July 3, 2007

The short-sleeved dress shirt or the seersucker suit?

Which is less acceptable for a man to wear in a business setting? The answer is clear, as well it should be.

What plays in my head -- yours too? -- on hearing the words "seersucker suit": Well, I'm sitting here thinking just how sharp I am/Well, I'm sitting here thinking just how sharp I am...

29 comments:

Matt Brown said...

The short-sleeved dress shirt. Pure and simple.

Mr. B. said...

If you wear a short-sleeved shirt under your seersucker suit you can have it both ways.

There is also the matter of geography. What is unacceptable or at least non-cool may be perfectly acceptable in New Orleans (or Bermuda)...

Bonzo

George said...

The Senate recently celebrated Seersucker Thursday.

Joviality aside, it's a great look. Kinda hard to pull off that pocket hanky thing, and spats are to be avoided.

And this is interesting..."Originally, in the eighteenth century, seersucker was striped Indian cotton, the stripes being the identifying feature. You can tell that from the original name, the Persian shir o shakar, literally “milk and sugar”, in reference to what we would now call its candy stripes."

It's also a good look if you need to shoot dead a rabid cur in the street or defend a one-armed chifarobe buster-upper.

Saul said...

On the right person, and in the right place, seersucker works quite well. Didn't Big Daddy wear a seersucker suit?

Mr. Lee said...

I work in DC, where seersucker's somewhat more fashionable than, say, California.

That said, though, as long as your particular corporate environment is tolerant, even the ice cream suit should be acceptable on hot summer days.

SWBarns said...

There is no such thing as a short sleeved 'dress' shirt.

SGT Ted said...

Short sleeve shirts with a tie is the business equivalent to shorts on men for leisure wear.

Meade said...

Stingo: That's my "seersucker."

Bissage said...

Scooter Libby would look great in seersucker.

Go ahead.

Close your eyes and imagine it.

You're welcome.

SteveR said...

Under a suit jacket, never taken off fine, but by itself with a tie, a fashion mistake even I can see.

Super-Electro-Magnetic Midget Launcher said...

Glad to hear about Seersucker Thursday. It's the only worthwhile thing the Senate's done since the 14th Amendment.

Now, as for the "business setting", which business do you have in mind? In software, unless you're meeting a customer or an investor, a short-sleeved dress shirt would be overkill, and a suit of any description downright bizarre. As a rule of thumb, you should steer clear of any business where they expect you to wear shoes in the office.

Besides, if short sleeves are good enough for Mission Control, they're good enough for you.

Jeff said...

All COold-War era engineers and NASA control room guys HAD to wear the shortsleeve shirt with a tie. Straight men and fashion parted company in America after WWII.

Meade said...

Spaced Oddity

This is Ground Control to Major Super-Electro-Magnetic Midget Launcher Tom

You’ve really made the software business grade

And the blog nerds all want to know whose short-sleeved shirts you wear

Now it’s time to leave your cubicle if you dare

Can you hear me, Major Super-Electro-Magnetic Midget Launcher Tom?

Can you hear me, Major Super-Electro-Magnetic Midget Launcher Tom?

Beth said...

We wouldn't be able to hold court without seersucker in July and August. It looks good on women, too, if it's tailored right.

The incongruity of a tie and short sleeves is off-putting, but it's better than shorts and a t-shirt.

Susan said...

My big sartorial question this morning as I got ready for work: When I put on my garden apron will it cover up that spot on my t-shirt?

Super-Electro-Magnetic Midget Launcher said...

Context matters in these things, Meade.

Now take a deep breath, and let it out slowly. And again. Ahhh! There, don't you feel better?

Meade said...

Just funnin' with ya, Super Launch. Nothing personal.

- said...

"There is no such thing as a short sleeved 'dress' shirt."

EXACTLY!

One of our summer associates (in Atlanta) wore a seersucker suit yesterday. I bet he gets an offer...

paul a'barge said...

It's not just the seersucker suit but the accompaniments that make or break the deal.

A seersucker suit should always be worn with
1. a pure white, long-sleeve dress shirt, preferably with french cuffs and understated cuff links.
2. braces (aka suspenders)
3. a conservative tie that coordinates well with one's braces.
4. dark socks
5. NEVER with white buck shoes.

Now, caveat #5 applies to the workplace. If you're wearing that seersucker to a social event, white buck shoes are perfectly fine.

Galvanized said...

Well, it depends upon your liine of work. The short-sleeved dress shirt is a staple of the IT guys, while Southern lawyers and preachers corner the market on the seersucker suit, I believe. And never the 'twain shall meet. But that's just me...

Doug said...

Short sleeved dress shirts are a huge pet peeve of mine. I know there is genocide in Sudan and innocent people on death row, but seeing a guy with one of these with a tie in a business setting is too much.

I know two people who sport these, and both are government employees in finance departments.

stoqboy said...

A guy I played softball with in college plays Colonel Michael Holden on Lifetime's Army Wives. He wore a short sleeve shirt with a tie in Sunday's episode. I remember thinking how stupid it looked.

Gahrie said...

Thanks guys...now I'm so self-concious I've got to go get rid of all of my seersuckers and short-sleeved dress shirts.......

Kevin said...

If you're wearing a short-sleeved dress shirt, you really should top it off with a sleeveless pullover sweater vest.

Nothing says social worker like short sleeves, a tie and a sweater vest.

Sweater vest in a pastel color, please.

TMink said...

How about a white sports coat with a pink carnation?

Trey

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Whenever I hear "seersucker" I hear it as if spoken with a lisp:

Theerthucker.

It's quirky, I know.

chuckR said...

I sold to and trained people on the use of technical software for many years. The entrepreneur who largely created one brand of this software had a distinctive style of dress. He would wear short sleeve white shirts woven of the finest petroleum products. And trousers cinched high. I guess he didn't want to stand out from his customers. Snicker if you will, but after taking the company public, he can own Brioni, Kiton, Oxxford - suits or company. Can you?

Balfegor said...

1. a pure white, long-sleeve dress shirt, preferably with french cuffs and understated cuff links.

Seersucker with double cuffs just doesn't seem right to me. A formal-informal mismatch.

The entrepreneur who largely created one brand of this software had a distinctive style of dress. He would wear short sleeve white shirts woven of the finest petroleum products. And trousers cinched high.

That . . . doesn't actually sound all that distinctive. Isn't that kind of 100% stereotypical? All you need to add are taped-together glasses and a pocket protector. Or was he not the software developer himself, just the business manager / entrepreneur?

LoafingOaf said...

As a general rule I think people should wear whatever they feel good in, but short-sleeved dress shirts with a tie are just ridiculous. Just roll up the sleeves on a proper dress shirt.

But I continue to be amazed...

Short sleeve shirts with a tie is the business equivalent to shorts on men for leisure wear.

...that Althouse-ville thinks there's something wrong with shorts as leisure wear. You're the weirdos on that one, but whatever.