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Seersucker Beats the Summer Sizzle: Our Top Puckered Picks

Thom Browne London Collections: Men

When the temperatures rise, ladies shed their layers and opt for airy caftans and strappy sandals. Guys who suit up — whether for work or play — can’t exactly do the same. So when the sizzle of the summer heat becomes too much for even the most gentlemanly fellow, sartorial savvy tells guys to reach for lighter fabrics. Our favorite summertime staple is seersucker, a lightweight puckered fabric more often associated with the genteel American South than with runway shows and high fashion. But it’s been making quite a comeback the past few summer seasons, and leave it to one of American menswear’s most forward-thinking designers, Thom Browne, to bring the fabric to the forefront of men’s tailoring. During his presentation at the London Collections: Men (the British answer to the Italian’s Pitti Uomo, the mega menswear show), he sent out an army of dapper guys dressed head to toe in seersucker. While most guys won’t be sporting the full T.Browne, here are our picks to beat the heat in summer’s easiest fabric.

J. Crew Ludlow Suit in Japanese Seersucker

A full-on Thom Browne suit doesn’t just earn a guy a sartorial merit badge (and tan ankles), it’ll also burn a quadruple-digit hole in your clothing budget. Not to worry though, because J. Crew has a full seersucker suit on offer that won’t break the bank. The Ludlow suit has already gained a legion of fans thanks to its trim (but still approachable) cut — sans  the Thom Browne highwater look — and its friendly price point. For summer, the menswear mainstay is offering a riff on the traditional seersucker suit by offering it in an overdyed Japanese seersucker. Menswear fans know that the Japanese love taking American standards and giving them the small-batch meets devil-is-in-the-details treatment, so you can be sure that this suit has been produced in limited quantities with fabric woven on small looms. The deep blue color retains seersucker’s puckered texture to keep you cool, so you’ll look slick no matter how high the temps rise.

Available at J. Crew.

Seersucker Ties

An easy way to add a dose of seersucker is by opting for a tie to go with your summer staples.

Brands such as Brooks Brothers, Jack Spade, the American Necktie Company and FTD favorite the Tie Bar all have an array of options. The best part? A tie lets you go bold by opting out of the traditional blue-and-white stripes without looking like a candy-colored dandy. We love bold berries, graphic black-and-white and even the more understated ecru shades that we’ve seen on offer. Want to up your style ante? We say go for broke with a seersucker bow tie. Wear one with the right amount of attitude and nobody will be asking you where to get moonshine — they’ll all be admiring your ability to flex your fashion muscle instead.

Bonobos Seersucker Pants

Traditionalists know that blue-and-white is seersucker’s calling card. Bonobos’ Seersucker Pants, on the other hand, are anything but traditional. Cut in the brand’s signature style (curves waistband, slightly tapered leg, etc.), and these fit more like a modern pant than those on offer from heritage brands. Paired with a pair of suede bucks — another menswear staple south of the Mason Dixon — and a mint julep, you’ll be ready for everything from summer weddings to backyard barbecues in this pair of wear-everywhere pants. For an even cooler cut, Bonobos also offers their classic 9″ shorts in seersucker. We say get both.

Del Toro Loafer in Seersucker

For a more out-there way to sport the summer standby, grab a pair of Del Toro’s classic loafers in seersucker. While the Prince Albert slipper is one of the most classic shapes in menswear, offering the after-dark staple in sunny seersucker is anything but traditional. Del Toro is known for giving classics a twist and we can’t resist this pair of off the wall shoes. (Note: The Miami Heat players are often seen wearing the label’s oxfords, derbies, sneakers and loafers off the court.) While a statement-making suit or even a pair of pants might be too much for some guys this pair of shoes might just be what you need to earn your summer stripes.

Available at the Webster.