Tag Archives: Seersucker

Monday Bits & Bytes: “Seersucker’s Moment,” ACK Race Week, etc.

Hello-Hello, we’ve lots of little tidbits to share today, beginning with a CNN feature titled “Seersucker’s Shining Moment“. From the story:

The seersucker suit is having a moment.

And if you think seersucker will make you look like Colonel Sanders, Trent Lott or some preppie named Biff, it’s time to think again.



The caption for the photo above: “Seersucker has moved into the modern era, and seersucker suits and separates are the coolest clothes a man can wear in the summer.”

The story notes the fabric’s roots and its unique American history.

Seersucker is one of a handful of fabrics — like denim and jersey — that has cultivated a distinctly American identity. Even though the fabric has ancient roots in Persia and India… it has been used to outfit men (and women) up and down the U.S. East and Gulf coasts for more than a century, according to Brooks Brothers’ in-house historian, Kelly Nickel.

We have previously chatted about seersucker in this space, most recently in June, when writing about Haspel’s re-launch.  Back to CNN’s story.

The 1980s helped develop the association of seersucker with Northeastern preppies, said Nickel. The look emphasized seersucker in a pastel rainbow of colors, even as plaid, festooned with outrageously colored socks and polo shirts.

CNN’s piece brings back memories of seersucker on the silver screen, both from the 1960s. Below left, Gregory Peck in To Kill a Mockingbird, on the right we see Dustin (with actress Katherine Ross) in 1967′s The Graduate.



However, the CNN feature notes that some of the seersucker we’re seeing is much trendier than that shown above, quoting Esquire’s fashion market editor Nic Screws.

“I think seersucker is always having a moment during the hot months,” she said. “The reason it seems like a trend is that menswear (now) has guys upping their game.”

Recently worn by the likes of Jay Z, Kanye West, and Leonardo DiCaprio (as designed by Brooks Brothers in the movie “The Great Gatsby”), seersucker has jumped out of its humble beginnings and into the modern dandy’s closet.

Ahem. The Consort informs me he is more-than-happy with the humble beginnings of his vintage almost antique  seersucker suits. Below, three styles from Brooks Brothers that are unlikely to be found in a “dandy’s closet,” that’s a good thing.

Brooks Brothers

Brooks Brothers

To see the story in its entirety, click here.


Next, a sure sign it is mid-August:

Nantucket Race Week Facebook

Nantucket Race Week Facebook

Yep, it’s time for Nantucket Race Week, a week-long series of races and associated activities that yours truly hasn’t been to in a l-o-o-o-o-n-g time, hopefully some of you will be enjoying the fun.

Chip Reid for Nantucket Race Week

Chip Riegel/Nantucket Race Week Facebook

The week culminates with Sunday’s Opera House Cup Regatta, beginning with the Rainbow Fleet parade, Rainbows are shown in the picture up above. The Opera Cup features only wooden-hulled boats, Race Week is a benefit for Nantucket Community Sailing.


And one last sign of the approaching fall season, those September fashion magazines.



Covers showcase a variety of women this fall. Elle generated a bit of chatter putting Kate Upton on its cover, Ms. Upton is wearing Lanvin. Vogue went with actress Jennifer Lawrence, wearing Calvin Klein Collection.

Harper’s Bazaar went with Sarah Jessica Parker, she is wearing Marc Jacobs. Stand by for 665+ pages of ads in this year’s issue, a healthy increase over last year.  We haven’t yet seen a weight for the issue, last year it was 4 pounds 10 ounces, how would you like to be delivering the mail this week?!

Vanity Fair’s cover image of Princess Diana has been seen previously, the Mario Testino photograph dates back to 1997. The cover story focuses on “Princess Diana’s 1995-to-1997 relationship with Pakistani heart surgeon Hasnat Khan.”

Bazaar/Vanity Fair

Bazaar/Vanity Fair

This is probably out of step with many style readers, the cover photo isn’t all that critical to me. (This disregards newsstand sales, where cover photos have an enormous influence on sales.) The magazine comes in the mail. I read it. Is that weird….?

