Staying cool is the first step towards being well dressed in the summer heat. It doesn’t matter how nice your clothes are, if you’re red in the face and dripping with sweat, you’re going to struggle to look your best. Being smart about the types of garments you wear is one way to protect against this, but if you really want to nail summer dressing then you’ll need to give some thought to your fabrics too.
Linen gets all the love when it comes to hot-weather fabrics, but it’s by no means the only option. An often overlooked alternative (and perhaps more interesting option) is seersucker.
This puckered cotton fabric is heavily textured, which makes it a rarity among summer materials. This means it’s excellent for adding some visual and tactile flair to your outfits at a time of year when it can be difficult to do so without resorting to bright colours, prints or graphics. It’s also extremely light, breathable and quick to dry.
Here are a few ways you can work it into your wardrobe this season.
Seersucker is one of the less common fabrics out there, so you couldn’t be blamed for not really having a clue what it actually is.
Seersucker is a type of cotton weave. The threads are woven in such a way that some are forced to bunch together. This results in the fabric’s distinctive ‘puckered’ appearance.
It’s light, extremely airy, breathable, thin, stretchy, comfortable and quick drying. Basically everything you want from a material when temperatures rise.
Seersucker is great for short-sleeve camp collar shirts. It’s a great alternative to linen and the texture of the fabric really adds something to simple outfits.
The breathability is way better than regular old cotton too, so there’s much less chance of developing nasty sweat patches over the course of the day.
To style a seersucker camp collar shirt, try teaming it up with some chino shorts in a contrasting colour, and finish it off with a pair of canvas sneakers. You can choose to wear it on its own, or you could layer it open over a T-shirt on cooler days.
An Oxford shirt is almost always a great option when it comes to shirting, but even this all-rounder of a garment can get too hot and sweaty when the sun is at its most sizzling. This is where it pays to know your fabrics.
Swapping the Oxford cloth for seersucker allows you to keep wearing a long-sleeve shirt in the heat thanks to the breathability and cooling properties of the material.
It’ll look great with shorts or trousers and the sleeves loosely cuffed to just below the elbow. Dress it up with loafers or dress it down with minimalist sneakers.
An unstructured blazer is a great tool for nailing smart-casual dressing in the summer. Even better if it’s made from something light and airy that won’t leave you a sweaty wreck after five minutes in the sun.
Seersucker is a great choice of material for the job, and its crinkled looks bring an even more laid-back vibe to the garment that works well for the time of year.
Style it with cream chinos, a white tee and a pair of suede loafers for summer weddings, date nights and more.
Outerwear isn’t something you need to think much about during the summer, but it pays to have something lightweight and long-sleeved you can easily throw on over your polo or T-shirt in the evening to take the edge off a bit. An overshirt is the perfect garment for the job.
Opting for a seersucker design instead of a more common cotton-twill version will help your summer outfits to stand out and bring an element of texture to the table.
Step up your shorts game by bringing some seersucker into the mix. This textured fabric works great for legwear as it’s breathable, light, stretchy and above all else, comfortable.
To pull it off, opt for a dark neutral colour such as navy and wear them with simple summer pieces like a T-shirt, camp collar shirt and canvas kicks.
All of the qualities that make seersucker great for hot weather mean that it works well in the pool or at the beach too. It’s light and not particularly absorbent, so it doesn’t get completely sodden and heavy in the water, and it’s very quick to dry too.
Why not ditch your regular swim shorts and go for a seersucker pair instead? Check out the likes of Reiss, Orlebar Brown and Ralph Lauren for some excellent options.
A seersucker baseball cap is a great option when it comes to keeping the sun out of your eyes and remaining cool at the same time.
Pick one in a nice versatile colourway so that you can wear it with anything and everything all through the summer. Take a look at COS and Ralph Lauren, both of which have some great versions.
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