Thirty Years Ago It Worked Great

From the collection published in 2015, Catch Up With Summer.

Thirty Years Ago It Worked Great

All you people going to work this morning
Has anyone today
this very humid going-to-be-hot-this-afternoon
late-summer day
thought of wearing seersucker
pants skirt shirt suit?
I think not
I believe it’s out of style, seersucker, but
seersucker can cure a lot of summer complaints
and look good doing it.
I did see a man in a seersucker suit
blue and white stripes
the other day
but I did not feel I could ask him
if he viewed himself as an anachronism
or merely happy to be out-of-style
in exchange for comfort.
Think about it.

Philadelphia, PA, 2005. Photograph.

10 thoughts on “Thirty Years Ago It Worked Great

  1. What’s the line between out of style and vintage cool I wonder? I’ve always been of the mind that people should wear whatever they feel comfortable and confident in. Fashion merely brings more opportunities to try new things. I’m also way too eco conscious to treat clothing as a disposable, time-limited item.

  2. These seer-suckers suits were maybe a relic of an earlier time even when I first encountered them (1980) and of a certain social class, too, or maybe I mean profession (bankers being the ones I thought of, me being in that profession). I associate them with when I was young and starting out. I wanted one myself, but – not enough money. I still love the fabric. I can’t define the seersucker suit – it’s got too many personal associations and aspirations for me and I’d put one on today if I had one.

  3. Had to look up seersucker…Gregory Peck as Atticus FInch is looking pretty stylish in one.,,,a splendid flow to the poem….and it does make me think about style and suffering, having always been one to go towards comfort (much to chagrin of bosses over the years).

  4. Thank you! I worked for a bank when I got out of college in 1980. This fabric was used in summer suits (men all wore suits, women suits or dresses, no exceptions) and was cooler than the usual wool or broadcloth linen, or whatever, plus more casual, appropriate for summer. I loved them but I was just starting out and could not buy anything just for summer, it needed to be year-round. Then as time passed, things got more casual and…You can still find the fabric here and there, but…not like before. Just a nice memory for me! What you say about comfort, I remember one girl my age coming into work with bare legs and they sent her home to put on pantyhose. Ugh. Although at the time I was appalled that she would come to work like that! The audacity! Times do change. Well, that is enough tripping down memory lane, I think. Thank you for reading it so closely!

  5. My pleasure. I just have to add that while I was in Indiana working for the United Way, the banks (among some other companies) would have the ever-popular “jeans day” – where if people donated at certain level they would get to wear jeans on Fridays. 🙂

  6. Yes, that never happened during my career, and I wonder if I could have handled seeing management people in such casual dress, it might have done something to my head!

  7. Do those who wear seersucker suits follow false profits or do they just not sweat the details ?

    Sorry, my mind fluttered off. 😀

    Great post.

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