Friday, May 27, 2011

it takes a very rich man...


Several weeks ago I was seeking the source for the quote "only very rich men wear seersucker clothes." As so frequently happens, fate stepped in in the guise of The Elegantologist who led a post with that quote, attributed to Damon Runyon.

In the late 19th century US, seersucker was a poor mans cloth. Found mostly in the south, it began as a cheap, lightweight substitute for silk. In 1909 Haspel began making seersucker suits in New Orleans. By the mid 1920's fashionable northern college students picked up on it. Runyon went on to write " that his new habit for wearing seersucker was "causing much confusion among my friends. They cannot decide whether I'm broke of just setting a new vogue."

Brooks Brothers introduction of light cotton summer suiting, including seersucker, lent the suit it's patrician image. The idea being, only the rich could afford to look disheveled. Brooks still vends a great off the rack seersucker suit.

What prompted this history lesson was a trip through EBAY. BB's Black Fleece headboy Thom Browne has designed a seersucker suit for the new millennium. An yes it takes a very rich man, gone soft in the head to wear it. Shown above,$3200 retail, pre worn for your convenience $1450. I merely report the news, I have no hand in this sale.

Toad

4 comments:

preppyplayer said...

"I have no hand in this sale" I will be using that! Love seersucker. My boys wont wear a suit, but cargo shorts and short sleeve button downs get the thumbs up. I will keep working on them :)

ADG said...

The MSRP on the Thom Browne absurdity speaks for itself. Many bespoke makers will urge a prospect to step down to Made-to-Measure for their seersucker and poplin contrivances...feeling that the bespoke level construct is overkill for such a fabric. I'll be wearing my seersucker sportcoat tonight in New Orleans.

Barbara said...

My sons always had seersucker suits when they were young. Now that they're men, I doubt it. I always liked the look. But then, I am so old fashioned, so preppy and just plain so old I don't imagine my opinion is worth spit.

Toad said...

Barbara, you are always welcome to vent here. We'll find someone to up the ante for ya.