Seersucker—what is it, and why is it a great option for warm weather?
The Tailored Fit is not only a full-service tailoring and custom garment-making shop, we also provide education through our University of Sewing, and through this blog. We think educating our clients leads to a long-lasting relationship in which customers trust us to make them look their best.
Seersucker is a fun fabric for summer with a rather interesting background. When you think of seersucker today, you probably associate it with the “preppy” look, or southern or coastal climates and warm weather. It wasn’t always regarded as such, though!
The fabric itself is a light, woven, all-cotton, and traditionally striped. The way its woven causes some of the threads to bunch more closely together than others which creates a slightly puckered appearance. Instead of lying flat against the body, the puckered quality of the fabric causes it to stand out from one’s form, thus creating air flow and keeping one cooler.
Since it’s introduction in the United States, seersucker was historically a summer staple for men in the South, due to the hot and humid climate. In the days of the Old West and beyond, however, a heavier version of seersucker, called "hickory stripe" was worn by working men, due to its ability to keep them cool and also because it hid stains like oil and coal tar, and was significantly cooler in hot working conditions. The "railroad stripe" fabric we see in modern fashion is a throwback to this era.
When you think of hospital volunteers known as "Candy Stripers?" They're called that because their red-and-white-striped outfits were a type of seersucker called "candy stripe" beginning in the 1940s.
In the 1920s, college undergrads started wearing seersucker as a form of reverse snobbery.
As the 20th century waned into the 21st, seersucker has stuck around. Think Brooks Brothers, J. Crew, Vineyard Vines, and other "preppy" companies. One piece, such as a tie, will do...or an entire snazzy suit for an event such as the Kentucky Derby. Ladies, a seersucker dress on a hot summer day is positively heavenly, or consider a suit, or even pajamas and/or a bathrobe for all those hot nights. We can design and make whatever garment you like, and supply just the right fabric for your custom design here at The Tailored Fit!