Why seersucker is the best fabric to stay cool this summer

It's the sweaty season, and that can only mean two things: Annoying ads for Australian lamb, and seersucker. Yes, seersucker.

Despite it being the perfect material for our balmy climate, Australian blokes have been slow to embrace its crinkly charms. However, even a cursory look around the shops this summer suggests that this could be the year we finally get well and truly seersuckered up.

A crinkly history

While the fabric may bring to mind 1930s Hollywood stars, seersucker actually originated in India. The name was derived from the Persian words for milk, and brown sugar, potentially referring to the contrasting textures in the material.

Made from either cotton or a cotton blend, it's defining characteristic is its slack-tension weave which creates a wrinkled, or furrowed appearance, meaning it doesn't need to be ironed.

Summer friendly style

Miles Wharton, tailor with The Bespoke Corner and founder of Men's Fashion Blogger says he's surprised seersucker hasn't been used more often in Australia. "Seersucker is perfect for our climate," he says. "I like to wear it as a smart casual jacket, rather than as a full suit. It's ideal for that resort or yachtie look. I generally team the jacket with chinos and loafers."

"I also bought some seersucker shorts a while back and they were great. I wear them all summer with a T-shirt."

Bon vivant Leo Schofield is another fan of seersucker, but never does the full suit. "I think it looks a little too spivy," he says. "I bought my first seersucker jackets in Brooks Brothers New York about a decade ago, they are incredibly cool in summer and I dress them up with dark blue pants, and a knitted tie."

How to wear it

Some prefer seersucker when turned into a summer suit. Fashionista Gregory Peck famously donned a three-piece seersucker ensemble as Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird (1962).

Others argue that seersucker looks better as separates; for example, teaming the seersucker trousers with a crisp white cotton shirt, or a solid coloured navy or white polo. Conversely, the blazer (always opt for a single-breasted with a centre vent and notched lapels) can be teamed with tailored shorts, or a pair of navy chinos.


The main thing to remember is that seersucker should have a classic fit; worn neither too slim, nor too baggy. It's a preppy look, so own it Mr Gatsby.

Click through the gallery above to see this season's must-have seersucker pieces for men.