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The history behind National Seersucker Day

DesignJames R. Sanders, Gap Inc. bloggerComment

Dustin Hoffman in “The Graduate," Gregory Peck in “To Kill a Mockingbird," even a few of the men from the AMC drama “Mad Men," prove that seersucker is deeply rooted in vintage menswear. But what's most interesting is the way seersucker is being interpreted today to suit a sportswear-centric male and female audience. June 9, 2016 is National Seersucker Day and many will be donning their seersucker — including several members of Congress for a special photo on Capitol Hill.

Seersucker Thursday started in Washington D.C. by former United States Senator Trent Lott (R-MS) in 1996. There was no air conditioning in any government buildings until the 1950s. Before then, members of congress and other politicians wore seersucker as a way of staying relatively cool in the summer. The first seersucker suit was created in 1906 by Joseph Haspel Sr., who decided to take the fabric — generally used for work practices — and create a special suit that could be worn in the summer. Part of what gives seersucker such staying power is its ability to function and let the skin breathe in the hotter months.

Here are a few seersucker options for any wardrobe, just in time for the summer:

From left: Banana Republic Men's Emerson Seersucker Short; Banana Republic Women's Seersucker Layered Dress; Old Navy Baby Cross-Back Striped Seersucker Dress; Banana Republic Women's Seersucker One-Button Blazer; Old Navy Men's Seersucker Shirt; Gap Women's Stripe Pull-On Shorts; Banana Republic Women's Seersucker Bermuda Short; Gap Men's Plaid Seersucker Getaway Shorts.