Milk and Sugar: The Origins of Seersucker

Rishi Chullani is a former banker turned fashion enthusiast and men’s formalwear fashion blogger. He enjoys delivering sartorial knowledge and updating his readers on trends in men’s formalwear fashion at Suit Up, Dress Up

What does one do when the enervating heat is so ridiculous it makes Miami’s recent 27 game winning streak look cold in comparison? When Mr. Freeze from the old Batman franchise couldn’t help you cool down if you paid him to do so? Try on a seersucker suit, gentlemen. The term seersucker hails from India, where it was known as “Shir –o – shaker” which in Persian translates into “Milk and Sugar”, which most likely represented the contrasting textures of the fabric: milk for the smooth and sugar for the crinkle. Seersucker is a lightweight, crinkled striped summer fabric of puckered cotton. The crinkled stripes let air into the fabric to help you keep cool. While usually utilized within the framework of a suit, seersucker can also be worn as a sport jacket or a shirt.

The fabric typically comes in the form of blue stripes on white, but can also be found in cream or beige. The fabric’s lightweight cotton properties make it ideal for summer and allows for some fabulous color schemes! Given that seersucker suits are light in color, your best bet is usually for a lighter pastel colored or white colored shirt. Tie patterns can work great, as long as they are not too busy. A Madras cotton tie adds texture to the outfit to complement the suit and adds to the overall laid-back look. Or a Hermes style animal print motif tie could also match well, given that that these ties are often colorful yet embody a laid-back vibe, which would be perfect for your next summer wedding in the South or the Kentucky Derby!

animal motifs / printed color silk ties can look fantastic with a seersucker suit in the summer!
Animal motifs / printed color silk ties can look fantastic with a seersucker suit in the summer!

As for your shoes, try laceups of either a light color or one that matches the suit. In general, you want your accessories to match or compliment the color of the suit – hence – your overall look should be classy yet laidback at the same time.

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