“Having a distinct summer wardrobe was once the mark of a man in the know,” writes Eric Felten in the Wall Street Journal. A seersucker suit Harry Truman wore in June 1945 led reporters to call him “confident” and “optimistic.” Damon Runyon once wrote, “Only very rich men ever wear seersucker clothes.” Nowadays, wearing a suit that’s not dark and formal is seen as odd. “What a shame,” Felten laments.
Warm weather sees a jump from business attire to “the hypercasual mufti of T-shirts and shorts.” Summer suits present “a rare opportunity to bridge the gap,” Felten says, if only more men were willing to take the leap. “Linen, poplin, or seersucker breaks the suffocating and stultifying uniform out of its dull uniformity”—offering men “a way to avoid being dressy without tumbling down into abject sloppiness.”