, though, use of the lightweight, pre-rumpled fabric declined. But in 1996, Capitol Hill decided to bring the seersucker back. The second Thursday in June became a political holiday, on which senators in the U.S. Congress wear seersucker clothing to celebrate National Seersucker Day.
In the spirit of this unique tradition, Mike and I made a photo shoot donning a couple of his seersucker suits. Check it out!