Hopefully everyone will enjoy a wonderful Monday, we’ll see you again in just a day or two!


Filed under preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle

Storied Seersucker Brand to ReLaunch & Will Seersucker Thursday Ever Return?

Good news for a brand we have long loved, Haspel.



Haspel clothing has not been manufactured for some time, the brand is being re-launched next spring. For years it was a “go to” for lightweight menswear and other tailored garments, especially seersucker. A bit of history from a 2011 Neiman Marcus blog post about the brand.

Haspel, founded in New Orleans in 1909 and later credited with making seersucker popular in America, is newly compelling right now as young men take a new interest in sartorial tradition—and as temperatures are rising.

Unfortunately, the company’s fortunes changed within months of that Neiman Marcus blog post.  More about Haspel’s storied lineage: suits worn by Gregory Peck in To Kill a Mockingbird? By Haspel.


Via Kaufmann Mercantile

This Navy working uniform: by Haspel.

Kaufmann Mercantile

Kaufmann Mercantile

Presidents Truman and Franklin Delano Roosevelt wore Haspel suits.  A closer look at the textile.

Kaufmann Mercantile

Kaufmann Mercantile

Now the Haspel brand is being rejuvenated, more from Women’s Wear Daily (subscription required):

After a year’s hiatus, the venerable men’s wear brand, which got its start in 1909, will be relaunched for spring. It is being produced in-house by descendants of founder Joseph Haspel, who have brought CFDA-winning designers Jeff Halmos and Sam Shipley of the brand Shipley & Halmos on board to design the collection.

When going to the company’s website, this is what you now see.



My favorite part of the graphic? “Haspel days are here again.” Although “tailored in the USA” is also good to see, especially when a company has Haspel’s heritage.

A Haspel family member remains with the company for its next chapter; WWD’s story quotes the founder’s great-granddaughter, Laurie Haspel Aronson:

The new Haspel offering will be targeted to a younger customer, have a “modern classic” sensibility and be targeted to better department and specialty stores. “The emphasis will be on sportswear, clothing and accessories that have references to our past but with more modern fits,” she said. It will be priced just under designer collections and will include suits at $795 to $1,200; jackets for $695 to $995; shirts for $175 to $225; ties for $95, and chinos for $195 to $295.

Below, a madras coat by the company, circa 2011.

Haspel, via Neiman Marcus Blog

Haspel, via Neiman Marcus Blog

It is delightful to see the brand coming back to life. Our only wish for the future? Adding womenswear to the mix.

Our next story also involves seersucker, and the tradition that used to be known as Seersucker Thursday. First, a spot of background from the US Senate:

In the years before air conditioning made summertime Washington bearable, senators from the South had much to teach their colleagues from other regions about proper attire.

In the late 1990s, Mississippi Senator Trent Lott decided the time had come to revive a long-forgotten Senate sartorial tradition. He selected a “nice and warm” day in the second or third week of June to be designated Seersucker Thursday. His goal was to show that “the Senate isn’t just a bunch of dour folks wearing dark suits and—in the case of men—red or blue ties.” On the day before each year’s event, senators are alerted to the impending “wearing of the seersucker.”

Below, a group photo from Seersucker Thursday 2006.

US Senate Website

US Senate Website

Back to the US Senate page:

In 2004, California Senator Dianne Feinstein decided to encourage participation by the growing cadre of the Senate’s women members. “I would watch the men preening in the Senate,” she said, “and I figured we should give them a little bit of a horse race.”

Below, a candid from Seersucker Thursday 2011, via The Caucus blog.

The NY Times 'The Caucus'

The NY Times ‘The Caucus’

We say the tradition “used to be known” because last year the event (if it can be called that) was discontinued. More from last year’s column on the topic by Dana Milbank at the Post, titled The Seersucker Bond Unraveled:

This is a yarn about a cloth, and what this cloth’s unraveling means to the fabric of our political lives.

