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(all photos via Social Primer)

Seersucker: A Southern Prep Staple

As a guy who was raised in the South, I’m a pretty big advocate of the fabric. It’s arguably the most versatile fabric out there, acting like air-conditioning, pulling the heat away from your body. I can even recall a pretty heated debate during my prep school days in english class one day about the no white/seersucker after Labor Day rule. Even our teacher got into it (her being a very proper Southern lady herself), stating that the rule was dated and meant to be broken. In that respect, I side with her. I believe Easter officially kicks off seersucker season in the South (and everywhere else at Memorial Day), and it should be worn until the temperature starts to drop (which in some places South of the Mason-Dixon is early-mid October). While wearing a full seersucker suit complete with suspenders and white bucks screams southern lawyer (I’m actually a fan of the look and have seen it done many times), I tend to opt for a seersucker sport coat or trousers as separates, often paired with a pair of Go to Hell pants or a simple oxford shirt. For more dressy occasions, a spread collar dress shirt works well too. As far as footwear with a seersucker suit or trousers goes, I always go for Gucci horse bit loafers (which most prep purists tend to state never goes with seersucker) or a pair of saddle oxfords. More of a New Englander style practice would be wearing black captoe oxford shoes or tassel loafers. My old man tends to rock that look (being a Northerner himself) whenever he wears seersucker. When dealing with belts, simple is generally better, though a pop of color of a grosgrain ribbon belt never hurts. Needlepoint or surcingle belts work great too.

(Pictured: My thrifted Ralph Lauren seersucker blazer, made in the USA)

Anatomy of a prep part 4: The Good Ol' Boy

The good ol’ boy: usually the son or grandson of the southern gent. Also known as a “prep neck” in certain areas, the good ol’ boy isn’t afraid to crack open a brew and get a bit rowdy with his buddies. Navy blazers, bow ties, tweed, seersucker, khakis, and camo all have their place in his closet. He can easily transition from hunting out in the woods in full camo or fishing in the creek to attending Sunday service or a deb ball in his best attire. Whether he’s skeet shooting with his Winchester or doing the Charleston shag in an evening suit, his secret to success is appropriateness—he’s a chameleon, a jack of all trades. A quick glance at the campuses of Hampden-Sydney, Sewanee, UVA, Ole Miss, or College of Charleston among others will give you a good view of these guys in their natural habitat. Most people get along great with the good ol’ boy. Hell, I even went to prep school with a few myself and they’re all pretty cool guys. 

The rig:

  • vintage navy blazer by Brooks Brothers
  • Banana republic khakis
  • L.L. Bean boots
  • Brooks Brothers oxford
  • Social Primer bow tie