Given the recent hubbub surrounding our new Charleston seersucker suit (which is understandable if you've seen one or tried one on, it's incredible), it might not be a bad idea to delve a tad deeper into the history of the legendary summer fabric. Because while most of us harbor some notion of it being cotton, lightweight, and popular in warmer Southern climes, how well do we truly know this enigmatic textile? As we prepare to don our seersuckeriest suits and toss back icy cold juleps, it might be a good idea to back up the style with a little history and background knowledge. So here's the skinny:
The word seersucker actually comes from the Persian "shir o shakkar," literally "milk and sugar," a reference to its unique puckered texture. The benefit of said unique puckered texture is that the fabric is held away from the skin, making it considerably cooler than other lightweight fabrics, and perfect for hot muggy weather. This, along with the fact that it never requires ironing, rendered it popular from the get-go in the American South, where it became standard gentleman's attire. Over the course of its history, it has also been a popular fabric with students, military officials, and diplomats stationed at some of the world's hotter embassies.
And if you'd like to experience seersucker for yourself, you can open a small but distinguished law practice in one of the Carolinas, or you could simply try the new Bonobos Charleston. Milk and sugar, indeed!