Seersucker’s journey from subcontinental performance fabric to premium menswear staple continues apace. Two years ago I reported on the cool renaissance of seersucker, but now new designs and uses are leading the material in interesting directions.
For example, seersucker now brings an appealing crisp, matte texture to tailoring. Take the seersucker dinner suits at P Johnson. A tux (from £1,350 made-to-measure) in a striped navy/black silk/cotton from Biella, in Piedmont, is soft but still looks sharp enough for dressier occasions. “The silk/cotton blend is a bit slinkier. It can be 35 degrees and humid, but quality seersucker rises to the occasion,” says Johnson. And at Corneliani a new slate-grey wool/silk seersucker makes for an urbane day suit (£1,206). “Seersucker is always fresh and light, but this fabric gives extra movement and a rich feel,” says style director Stefano Gaudioso. At Drake’s, an olive Solbiati seersucker suit (£1,195) with high-rise trousers makes a bold statement. And at Thom Sweeney, Loro Piana “dice check” seersucker jackets (£1,180) feel fresh in either a smart navy and blue/black or summery white and navy.
This chic tailoring harks back to a key motif of early 1980s Giorgio Armani, and this season the brand presents crisply refined versions of the look. A new, wider, jacquard seersucker has taut threads alternating with slacker ones to give the fabric an undulating finish. I am coveting the double-breasted “heritage” suit (jacket, £1,650, trousers, £630), and the longer-length chalky-white and house-griege suit jackets with low fastenings are killer cool. For a slightly different smart summer accent, look to the Mandarin-collar jacket (£1,150) in rich beige seersucker.
A more casual, sporty style comes in Armani’s asymmetrical zip-up top (£3,350) in seersucker grosgrain jacquard, with matching wide trousers (£720). These new grosgrain seersuckers have a knockabout, workwear feel, while still evoking luxe elegance. They are also informing a wave of smocky overshirts, many with matching bottoms, such as Lou Dalton’s gingham utility jacket (£480); P Johnson’s laidback suit in a sporty Japanese-cotton seersucker, pairing a workwear jacket (from £360) and drawstring trousers (from £210); or The Gigi’s cool blue/grey stripe jacket (£210) and trousers (£210). The Gigi’s more tailored Art jacket (£580) is also stylish – a lightweight, soft, black and white Vichy seersucker that’s washed with pigments to create a colour mix with a vintage feel.
Elsewhere, new stretch seersuckers are being used to update bomber/blousons designs. Paul Smith’s natty bombers (£325) and matching trousers (£325) in navy/white/yellow check, or silver/sky-blue check, use a fabric commissioned from the Faliero Sarti mill in Italy. Lou Dalton reinterprets her classic Boston bomber (£470) in a cotton/polyester gingham seersucker (“It’s even more hard-wearing and easy to wear,” says Dalton). And Pal Zileri’s smart blouson (£1,190) now comes in a luxe-performance, water‑repellent seersucker.
Lastly, there’s a rugged seersucker story to be told. Take Nanamica’s Wind pullover anorak (£175) that uses stretchy threads for weft and cotton for warp for a supple texture and relatively shiny finish. Or Woolrich’s new Outdoor line, which interprets seersucker in an all-American, great-outdoors style using a two-way-stretch-polyester double weave. The collection runs from trucker-style hats (£50) and shoulder bags (£45) to a quick-drying mesh seersucker Sleeping shirt (£140).