June 16, 2010

Seersucker suits smarter with Glenn Hoffs of Brooks Brothers

Seersucker. From the Persian, "milk and honey", it is a suit fabric identified with summer and the Southern US states.

It is a classic warm-weather suiting and a lightness and casual silhouette perfect for garden parties.

Typically found in fine blue and white stripes, the cotton textile features alternating smooth and nappy bands. The nap helps wick away moisture.

Here are some seersucker pointers from Brooks Brothers fashion director Glen Hoffs:

What is a now way of wearing seersucker?

Seersucker is one of those timeless fabrics that looks very current at the moment. The renewed interest in mid century dressing makes seersucker feel quite current. Of course how one wears seersucker is what makes it modern. I prefer it mixed with something unexpectedly casual- for instance a seersucker sportcoat with jeans or a more relaxed bottom.

Spread collars continue to be popular - do they suit a seersucker look?

Yes a spread collar shirt can be worn with seersucker but I would avoid one that looked too dressy. A white cotton spread collar shirt that is lightly pressed (or not pressed at all) can be a good look.

What do you like in shirt colours, patterns, and tie types?

I like some thing dark and simple, a dark madras or club tie can work well with seersucker. I prefer something that is cotton based or if it is silk not too shiny- the more shiny a time the more formal. So seersucker requires a more matt finish. A knit tie also works well with seersucker.

How should a seersucker suit works as separates?

A seersucker suit can be worn separately- the pant can be worn with just about anything. Worn dressed down with vintage style white tennis shoes or dressed up with loafers or white bucks. The Jacket can be worn with jeans, khakis, or a brightly colored pant. If you¹re going to wear the suit the tie will make or break the look. Choose something dark and simple.

Are there any faux pas with seersucker?

Tread carefully when trying to pair the seersucker suit with the straw hat
and white bucks.

Though seersucker is a humble fabric, are there ways of telling whether the material is of good quality?

Seersucker is pretty much the same and is usually in cotton. Look for something that isn't stiff. It should feel relaxed and have some drape to it. A silk cotton blend can also be found. The most important thing is the make of the suit. Look for something where the collar and chest don't feel stiff. If it doesn¹t drape well on the hanger it won't drape on the body. An inexpensive seersucker suit is going to look very stiff.

Under what circumstances is it appropriate to wear a seersucker suit?

Seersucker is perfect for a summer wedding, especially a casual daytime wedding. Some gentlemen in the south can get away with wearing the seersucker suit to work, but that's a very specific look that should remain in the South.

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