A Seersucker Suit Makes the American Man

Americana or “American culture” is defined by the products and ideas with which it is synonymous. Coca-Cola, the “Stars and Stripes”, blue jeans and red cups (for some strange reason) are k markers of American culture around the world and typically the most seen items at international phenomena known as America Parties. These events are exactly what the name entails: social gatherings where attendees dress, talk, drink, and party like Americans. As an American, it is kind of strange to see how our culture manifests itself in others, and at times I wonder, “What defines the quintessential American?” As a sartorial fanatic, of course, this question is framed by discussion about men’s fashion. So, the real question is, “How does the quintessential American man dress?”

We have to begin with classics like the Navy Blazer, the Khaki Chino, and the Penny Loafer. Other classics like the white T-Shirt or Blue Jeans are synonymous with the quintessential American man as well, but is this where it ends? Certainly, the quintessential American man cannot be sartorially defined by 5 or 6 pieces. That is yet to be seen, but one piece stands out above the others as quintessentially American, in my mind, and that is the Seersucker Suit. This thin, all-cotton fabric suit originated in British India during the early colonial period and was favored over other materials in warmer weather. The Seersucker Suit became an instant staple in the States, especially in the South where warmer weather existed throughout the year. It’s taken on a number of cultural meanings over the years: innately contemptible during the 1920’s, in military uniforms briefly in the 1930’s and 1940’s, and innately contemptible again in the 1980’s. The US Senate even held Seersucker Thursday from 1996 to June 2012, where Senators and their staffers dressed in Seersucker to “bring a little Southern charm to the Nation’s Capitol”. But I beg to differ. Seersucker suits have undeniable swag. Every well-dressed man knows that.

The Seersucker Suit is definitely in the closet of the quintessential American man and here’s why:

A man in a Seersucker is about his business but also ready to kick-back.

A man in a Seersucker is automatically assumed to be a gentleman.

A man in a Seersucker is the coolest individual wherever he is by presence alone.

Summer is upon us, and the man with the Seersucker is the man with a plan. Besides, what else would you wear your suede white oxford shoes with?

 

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