A couple of years ago I had the pleasure of being a guest of Haspel — the originators of the seersucker suit — for a few days in New Orleans. Although it’s hard to capture the rarified heritage one feels when wearing such a suit while sipping a Sazerac cocktail on a steamy evening in the Latin Quarter French Quarter (I wore a dangerous white-on-white classic SB for the occasion), slipping into a jacket, a shirt, or even a pair of shorts executed in the classic Southern fabric can certainly make one feel a bit more genteel. Since today is National Seersucker Day, I chose to pull on the jacket from that very suit to class up my Working From Home uniform of a navy T-shirt and jeans, and I feel better already.
According to Wikipedia, Seersucker Thursday was originally initiated by Republican Senator Trent Lott of Mississippi in 1996 who wanted to “bring a little Southern charm to the Capitol” to remind the Senate of how senators dressed before the advent of air conditioning in the 1950s. Of course, Haspel makes a point of spotlighting the day, and what a better time than to take advantage of seersucker’s naturally cooling properties than right now as customers return to offices with iffy air-conditioning, pack for summer weddings, or just plain want to feel a bit more confident and sophisticated at the neighbor’s BBQ or a Sunday School picnic.
The price is right: sold as separates, a Haspel sportcoat retails for $395, and coordinating trousers (in either classic or modern fits) go for $200, are available in a wide range of color combinations, and they’re made in the USA. Shorts are $79.50, and shirts are right around $100; more for long sleeves, less for short.
For those who will be joining me on a terrace this evening — be it in New Orleans, New York, New Jersey, or Newfoundland — here’s a recipe for a classic Sazerac. Cheers to Happy National Seersucker Day!