Month: August 2020

Seersucker in Summer

J.Crew Factory dress, Castañer Carina espadrilles, and Kate Spade sunglasses.

Many fabrics have the ability to transcend different seasons, but seersucker is not one of these. It belongs in summer. You may begin to wear it in spring, but only after the low temperatures have disappeared from the forecast. If the meteorologist predicts snow, your seersucker pieces will have to wait a little while longer for their moment.

Nothing says summer like those blue and white stripes. Although you’ll see seersucker in solid hues and stripes of various colors, the fabric is traditionally worn in its signature scheme of blue and white. The shade of blue and the width of the stripes vary between garments but still maintain a general air of uniformity. The term ‘seersucker’ is derived from the Persian phrase ‘shir o shakka,’ which means milk and sugar, and the material has a texture that is simultaneously smooth (like milk) and bumpy (like sugar). The puckered fabric pulls the garment away from the body, sort of like wearable air conditioning; you’ll have to feel it to get the full effect.

When the warm weather becomes stable, you may wear as much seersucker as your heart desires (caution: during the day, never at night). However, before you run off to scower the web for potential additions, I must inform you that acquiring a selection of seersucker is a rather slow process. It’s not like amassing a selection of white tee shirts. I’ve found that seersucker pieces of quality are far and few between.

I’ve come across some products masquerading as seersucker that were made mainly of polyester. Repeat after me: “Seersucker is made of cotton.” While it is permissible to add elastane or similar fabric for a hint of stretch, the garment should be primarily made of cotton. Swimsuits are the exception to this rule. Bathing suit coverups are not.

Works Sighted

J.Crew Factory dress (sold out); Castañer Carina 60mm wedge espadrille; Kate Spade sunglasses (old)

Further Reading

Brooks Brothers striped stretch cotton seersucker dress; J.Crew sheath dress in stretch seersucker; Brooks Brothers striped stretch cotton seersucker skirt; L.L.Bean Vacationland seersucker shirt; J.Crew Parke blazer in stretch seersucker; J.Crew Cameron slim crop pant in stretch seersucker; Brooks Brothers striped stretch cotton seersucker jacket; Brooks Brothers striped stretch cotton seersucker pants; Polo Ralph Lauren cotton seersucker blazer; Polo Ralph Lauren cotton seersucker pant

Kayu Mini Behati Tassel Straw Tote

Kayu mini Behati tassel straw tote and Castañer Carina espadrilles.

I’ve always considered the first day of August to be the beginning of the end of summer. Every year around this time, I reflect on my summer accomplishments and contemplate whether or not I’ve spent enough time outside. My reflections on the present season have led me to realize that I’ve spent too much time inside, and now I feel obligated to take full advantage of August. Step one of savoring the remainder of the summer: carrying a straw bag. I often daydream about being back in Paris. Recently, I’ve envisioned myself there carrying a variety of straw bags. I’m not doing anything particularly thrilling—being in Paris is enough. The straw tote symbolizes a carefreeness that many of us haven’t experienced in a long time.

Kayu’s mini Behati tassel straw tote was the first addition of its kind to my closet. I’ve been carrying it often, even on walks around the block. The brand produces bags made of real straw, not the synthetic, straw-like material commonly found in similar products on the market. Furthermore, the brand’s bags are woven by women in the Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia; the craftsmanship has been passed down through generations. The company’s social impact initiative and handmade approach to production make my purchase even more meaningful. Although I’ve only made one purchase from Kayu thus far, I’ve added a few more items to my dream list. I know I’ll have to stow the mini Behati away when fall arrives, but for now, I’ll enjoy the joie de vivre it stirs up within me.

Works Sighted

Kayu mini Behati tassel straw tote; Castañer Carina 60mm wedge espadrille

The Tank Dress

Tank dress and Superga 2750 Cotu classic white.

I occasionally wake up and decide that I’m not getting dressed. This presents a predicament because I believe that part of getting ready for the day is dressing for it. I don’t want to eat breakfast in my pajamas. Let’s say that I wake up late and lunchtime is just around the corner. That’s when I reach for my tank dress. The easiest piece of summer clothing in my arsenal, it’s made of cotton and feels just like a tank top in dress form. I own three of them, all identical, and all in navy. Sometimes I throw on a linen button-up shirt over it. Lately, I’ve been leaving the shirt unbuttoned, but sometimes I feel like tying the two front, bottom ends together in a knot at the navel. A pair of Superga sneakers completes this look every time.

Works Sighted

Gap Factory dress (old); Kate Spade sunglasses (old); Superga 2750 Cotu Classic (white)

Further Reading

Everlane’s Party of One tank dress; Everlane’s long weekend tank dress; Everlane’s luxe cotton seamed tank dress; Everlane’s luxe cotton A-line tank dress; Madewell linen-blend v-neck tank dress; Vince tiered tank dress