Sartorial posting for Mrs P.

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader mentioned, in a recent post, that he wore his new seersucker suit recently. This revelation led to a request by the delightful Mrs P for a photo of your Maximum Leader in his seersucker… But before we can show the photo we must have the story…

Your Maximum Leader will admit that his sartioral guide was… Well, he doesn’t really have one. He’s never really had one. (Unlike Mr P who has Mrs P and the eternal question: What would Daniel Patrick Moynihan do?) Unfortunately for him, he’s never had much of a fashion sense. Your Maximum Leader has never felt very comfortable in his own skin when it comes to deviation from those few men’s standards he’s grown up with. Your Maximum Leader grew up in the Washington DC area (Alexandria, Virginia to be exact). During his formative years, dress in Washington was pretty staid when it came to men’s fashion. There were blue suits and there were grey suits. (Excursus: There were also brown suits, but your Maximum Leader never cared for brown suits. There was one noteworthy exception to this, there was a wonderful almost tweed three piece suit that your Maximum Leader fell in love with when he was about 19. He bought it - somehow, as it cost about $600 - in 1989. He still has it. It doesn’t fit him any more, and probably doesn’t have enough fabric in it to be taken out. But he can’t bear to part with it.) From year to year in Washington, the ties changed but the suits remained the same… So, your Maximum Leader has been a blue suit/grey suit type of guy. White shirts and blue shirts are acceptable. Ties give color.

When your Maximum Leader went to college he discovered the joy of blue blazers and dress khakis. But he also discovered that the liked seersucker. It started with a seersucker dressing gown/bathrobe. Then it developed into a seersucker jacket. Alas, that seersucker jacket died a premature death. Killed by spilt bowl of punch at a party in graduate school. The seersucker dressing gown lived on, for many years; until it was one day callously discarded by Mrs Villain. (But that is another story.)

So… For work your Maximum Leader continued for many years to be a blue suit/grey suit/blue or black blazer and khaki type of guy. At least he was at work. Then there was business casual. Your Maximum Leader must admit that now he does not often find himself in a situation that requires that he really dress in a way that some (Mrs P and Sir Basil) would consider proper. He is able to pass most days with khaki trousers and a nice cotton shirt. When it is called for, he does pull out the blue suit/grey suit/blazer & khakis. But those occasions are not too frequent.

Well… Your Maximum Leader was, a few weeks ago, looking for some new trousers. He decided to go by the local high-end haberdashery to see if he could find something that appealed to him. Well, it turns out that the local haberdasher has decided to retire and his progeny (and business associates) decided not to buy him out. So he is selling everything and is closing up shop. (Excursus: This will now mean that for any decent high-end clothing your Maxmium Leader will have to travel up to Northern Virginia… Or DC… Or London…)

While perusing the store your Maximum Leader found himself a nice pair of trousers, and a very nice silk shirt by Tommy Bahama. But he also found something else. A seersucker suit. Not your standard “blue stripe” seersucker but your “tan” or “natural” colored stripe. It spoke to your Maximum Leader. Indeed it said “buy me.” Your Maximum Leader remembered his late beloved seersucker jacket and his dressing gown. And he knew he must have the seersucker suit.

Of course, when buying a seersucker suit, you need the right shirt. (The standard blues and white of your Maximum Leader’s wardrobe would not do.) You also need the right tie. And so it was that your Maximum Leader went in for a pair of trousers and came out with a ticket for a seersucker suit. After a week or so the alterations were completed. Your Maximum Leader got to wear the suit for the first time last Sunday. He loved it. Even Mrs Villain (no lover of seersucker) thought it was pretty delightful.

There is the sad tale… Now here is the photo.

Your Maximum Leader in his sartorial glory

There you have it. NB to Mrs P: Please note the shoes. Your Maximum Leader calls these “saddle shoes.” Are these the “Spectators” you mentioned in your comments? The monkstrap shoe you suggested was very handsome, and did cry out “love me.” But wouldn’t they be a little too much for the seersucker? The summer tassel loafer would seem to be a better choice.

Carry on.

Old Dominion Tory said:

Mr. Leader:
Here in The Valley of Virginia as well as on Cape Cod, your shoes would be called “saddle shoes.”
Spectators are a different creature enitrely; basically, they are wing-tip shoes in which the sections by the toe, laces, and heel are brown, tan, or black leather and the rest is white leather. In some circles, they are referred as “cad shoes,” but, seeing as many men of fine moral caliber have worn them, this should deter you from purchasing a pair as well as the necessary accompaniments of cream-colored socks and linen trousers–which would pair well with a blue blazer, blue/white/pink shirt, and proper necktie.

Old Dominion Tory said:

Oops. In the second sentence of the second paragraph, I should have written “. . . this should not deter you from . . .”. My apologies to all.

Mrs. Peperium said:

Maxy, Maxy, Maxy. First Daniel Patrick Moynihan would be most pleased. Second, that is no sad tale. It is a marvlous tale. Thank you for sharing it and don’t ever toss out a tweed. If you can’t wear again, your offspring can as they ramble about Switzerland climbing mountains and devouring cheese after they’ve graduated from college.

Ok, let’s get down to brass tacks or, as they say in sartorial circles, the tailor’s chalk. First, I must say I own up that I could not picture you in blue seersucker. I was guessing, for reasons of my own fancies, perhaps, that you had chosen a charcoal seersucker. But when you said you owned saddle shoes, I knew they had to be brown (tan), and brown saddle shoes do not go with charcoal seersucker. So, lets just say, I was on pins and needles waiting to see the mighty seersucker.