Seersucker Thursday would have been on June 21, but on the evening before, the Senate cloakroom’s staff notified members that the custom was being discontinued.  Lott’s former colleagues thought it would be politically unwise to be seen doing something frivolous when there’s so much conflict over major issues.

There was even an online petition to bring back the tradition. Sadly, it didn’t garner many signatures.

The Washington Post blog The Reliable Source reported last week that at least one Senator wore seersucker this year on what would have been Seersucker Thursday (last week on the 20th); below you see Senator Roger Wicker (R) of Mississippi.

C-SPAN via The Washington Post

C-SPAN via The Washington Post

Back to the Dana Milbanks column of 2012:

But those who canceled Seersucker Thursday have got it exactly backward: Our leaders can’t agree on important things because they’re missing this kind of social lubricant.

There was this from Guest of a Guest‘s Kyle O’Donnell:

What this nation needs is a government organization to step out in their summer best with pride. Don those boat shoes! Whip out that madras! For the stability of this nation, put on that Lilly dress! We can only serve our people if we look good!


(Nothing like a little satire.) Much as I would love to see it revived, I think the custom may be gone.

On an up note, the folks at Nebraska’s State Legislature did their own version of Seersucker Thursday.

…on Thursday there was an effort to hold a “seersucker day” at the State Capitol. Some sort of U.S. Senate tradition with a Midwest twist. Some pretty crazy get-ups from senators and lobbyists.

Nebraska Legislature

The State Line

Via The State Line, Nebraska State Legislature.


For the Mad Men fans among us, we leave you with this.

amie Trueblood/AMC

Jamie Trueblood/AMC

And this.

Jamie Trueblood/AMC TV

Jamie Trueblood/AMC


Filed under preppy

Tiffany & Cartier for Sale at…Bluefly?!


Because we have an all-afternoon volunteer commitment, today shall be more photos and fabulosity!

We begin by fulfilling a promise we made yesterday: more pictures from Saturday’s Veuve Clicquot Manhattan Polo Classic. On the left, Emily Mortimer; Alek Wek is on the right in the cheery yellow Zac Posen dress.


Kelly Klein wore Dolce & Gabbana; Chloe Sevigny was in Chloé.


It’s possible readers are more interested in pictures of these two gentlemen, but we think not. We’re quite sure you are operating on a higher plane, coming from a much more cerebral place…yes?

PHOTO: Steve Eichner/WWD


We move on to a rather amazing SOTT (Sign Of The Times): news that discount online shop Bluefly will be selling Tiffany, Van Cleef & Arpels, Bulgari, and Cartier jewels. (Gasp! Oh, the horror!) However, it is not as if Bluefly shall be carrying new jewelry pieces on the site, nor shall they be regularly offering such upscale goodies as a matter of course. This story in today’s WWD (Women’s Wear Daily, subscription req’d.) explains:

“Bluefly has so far eschewed the private-sale format, but on June 8 will hold its first invitation-only, limited-time sale.”

“Prices are about 20 percent less than new. For example, an estate Cartier Love Bracelet will cost $3,080 rather than $3,850 at regular retail.”

We must confess our appreciation of the Love Bracelet; the Queen Mother still wears hers, acquired way back…well, just way back when.

PHOTO: Courtesy of Cartier via WWD

PHOTO: Courtesy of Cartier via WWD

As noted, these are estate pieces, not brand new items coming directly from the jewelry stores themselves.

The sale is a joint effort with upscale estate jewelry wholesale firm Circa. (Come now, we’ve all noticed their ads in the Times discreetly offering ‘assistance’ in generating a little pocket change by liquidating those silly trinkets collecting dust at the estate. Oh, pshaw, admit it, you know you’ve secretly pondered the possibilities created by letting another generation ummm… experience the beauty of  Great-Grandmama’s pearls. And that monstrosity of a ring left from the wedding-that-wasn’t when that new-money-and-no-taste-man was chasing after Aunt Evangeline, you know the one with the 2.8 carat ruby absolutely laden with those garish diamonds?! Beyond Nouveau Gauche, it was an abomination – why not dispose of it? Good. At least we understand each other.)

