Monday, March 30, 2009

Seersucker in Charleston SC


When I think of seersucker, I think southern, of men wearing pastel bow ties and colonial towns like Charleston, South Carolina. Adapted from the Hindi words shir o shakar, meaning "milk and sugar," seersucker was originally worn by British colonists in warm climates. The 100% cotton fabric gained popularity with gentlemen in the American south during the colonial period because of its comfort in hot and humid weather, resistance to wrinkles and ease of washing.

The architecture on this recently repainted block in Charleston reminded me of the seersucker fabric worn by so many of its inhabitants.

Here are two different seersucker patterns, made by Rogues Gallery, compared to buildings in Charleston.

Red and white;

I am pretty positive that the owners of these buildings referenced seersucker fabrics when they were picking colors.

Blue and white;

Not only do the colors remind me of seersucker, but the rough stucco resembles the texture of the cotton fabric.

Designers often reference architecture, like RRL referencing Ralph's ranch in Colorado for example, but rarely does architecture reference fashion. I don't know if it was intended or if seersucker references southern architecture but I certainly see the connection between the seersucker-clad southern gentlemen and their townhouses in Charleston.

Edge wearing an LL Bean Norwegian sweater, Rogues Gallery seersucker shorts, and Common Project Desert boots.

Here are some more links,
Seersucker (Wiki),
Seersucker (Picasa).

8 comments:

componentsofenthusiasm said...

cant wait to make my annual c-town visit this summer. i was going to do a charleston post this summer during my visit but you've beat me to it haha. loving this post, foster. also, the colors of the charleston homes have a very historical purpose. the pink buildings you saw were painted pink by the early inhabitants b/c the color helps to keep the homes cooler during the summer. i like how you compare the building colors with the seersucker, that is really cool. basically, charleston, with its architecture, culture, women, weather, food, bars, and just overall awesomeness cannot be beat.

Foster Huntington said...

Paul,
there are still plenty of posts to be had on charleston SC. thanks for correcting me on the colors. maybe seersucker is pink becuase its cooler in the summer? who knows.
Foster

plaidout said...

The correlation between stucco and textile is spot on, FH. Way to go!

K @ Blog Goggles said...

It's an interesting correlation - a colorful city and colorful clothing. It works for the SE U.S., India, Morocco, Spain, Miami, etc.

And here in Hong Kong, where everything is a sooty gray, the only thing locals ever wear is black.

Foster Huntington said...

its interesting how people choose to dress with colors that are familiar to them.
Foster

justin said...

nice shorts. or as my mom would say 'shawts'

Andreas said...

edge has great calves, so toned.

Hate!

Sildenafil said...

I was looking this article because it's so interesting but the man in his pink shorts you know, I don't know what to think probably is a gay.