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The Fabric Series, Pt. III: Seersucker


Selection of seersucker swatches for custom suits

We’ve already covered mohair and cotton in our fabric series, but there’s a special type of cotton that deserves its own category: seersucker. With that in mind, welcome to the third installment of the Henry A. Davidsen Fabric Series.

With the Kentucky Derby having just occurred a couple of weeks ago, warm weather fabrics in bright colors are on everybody’s mind. Seersucker delivers big time in this regard, and with good reason: the fabric is actually from India and was adopted by the British while India was under British rule. The word “seersucker” is actually a corruption of the Hindustani words “kheer aur shakkar,” which translates to “milk and sugar.” The fabric is woven in such a way that it creates a natural “lumpiness,” which lends it a casual air and also convenience in that you don’t really ever have to press it.

As far as its history in the United States is concerned, seersucker has traditionally been worn in the South (the gallant kind, not the dirty kind) where the temperatures are more hot and humid for longer periods of time. It’s generally available in suits, shirts and shorts, though Mike owns a seersucker necktie.


Seersucker is only appropriate in the spring and summer months or in climates where it’s warm all the time. From an aesthetic standpoint the light colors are perfect for these seasons, and from a practical standpoint you’d freeze to death if you wore it in the fall or winter.

Because it’s inherently more casual than worsted wool, don’t wear seersucker to events that require much formality. It’s good for garden parties, outdoor weddings, or just looking amazing during a daytime stroll through the park.


A simple cotton dress shirt, spectator shoes, and a straw boater if you’re hitting up that garden party. A polo shirt and boat shoes if you’re having a casual day around town. Wear the pants as casual slacks or throw the jacket on with tan khakis for a put-together summertime look.

However you choose to wear seersucker, remember to keep it fun. Don’t be afraid to wear a bright shirt and a cotton bow tie with if you feel like it. If there’s one suit where you’ll totally get away with it, seersucker is it.

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