Everything You Wanted to Know About Seersucker

by - Wednesday, January 09, 2019

Seer Sucker Slogan "Everything you wanted to know about"

Who doesn’t love seersucker? Breathable, lightweight and iconic, this puckered cotton fabric is a must-have textile for the preppy obsessed. 

From classic seersucker suits to trendy seersucker dresses, shorts and purses, both men and women are rocking the sophisticated fabric and making it their own. 

Why are people so in love with seersucker? What is seersucker, anyway? Below, we’ll tell you everything you’ve ever wanted to know about this timeless cotton fabric:

Marleylilly Seersucker Collection

What Is Seersucker?

Seersucker is a lightweight and soft cotton fabric which is produced by threading different colored yarn into a loom at various tension levels. This slack-tension weaving process results in the uniquely bumpy texture that you see in seersucker garments.

This unique feature makes seersucker ideal for summertime because it bunches the fabric away from the skin, allowing heat to escape. In a time when air conditioning was not yet widespread, seersucker was a total game-changer in the hot, humid South!

You Can Thank the Brits for Seersucker

Like many of today’s Southern preppy styles, seersucker was first made popular in England. The Brits adopted the warm-weather fabric from India nearly 300 years ago and then introduced it to the United States.

Seersucker was originally known by its Persian and Hindi name, “shir-o-shaker,” which translates to “milk and sugar.” This is supposedly an homage to the smooth white part of the fabric (which resembles milk) and the bumpy, textured stripes (which resemble sugar).

It’s Fashionable and Functional!

Seersucker is a beloved fabric in the South because it’s both stylish and practical! This preppy fabric is ideal for traveling because it doesn’t wrinkle and dries extremely quickly.

In fact, legend has it that a New Orleans man named Joseph Haspel Sr. (inventor of the seersucker suit) swam in the Atlantic Ocean in his seersucker suit and swore to people that it would be dry by the time he attended a banquet that night. His claim proved to be true, and seersucker suits soon became a must-have summer essential for every Southern gentleman.

It Was Once the Official Summer Uniform of Women Marines

During World War II, many women would serve in the Marine Corps to aid the war efforts. When the Marine Corps Women Reserve was created in 1943, they needed a few official uniforms for various parts of the year.

Anne Lentz, an employee of the War Department, had previous experience making school uniforms and was given the task of designing the uniforms of the Women Marines. What did she choose for the primary fabric of the summer?

Seersucker, of course! Lentz knew that seersucker was easy to launder and comfortable, making it the perfect fabric for a ladies' summer uniform. 

Modern Uses of Seersucker

When Ivy League college students in the 1920s began wearing seersucker, it soon transformed into the quintessential preppy fabric. This reputation remains today, which is why it’s still a must-have fabric worn by those who love prep style.

But while most people picture seersucker in the form of a suit with traditional blue-and-white stripes, there are far more ways to sport this stylish fabric. Seersucker is now found in a variety of colors and is used to create everything from ultra-chic seersucker dresses and jackets to fashionable seersucker swimwear and shoes.

How to Wear Seersucker

Who says that guys get to have all the fun with seersucker? These days, women from across the globe are finding sophisticated and fashionable ways of wearing seersucker.

One of the most fun ways of wearing seersucker is having a little pop of it as a part of an outfit. One of our favorite ways is with an item like our dockside pieces - where the trim is on a pocket or the inside of the shirt!

Marleylilly Long sleeve Dockside Shirts

We also love a simple, lightweight seersucker dress with sophisticated pearl earrings and a simple clutch purse to pair with the print. Seersucker is such a unique fabric that you don’t want to overdo it too much on the accessories!

It’s Only Worn Between Memorial Day and Labor Day

Seersucker is mostly worn during the summer, but we can’t help but love this puckered cotton fabric all year round. Still, there is a seersucker fashion rule that few in the South dare to break.

The general rule is that seersucker should be worn only between Memorial Day and Labor Day. But there are some sneaky ways to get past this rule…

While you might be sad to put away your favorite seersucker jacket during the winter, just remember that you can always keep seersucker around with a monogrammed seersucker cosmetic bag. This way, you can wake up each morning and get your daily dose of seersucker!

Have we turned you into a seersucker fanatic yet? You don’t need to wait until summer to embrace this preppy fabric into your life! With a monogrammed seersucker ditty bag or seersucker lunch bag, you can sport seersucker all year round!

We want to hear from you! What's your favorite way to style seersucker?  Let us know in the comments!

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