Are mismatch seersucker jackets and pants a thing?

Are mismatch seersucker jackets and pants a thing?

Q. I have a radical question. Can you mismatch seersucker jackets and pants with each other?  Like a green-and-white seersucker jacket with, say, blue-and-white seersucker pants?  Please respond. 

A. That is indeed a radical question, but an interesting one. 

When men dress in a tailored jacket-and-trousers combination, they have two choices. The mix may be either a matched suit, or a blazer or sport jacket with an unmatched pair of trousers (made of different fabric and in a different shade). Here, you are suggesting wearing a jacket and trousers in identical fabric, but in two different colors. The resulting combination clearly does not match and does not fit either of the traditional looks. It would not be a correctly matched suit nor a smart mix of tailored jacket and dress trousers.

I will begin by complimenting you on your willingness to consider wearing seersucker at all. Not every man can see himself choosing this unique fabric that is traditional in a non-boring way. For those who are not familiar with it, seersucker is a thin, lightweight, puckered, cotton fabric, used to make clothing for hot weather. Men wore it before some of the light man-made fabrics were invented. The unevenness of the fabric’s weave causes it to be held away from the skin rather than being plastered against it in hot weather, giving it a puckered appearance and making it feel cooler – a perfect choice for summer wear. 

It also makes ironing unnecessary (and is exclusively worn in summer). Almost always striped, it usually comes in a color plus white. The most common color combination for seersucker stripes is blue and white, but it also comes in gray and white, green and white, tan and white, and rose and white. Any of these colors might be used for a matched seersucker suit or for a seersucker sport jacket worn with solid, dark trousers or perhaps white pants. Occasionally, you will see a man in a navy blazer or a medium-dark sport jacket with pastel seersucker pants.  

Because the fabric is cotton rather than wool, it is not a typical choice for most men’s suits. Seersucker suit wearers rightly consider themselves to be somewhat offbeat, knowledgeable, and sophisticated dressers. But I’m afraid that wearing a suit in two unmatched colors would clearly look like a major dressing mistake. So, I encourage you not to go that one step further; in other words, no, do not wear two different colors of the fabric together.    

Since seersucker, with its note of informality, is right for summer clothing on the not-too-dressy, somewhat informal side, it would not be a wise choice to wear for a wedding or a funeral. While some might think of a seersucker suit as dated, I would say that its old fashioned reputation is not exactly fair or true. These days, when dressing “up” in dark suits is far less prevalent, a seersucker suit could be a welcome option and a fine “retro” alternative for your wardrobe. Not only might a conservative dresser choose seersucker but so too might a look-at-me, fashion-forward guy.  

Wondering what to wear with a seersucker suit? A traditional white button-down collar shirt is a natural choice with a quiet traditional tie in linen or silk. And, if you want your shoes to go with the whole Ivy League, preppy look, this would be the perfect time to wear the correct accompanying pair of “white bucks.”                                                                                                                

If you wear a matching seersucker suit or a solid jacket or solid trousers, you are generally safe. Now all you need is an invitation to a festive weekend garden party.

Please send your men’s dress and grooming questions and comments to MALE CALL:

Categories: Male Call