(Horace @ Jan. 27 2005,03:39) I like the Press seersucker. Â I also want to get a new 100% cotton poplin suit but they appear to be harder to find. Â Silver probably has them and maybe Press?
I picked up a tan poplin last summer from Hunter and Coggins
on the cheap and was quite satisfied. Decent construction, made in the USA (Asheville, NC), and around $270 after shipping and a visit to the tailor. They don't seem to have the 100% cotton on their site, but you might call and ask. I found their customer service to be excellent. Their site mentions the Haspel seersucker WSJ article, and even provides a link, but the article is subscribers only.
Thanks. Will do on the Poplin. I wonder who made it? Does it have a UNITE tag or an RN number? Here's the article by the wy from WSJ: Nothing's quite as hit-or-miss as a seersucker suit. It can make a man look effortlessly sophisticated, ready for a bourbon at the Kentucky Derby. Or it can make him look like he should be selling Eskimo pies. Seersucker suits are intimidating enough, in fact, that plenty of men avoid them altogether. But this spring, the fashion industry's pushing the look hard: For the first time in years, French designer Hermes has a version of the American classic (price: $2,800 and up), while big retailers from Barneys to Saks Fifth Avenue are varying the theme, selling trousers without the jacket and trading the traditional blue-and-white look for stripes in beige, yellow, lime and orange. Hoping to avoid the ice-cream man look, we ordered a selection ranging from a la carte pants to complete suits. We passed on those yellow-striped numbers, pitting modern takes on the classic blue-and-white (pants only, cashmere blends) against suits from some of the oldest makers in the business. Then we threw a seersucker party, inviting fans and skeptics alike and asking our hip 40-year-old cellist friend, Garo, to model the designs. The trousers from New York-based retailer Barneys were plenty cool - but unfortunately, ordering them nearly made us lose ours. To be fair, it was partially our fault: When our credit card address didn't match our phone number, our representatives turned frosty, and it took us three tries to get our pants. When we finally got these $240, Italian-made trousers, our tester found them a bit snug, though the material was soft and crisp. Still, our panel thought that for the full effect, Garo would need a jacket - and they had high hopes for the $1,400 suit we ordered from Hickey-Freeman. (We picked all suits in 40 regular, which came with size 34 trousers). Indeed, this had beautiful details, including hand-stitched button holes. But something was amiss: Its fabric was thick and smooth, and when we read the catalog's fine print, we discovered it was actually a cotton-cashmere blend. "It's faux seersucker," said panelist Eric, a doctor. Traditional seersucker, of course, is 100% cotton, with a thin, crinkly feel. When the fabric was introduced - Brooks Brothers says it brought it to the U.S. in the 1830s to make frock coats - many wealthier wearers rejected the rumpled look. Still, it was popular in the warmer Southern states, and during the Depression, seersucker suits caught on because they were cheap and washable. The whole wrinkle thing got ironed out by the 1950s, when clothing makers began adding synthetic fibers. But that hasn't necessarily made it easier to look great. Because this fabric is soft, it must hang just right. Even slight alterations can disturb the vertical lines. Finally, if the suit's too baggy, you look like you're dressed in a dish towel. That was the case with the suit we ordered from Jos. A. Bank. It was a bargain at $200 and the fabric was classic, but the pants' full cut seemed a bit baggy. The three-button jacket we chose, meanwhile, had a long cut and stylized look, with padded shoulders and skinny lapels. The overall effect? A bit too gangster-flick slick. "Like Joe Pesci in a suit that fell off the back of a truck," said Garo. So we were down to two suits - from some of the oldest names in seersucker. Brooks Brothers' modern version, about $300, felt like the real thing. It fit Garo - the jacket laid flat, the pants fit well - and would require almost no alterations. Still, other panelists called the pant legs too full and boxy, and noticed the lining was a touch heavier than they expected: "You might sweat a lot," Eric said. Our final pick was from Haspel, the brand credited with popularizing these suits. Though Haspel suits are widely available, we got ours from the Web site of North Carolina clothier Hunter & Coggins. Our panelists called it simple, unaffected, and "devoid of modernisms." The fabric was light, but with body and texture. The two-button jacket had the best fit, and its trim-cut pants looked good not only on Garo, but on Eric, a taller and leaner panelist. The only problem: The suit arrived with a discolored shoulder. When we called the store, proprietor Jim Hunter offered to pay for dry-cleaning - we passed - and then offered to send us a second one. The new model was perfect, both crisp and crinkled at the same time. "Now, this is what seersucker is supposed to be," said Eric. It's our Best Overall - and, at $275, Best Value. - Vanessa O'Connell