Happy Seersucker Day. Yes, that’s a thing. Didn’t you know? The tradition started recently, in 1996, when Mississippi senator Trent Lott, wanting to pay respects to a pre-’50s era—before the senate chamber had air conditioning—implored his colleagues to dress in seersucker on the second Thursday in June. (The tradition was suspended in 2012 and 2013, due to political deadlock, but has since continued full-steam ahead.)
Of course, the stuff itself has a grander pedigree than keeping early 20th-century politicians cool. Haspel brought the breathable fabric to the mainstream in 1909, with a collection of versatile suits. And if this tux is any indication, more than a century later, they’re still going strong. Check out that navy—deep as midnight—and those sumptuous black lapels. If you were ever unsure what to wear to a summer wedding, this is your answer.
But even if your summer looks to be full of weddings, it’s not the season for formality. For three months, you get to kick back and chill out—literally or figuratively—and seersucker is the best fabric to do that in. From the blazers and shorts you’d expect to, yes, even swimsuits, seersucker works for everything. Don’t believe us? Check out these 10 options for yourself. We weren’t kidding when we said the stuff was versatile. And once your closet looks like Trent Lott’s summer wardrobe, check out our list of essential summer outfits for more ideas.
$67; buy now at amazon.com
You can’t go wrong with a classic; the blue and white stripe is and always will be eternal. Of course, a seersucker suit doesn’t work in all settings. For days that aren’t balmy to the point of death, check out the 20 sharpest suits you can buy at the click of a button.
Original Penguin Slim Fit Seersucker Blazer
From $93; buy now at amazon.com
Slim fitting in a soft pink, this blazer can go either way: dress it up, or throw it over a solid tee and your sleekest selvedge denim. Either way, it’s easy on the eyes.
Palm Beach Brock Seersucker Jacket
From $77; buy now on amazon.com
Throw on this subtly sophisticated, wholly modern number and you’ll fit right in on palmy beaches all around the globe.
Tommy Hilfiger Gibbs Stretch Seersucker Sport Coat
From $73; buy now on amazon.com
With a trim, tailored fit, the just-right amount of stretch, and deep blue micro-check, this sport coat is perfect with jeans and a simple white shirt—and is just one more example of how Tommy Hilfiger has redefined attire in 2017.
Franklin Tailored Seersucker Gingham Sport Coat
From $163; buy now on amazon.com
Gingham check is a snappy alternative to the traditional seersucker stripe. But if you’re going to attempt a style swerve like this, make sure everything else is in pinpoint-perfect position, and learn how to tie a perfectly dimpled tie, every time.
Nautica Solid Seersucker Shirt
$80; buy now on amazon.com
Nautica makes a splash with some high-concept fashion: Southern good ol’ boy fabric, done up European runway black.
PS by Paul Smith Seersucker Shirt
$117; buy now on amazon.com
The white button-down is the cornerstone of every man’s closet; stocking your closet with them isn’t a matter of if so much as when. And when that time comes, pick up a few of these cotton beauties.
IZOD Flat Front Seersucker Pant
From $45; buy now on amazon.com
After the whole Ken Bone thing, we figured IZOD would fade back into obscurity But this flat front, utterly flattering proves us wrong.
Brooks Brothers Bermuda Short
$50; buy now on amazon.com
How could Brooks Brothers not be on this roundup? The master of Connecticut prep offers a breathable short with a perfectly classy and classic fit and length.
Original Penguin Seersucker Mini Gingham Swim Trunk
From $55; buy now on amazon.com
This is the swim trunk of the summer. It’s trimmer, shorter, and quicker to dry than anything else. Plus, it sits securely at the waist, so no mishaps. But if a seersucker swimsuit turns you off, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with the 25 best swimsuits for summer.
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