And you thought it was just another Thursday...pish!
Anyone who has spent a summer moment in D.C. knows how the heat can be downright oppressive. Prior to the God-send of air conditioning, senators hailing from the South shed their wool black frock coats for lighter linen and cotton attire. Northern colleagues took note.
In 1909, New Orleans clothier Joseph Haspel made summer wear more comfortable by designing a light-weight suit in pale blue and white striped rumpled cotton fabric.
He named that fabric "seersucker," a cotton that was based on a silk derivation from India popular during the British colonial period. In Persian it is called "Shir Shakkar," which loosely translates into "milk and sugar." The milk described the smooth parts of the material, while the sugar was a metaphor for the texture commonly referred to as "dimples" or "puckers."
Seersucker suits became widely popular because of their wash and wearability, made very necessary in the humid summer.
In the late 1990s, Mississippi Senator Trent Lott revived the long-forgotten Senate tradition. Selecting a day in June to be designated Seersucker Thursday, Senator Lott along with several other Southern Senators donned their seersucker. Three cheers for Trent!
Today, senators happily make this annual fashion statement in the spirit of harmony. Imagine that? It is also a gentle reminder to their colleagues of what Senates from days past considered proper (read: required) summer attire. Ahem.
All in favor...?
Yours relishing this fashion/political history moment,
Mrs. News Readin'
We now return to your regularly scheduled program.
10 hours ago