Save the Day in a Seersucker Suit

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

women's seersucker suit
photo credit: Aart Balk

I still have one more California post in the works (part IV), but I'm also on a serious deadline: the end of summer.

It always comes down to this. Me meaning to shout and tell the world of my undying affection and devotion to a certain, preppy little fabric, Seersucker, but then the summer beats me over the head with a blackjack. I wake up mid-August and my favorite summertime fabric has not only already been put on second clearance, it's also been ousted from stores to make way for fall stuff. Pittsburgh has been a steady 90 degrees with 90% humidty for the past three weeks. I don't know about you, but cozy, cloying sweaters are the furthest thing from my mind. The last time I posted a seersucker outfit (here) it was a Labor Day post. Ah! Editorial and retail calendars...they're just so out of tune with the beat of my inner fashion drum and weather IRL.

seersucker suit
photo credit: Aart Balk
I have to give a shout out to the Style Social Pittsburgh events. I enjoy meeting new people, always. I enjoy meeting other bloggers and other like-minded individuals. I met photographer Aart Balk at our last Style Social/Killer Heels Exhibit event at the Frick Museum (The Killer Heels Exhibit is a must see! Hurry before it leaves September 4). Aart is a Pittsburgh transplant, just like myself. Unlike myself, he is originally from Holland. We decided to collaborate one Saturday morning. Then it started raining after hair and make-up were done and we were enroute to meet up. We hunkered under a bridge in lower Greenfield and rolled with the grit.

I picked up this Banana Republic suit in April, when it was still chilly. But now, at the end of summer, I want to live in seersucker. Seersucker. The term originates from Persian words, Sheer and Shakar, meaning milk and sugar - a nod to the two tone coloring of the woven fabric's stripes, in this case a light blue and white. The cotton fabric is woven in such a way that fabric puckers ever so slightly, making it look slightly rumpled or wrinkled. This helps to hold the fabric away from the body and keep the wearer cool. Imperfectly perfect. Yes please.

nude heels
photo credit: Aart Balk

photo credit: Aart Balk

When I was in Los Angeles, I went to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and caught the Reigning Men Fashion Exhibit where I found a very early example of the fabric in a gentleman's suit. I think it was late 18th century. Anyway, seersucker has long been a main stay in the wardrobes of gentlemen residing in hot climes..think British colonial India and the American south. A thicker version of the fabric (much like denim) has also been used for more utilitarian endeavors, 19th century mattress and pillow ticking and train engineer overalls. Casey Jones wore seersucker that fated day when he saved many lives, fatally crashed and simultaneously brought the train into the station on time-or at least that's the legend. After the civil war seersucker went through a period where it was a mainstay fabric for haversacks and clothing for the working poor. It didn't have good social connotations. Then some ivy-league hipster in the 1920's starting wearing it ironically "causing much confusion among my friends. They cannot decide whether I am broke or just setting a new vogue." Ever since, seersucker has been known as a preppy classic. 

iphone photo credit: Meryl Franzos
Now, I don't think of myself to be either preppy or classic, but I can't deny my attraction to the graphic nature of these blue and white stripes. Maybe it's some vestigial instinct, like lions and zebras. Maybe it's Casey Jones. I don't know. I do know that I like to shake it up a little bit, soften the long-standing, prim New England image and add a hint of rock and roll with aviators. Or, add a big dose of rock and roll with a black oxfords and a black concert t-shirt. Next time you want to be a cool cat or cool temperature wise, give seersucker a try. Guess that'll be next summer. Sorry about that guys.

 What I Wore: 
Suit: Banana Republic
Top: Francesca's Collections
Leather cuff watch: Vintage
Heels: Banana Republic
Sunnies: Ray-Ban  

summer fashion
photo credit: Aart Balk


women's seersucker suit
photo credit: Aart Balk
Coming up next on the blog,  my final (and favorite) post in my California Roadtrip series.  


Your Bosom Friend in Pittsburgh, 

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