Friday, March 24, 2017

By their suits ye shall know them.

You all have them. Maybe just one or two, maybe a trillion. Maybe they are co-workers, friends or relatives.
We speak, of course, of the philistine.
And, an excellent way to "suss" said philistine, is the seersucker suit.
This stellar garment first struck my sartorial consciousness in 1982, having read an essay in Esquire by John "Yes, THAT John Berendt." Berendt. It was in a section titled Man at His Best, and it gave a brief overview and general pointers and the like on the seersucker suit.
My sartorial DNA was more accustomed to suits made of Irish "drill" linen (more on this in a later missive) but the seersucker -- which performs the same general function -- struck me as new and clever, and the photo above (from 1983) cemented my desire.
If you look very closely, you will note the one on the top left is an Alan Flusser number. (The rest, IIRC, are: Bottom left - Calvin Klein, center - Perry Ellis*, bottom right - Henry "WEHT?" Grethel and top right - Ralph Lauren Polo.) I, naturally, fell deeply in love with the AF one, and I decided it would be mine.
The beauty of the fabric is twofold: 1- It's very reasonably priced, and 2- Immensely comfortable. So, what would ordinarily cost $$$$$ in terms of bespoke tailoring (like AF) it's merely $$$. The advantage of going bespoke is that, hey, you get the bells and whistles you want. Would sr prefer a ticket pocket? French facings? Surgeon cuffs? All there for the asking.
You can even select the exact color of stripes. (This is the most accurate one, colorwise.)
The natural partner of this suit is the white buckskin (not easy to find REAL buckskin, but sueded calf is fine) oxfords which set off the thing perfectly. Some, sincerely but unhelpfully, suggest topping off the entire ensemble with a straw boater -- the band in one's school colors -- but in all truth, I confess this is a lily I'm not yet comfortable enough to gild.
Anyway, back to the Philistines. They don't care for seersucker. This gets more complicated when you try to classify the various subtypes of philistine, something I assiduously recommend you avoid. You have your more benighted California types (easily spotted by their mating call of "[something, something] East Coast?") or those who seem to hold a general suspicion of lightheartedness in civilized gentlemen's raiments. More to be pitied than censured, I suppose, and probably worthy of prayers for conversion.
Anyway, the mere fact I have such a bespoke gem in my wardrobe makes me wish for a generous tumblerful of gin and tonic.
-J.
  
* Back when PE was a talented and clever designer and not a midlevel brand name.

Posted by JMG at 10:27 AM

1 Comments

  • Anonymous Kim posted at 6:15 PM, April 09, 2017  
    You realise now I must see you in a boater.
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