And who might one see in the next sale of this kind at Bluefly?

“The next sale might feature the moderns David Yurman, Judith Ripka and John Hardy…”

(Pssst… again, that’s Circa.com and their number is 877.876.5493. Not that you would ever consider calling them. Indeed.)


A few quick sales to share before we scoot:


That’s right, the Lilly Pulitzer Warehouse Sale starts tomorrow!

Also, Polo Ralph Lauren is taking deeper discounts in their sale and clearance event.


We leave you with a darling shot of Daisy Duke’s darling godson, Baby Zeke, in his snappyseersucker sailor suit. Miss Daisy is clearly looking after his sartorial needs. (Heh-heh-heh.)

* (CEO) There is a price consciousness dictating shoppers’ purchases today unlike anything I have seen before. We’ve spent years building our brands to compete on quality, aspiration, and a unique store experience, not on price.
* There are also fashion headwinds. We are currently in a cycle that lacks a dominant trend in the female business. Trends that appear to have some traction are not the long-term trend of classic, casual, preppy all-American sportswear that is core to our heritage.
* As an update to our specific plans for new store openings in 2009, domestically in addition to the Hollister flagship in SoHo, we now expect to open 10 stores in 2009. This figure includes 2 abercrombie kids’ stores, 4 Hollister stores, 2 Gilly Hicks stores, and 2 outlet stores.


Filed under Gossip Girl, preppy, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, Pretty in Pink, Sales & Savings, Sign of the Times

Prepalicious Things: Preppy Tretorn & Keds, Tory Burch, Bric’s Luggage, Paul Smith Tennies

Tretorn Pink & White Seersucker

It’s time for a little Spring and Summer fun! The Princess stumbled across some delightful goodies, like Tretorn’s Pink & White Sneakers at Zappos.com; that fabric actually looks like seersucker. TP considers feet shod in seersucker to be a grand idea for the upcoming season…yes? And if you are visiting Zappos, you simply must gaze at these fabulous Pro-Keds Royal Lo Madras for Men. Now, to be honest, we are not entirely positive TSU (The Spousal Unit) would be inclined to wear these, but we can always give it the old college try.

Men\'s Madras Keds Royal Lo Tennies at Zappos

If you are still looking for summer dresses, here’s a Tory Burch that will be an outstanding choice for any number of events, whether you’re on the patio at Charley’s in Boston for lunch (on Newbury) or headed to the office with a sweater or jacket thrown over your shoulders.

Tory Burch Hollie Dress at bergdorf GoodmanBettye Mueller Flats at Revolve Clothing

Then we show a pair of our alltime favorite Bettye Mueller flats, these are from Revolve Clothing. I know what you are thinking, but you can never have too many pair of madras flats! Now, don’t you think every Princess should be entitled to at least one set of pink luggage in their lifetime? Of course. Especially if it’s Bric’s, which is so easy to take care of, made in Italy to be uber-durable. The top two images are pieces available at Bergdorf’s; the bottom photo is the company’s Sophia shopper, shown at SimpleCase.net; this is a piece The Princess highly recommends.

Bric\'s Luggage at Bergdorf\'s Bric\'s Luggage at Bergdorf Goodman #2

Bric\'s Luggage Sophia Shopper SimpleCase.net

As long as we’re dealing in things we love, TP must share another pair of favorite tennies: the Hudson style from Paul Smith in the UK. (They are European sizing, but there’s a size conversion chart as an easy pop-up if you’re unsure on the sizes.) On this floral note, we toddle off and say have a splendid weekend! 

Paul Smith Hudson Floral Sneakers




Filed under Prepalicious, preppy, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle