Garden & Gun - Celebrate National Seersucker Day
This year, June 13 marks the official date when U.S. Senate leaders set aside political differences for a more perfect sartorial union.
Though popularized beginning in 1909 by New Orleans merchant Joseph Haspel, the seersucker suit has also long been closely associated with another Southern city: Washington, D.C. The puckered, lightweight cotton fabric—which derives its name from “shir o shakka,” Persian for “milk and sugar”—possesses qualities that are tailor-made for politicians, whether they’re on the campaign trail or enduring swampy capital summers. It’s naturally rumpled and helps repel humidity.
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It's getting hot out there! The Haspel Brothers company, founded in New Orleans in 1909, designed this seersucker suit to help keep their customers cool in the 1950s. The company's founder, Joseph Haspel, originated the idea of making men's suits out of lightweight wash-and-wear cotton seersucker material, which ultimately led to seersucker becoming the quintessential southern man's warm-weather suit. A 1950s Haspel suit is one of the artifacts included in the exhibition "We Love You, New Orleans" in the Cabildo.
Men's seersucker suit, Haspel Brothers, Inc., ca. 1950. Gift of the Crawford Family, 1966.060.145a–b.
Every year in June, on a warm and sticky Thursday, senators arrive at work looking like they’ve come straight from the Kentucky Derby. Gone are the standard dark suits of the winter months. Instead, they wear seersucker.
Walking the halls of the Capitol, they project a sense of gentility and ease. Why yes, they seem to say, this fabric is 100 percent cotton. Why yes, it is extremely cool. Why yes, these tiny stripes, blue and white and vanishingly thin, kind of make your head spin. Now let’s all squeeze together for a bipartisan photo op.
Two native New Orleans brands have joined forces on the release of a capsule accessory collection paying tribute to all things Louisiana.
American tailored clothing brand Haspel has teamed up with accessories company NOLA Couture on a line of colorful silk ties, bow ties, and pocket squares featuring some of Louisiana’s favorite things like sugarcane, pelicans, catfish, the “Cajun Holy Trinity”, magnolias, iris, and strawberry prints. Pocket squares retail for $35, bow ties for $55, and neckties for $65.