Since 1874, the Kentucky Derby has been a place for men and women alike to celebrate in style. Although in modern day it is common for a man of style to dress in a seersucker suit to Churchill Downs, the fabric didn’t even make its way into the United States until the early 1900s and didn’t become popular among upper-class until after WWI. So, why is it the fashion fabric icon for this annual event? Let’s take a look:
When the Derby grew in popularity during the early-to-mid 1900s, a fabric known as seersucker (Anglicized in Britain from the original name shīroshakar, meaning “milk and sugar”) made its way to the United States after years of serving as a common fabric in Britain’s Indian colonies. It’s light-weight served it to be perfect for humid weather, and the fabric became an instant fashion statement in the Southern U.S. region after it was first made into a suit in 1909. Once it was introduced to Northern states through the use of soldiers and volunteers during WWI, it quickly spread throughout stores all over the country.
Just as women’s hats became a sign of class and fashion, so did the seersucker suit. Between its breathable feel and the ease of traveling without ever having to iron, it was a no-brainer that this look was best-suited for a classy affair on a warm Spring day in Kentucky.
In 2019, not only does the seersucker suit make the perfect garment for your Derby Day plans, it is an ideal look for any man of style that wants to feel cool and keep cool at his summertime outings. Ready to get some seersucker into your wardrobe? Schedule an appointment or stop into our showroom and order your very own look from our new AJ Sport Line collection.