Oh man, is it Seersucker Thursday already? And all my seersucker's at the dry cleaner! (I get all my fashion tips from Trent Lott and Thad Cochran)
You're chugging along, trying to keep the wolf at bay, and suddenly you realize that this Thursday is Seersucker Thursday! One of the fashion-savvy days on the Senate calendar. Man alive, where does the time go? My goodness, do you realize that this is the last shopping day before the big day?
Yup, seersucker's in the air. The biggest event on the fashion calendar since Spats Saturday. Boys and girls across the country dressing like mini-versions of their fashion gurus, Trent Lott [the fashion god pictured here], Thad Cochran, and apparently Dianne Feinstein (see below).
So mothball those heavy wool suits and the thermal underwear, and break out your seersucker.
Hattiesburg (Mississippi) American
Seersucker: A classic Southern look for summer
By Rachel Leifer Norman
Seersucker - like any timeless classic, it never goes out of style. And with summer's official kick-off this week, it's time for the Pine Belt to settle in to seersucker. [Pictured here: seersucker aficionado, Mississippi's other senator, Thad Cochran.]
"To me, it looks like the South," said John White, owner of John White Ltd. men's and women's fashion boutique on South 40th Avenue. "It makes you think immediately about a Southern guy in his suit going to church in the summer, or pairing the pants with some white bucks and a navy blazer and heading to an afternoon wedding."
Few fabrics are as evocative of a particular place and culture as seersucker, the light-weight woven cotton material traditionally presented in blue-and-white-stripes. It's generally more economical than wool and more low-maintenance than linen - but that it's all but synonymous with steamy Southern summers is its true attraction.
Think seersucker and the image instantly springs to mind of a prosperous businessman taking a stroll on a honeysuckle-scented evening, or a shrewd attorney working after hours in his office under a lazily rotating ceiling fan.
But seersucker isn't just for silver-headed gents anymore. In the last few years, White has begun carrying seersucker shorts, shirts and other separates in tropical colors like lime, pink and orange. Women are donning the fabric in skirts, suits and sleeveless summer button-downs.
"You can dress it up or down," White said, noting that a seersucker blazer does wonders for a pair of jeans, and that a surcingle belt in the proper shade is a perfect accompaniment.
For more formal occasions, "you can set it off just right with a white or a pink button-down shirt, even a yellow tie," he said.
Unfortunately, the fabric's mix-and-match versatility seems to have diminished the appeal of the classic look, a full seersucker suit. But the tradition is being maintained in the U.S. Senate, where lawmakers observe "Seersucker Thursday." Officials as unexpected as Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. [right], are taking their summertime fashion cues from Mississippi's Republican Sens. Thad Cochran and Trent Lott, who according to published reports never fail to don their seersucker every week.
So be bold - set those dull khakis aside and be a part of this Southern summer fashion tradition. White said he can order seersucker in a kaleidoscope of colors and cuts and have it specially tailored within three days.
"It's crinkly, cool and comfortable," he said.
For the record, last year (according to The Hill) "some 20 senators" showed up in seersucker, the list headed by then-Majority Leader Doctorbill Frist, who went whole-hog, donning white shoes. Since then, the Tennessee fashion magnet has all but disappeared from public view. Reason enough to celebrate, I think. But there's more. Last year's Seersucker Thursday, which apparently coincided with Pretty in Pink Day on the fashion calendar of then-Sen. Rick Santorum, left this unforgettable image, which reportedly sent small children all over the country screaming into their mothers' arms, and had them suffering nightmares for months to follow: