IT'S NATIONAL SEERSUCKER DAY!
Today is National Seersucker Day! It’s time to celebrate that wonderful cotton, puckered, always-rumpled fabric, and more particularly, the seersucker suit, the greatest fashion invention of all time!
And it’s not just a day to celebrate seersucker. It’s a day to wear it!
I’m the proud owner of three seersucker suits: the blue and white striped classic model, the grey and white striped model, and a very cool tan and white number.
I call my seersucker suits my summer law suits.
I’m an old-fashioned traditional Southern lawyer. I talk like a Southern lawyer, walk like a Southern law- yer, and dress like a Southern lawyer. And so on Tuesday morning, May 26 (the day after Memorial Day), I put on my summer law suit.
When I say “summer law suit,” I’m not referring to hot litigation. I’m making a fashion statement. Literally.
A summer law suit is your classic cotton seersucker suit. Blue and white striped. And don’t forget the shoes. White bucks, like Pat Boone wore in the ‘50s. And if you really want to look the part, you can top it off with a straw boater hat, although you really need to be a cool country lawyer to pull this off.
My wife calls my seersucker suit and white bucks my “Matlock outfit” because it is the same wardrobe that Sheriff Andy Taylor wore to court every day after he left Mayberry, went to law school, moved to Atlanta, changed his name to Matlock, passed the Georgia bar, and became a lawyer.
I prefer to call it my “Atticus outfit” because in the classic motion picture To Kill A Mockingbird, Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch wore a three-piece seersucker suit.
It’s getting harder and harder to find a good classic seersucker suit these days. Most men’s clothing stores don’t carry them anymore. Instead of seersucker and summer poplin, men’s stores now sell “year-round, medium-weight suits.”
I hate year-round medium-weight suits. They are a fashion abomination. If a southern man wears medium-weight suits 365 days a year, he is going to sweat to death in the summer and freeze to death in the winter.
But for we lawyers who live below the Mason-Dixon Line, the summer seersucker suit is not a luxury. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, it’s a necessity.
I order my “Atticus” suits from Haspel of New Orleans, and I wear them throughout the summer for four reasons.
First, I wear them because when I was a little boy, my dad wore them. Dad has always been my role model, and even though I’m now 62 years old, I still try to dress like my father.
Second, I wear them because they weigh about an ounce and are the only comfortable suit a southern lawyer can wear when the temperature is 95 degrees, the humidity is 97%, and the heat index is roughly the same as Ted Williams’ lifetime batting average.
Third, I wear a summer seersucker suit because you really don’t have to worry about keeping it pressed. A seersucker suit always looks wrinkled. It’s supposed to look wrinkled. When I show up at my office or the courthouse on summer mornings dressed like Matlock or Atticus, it makes no difference whatsoever that I look like I slept in my suit. A seersucker suit is wrinkle chic.
And finally, I wear seersucker suits because I am a trial lawyer, darn it. Litigators may sit in their air-conditioned offices wearing medium-weight Eye-talian suits while they take depositions or bate-stamp documents. But we trial lawyers go to court and try cases. And when we present ourselves to a jury in the sum- mertime, folks expect us to look like Atticus. I don’t care if the courthouse is air-conditioned. I want to stand in front of the jury in cotton seersucker, gloriously wrinkled, and fanning myself with one of them funeral home fans, just like Clarence Darrow did at the Scopes trial in Dayton.
So from now until Labor Day, when the southern fashion police dictate my seersucker goes back in the cedar closet, I’ll be wearing my featherweight, eternally wrinkled, always-in-summer-style law suit and my “April Love” white bucks.
Go ahead. Call me Atticus or Matlock, and snicker if you will while you perspire in your medium-weight Armani suit. You may think my summer outfit is hopelessly out of date, but that’s no sweat off my back. I’m telling you, when I wear my seersucker suit, I am one cool lawyer. Literally.
So join me today in celebration of National Seersucker Day! Wear seersucker, and keep your cool!