And it is indeed mighty. I love the fact you wore bowtie with it. You, naturally say “Well of course I wore a bowtie, doesn’t everyone?” The answer, sadly, is no. Not even everyone wears a seersucker suit, as my own husband is daily proof of. But he told me before he married me this would be the case. So I do not complain about it. I made my bed and I must…well, you know.

You will be pleased to learn that when in Maine, I did require Mr. P to dress for dinner. Dressed that is in his seersucker dressing gown that is. He found it such an enjoyable experience, he is now contemplating, just contemplating at this point, a seersucker suit in his future.

It’s funny how a shoe named Mortimer can say “love me” but those Mortimers most definitely do. I remain convinced they would look splendid with a seersucker suit but they would look splendid with just about anything - tweeds especially.

Thanks again Maxy. You look great. I’m glad Mrs. Maxy thought so too.

Mrs. Peperium said:

ODT, I never knew you knew such things…oh my word…priests that wear French cuffs…men from Cape Cod in linen trousers and saddle shoes…who knew the internet could be so refined?

Mrs. Peperium said:

Oh, and gentlemen, you would be most pleased with the sportcoat Fiendish Lout had on when we had oysters in the basement as Grand Central a few weeks back. I’ve been eying a sportscoat like that for Mr. P ever since I ran across it in the confessional line this past Divine Mercy Sunday. As I admired it, the chap who was wearing it, and indeed he was a most pleasant chap, told me, rather proudly, he had just gotten it out of storage in time for the hot weather we were experiencing that day.

Be careful about books and covers, Mrs. P - my vicar is in the habit of wearing French cuffs and, when he hasn’t his dog-collar on, bow ties. And yet, here we are, so to speak.

Many thanks to all who are commenting. I should start out by saying that as soon as I read ODT’s explaination of a “Spectator” shoe I knew that of which he spoke. I must, sadly, also admit that I think that I would not feel comfortable wearing them. They seem to “flashy” for me. Perhaps I am subconsciously prejudiced against them because of their reputation as the “cad” shoe. I do not have any linen trousers — but in a slightly different category — was considering going back to the aforementioned haberdasher and getting some linen madras trousers. I cannot, for the life of me, explain why I have no problems with madras pants, but wouldn’t want Spectator shoes.

Mrs P - for the sake of full disclosure, by beloved (but now illfitting) three piece is tweedish, but not tweed. I should find it in my closet and photograph it for you. As I was typing my tale, I had the same thought as you… “One day,” thought I, “My son might fit into this suit and look dashing in it in a way his father never did…” The Wee Villain is a much more dashing fellow than his old man. He has a rounder face, dimples, lighter hair, and blue-grey eyes. He is a charmer. Even at age 3.

I should also go back and rephrase a few things. It was a seersucker sports coat that was killed by spilt punch. Red punch. (Of course.) I suppose that a men’s “jacket” either means some piece of outerwear (like a windbreaker or barn jacket) or a piece of outerwear that comes with matching trousers. Perhaps I’m parsing in a meaningless way.

And one more thing Mrs P… Those Mortimers are quite nice, but I don’t know if I’ve got room in the shoe budget for them. I’ll stay on the lookout for a “knock off” brand.

One more thing to all commenters and readers… Your Maximum Leader’s goatee…

Should it stay or go? He’s had it for about a year and thinks he might let it go. The only thing keeping him from doing it is Mrs Villain — who says she likes it. But seems ambivelent most of the time about it.

Mrs. Peperium said:

I get to weigh in on facial hair? Wow!

I vote it off the island. lf we live in the age of razors, then we, both men and women, are required by honor to use them.

*Sigh* The Mortimer. What a shoe. My grandfather about 20 ago was a cordwainer in London. I’d like to think such things still run in the blood and this is why I am so keen on men’s shoes. They are expensive but shoes say so much about a man. Really. Sounds crazy I know but it is true.

The reverse is not true about women because they buy shoes like fast food.

Robbo, you’ve stepped into it now. Come on, own up. Is there some seersucker tucked away in your closet? Do tell all. From the first time you wore it to the last time….

By the way, I have noticed a big difference, really unbrookable at this point in history -is that a word?- between a Roman priest who occasionally wears French cuffs and a bowtie and French cuff-clad vicar who occasionally wears a Roman collar…

Kevin Kim said:

Grow a full beard.

Keep growing it.

And growing it.

And growing it.


Father M. said:

The standard shirt for the Catholic clergy is a white French cuff shirt worn under the cassock or with a vest or clerical shirt front. This is not so much a case of wearing what I want (though I like them very much) as wearing what I ought.

Well, since you ask…..

I confess that I owned a seersucker suit during my collegiate years, one bought for me by Mom because she thought I’d look so dashing in it. (”Such a handsome boy! How could anybody not think you’re handsome? EVERYONE thinks you’re handsome!”)

The last time I wore the suit was on a pre-semester flight back up to Connecticut. I distinctly intercepted several glances in my direction and saw people murmuring to each other as well. Now, as Mom maintains, they may very well have been asking themselves “Who is that suave young buck and who is his tailor?” but I’m more inclined to think they were muttering, “What a dork.”

As it happens, I now own both a seersucker dressing gown AND a couple pairs of seersucker bermudas. With these I have no problems. However, being almost painfully self-conscious, I’ve never yet got up the nerve to appear in public again in a seersucker suit. Come summertime, I’m a strict blazer and khakis man.

Brown-eyed Girl said:

First of all you look very smashing in your seersucker suit and the goatee is a keeper as well. I would even venture to say that you look preppy.

Unfortunately my husband has a very sad story about a seersucker suit. When he was a young boy his Dad asked his Mom to go down to Cox’s and get him a seersucker suit AND instead she went Sear’s and got him a coxsucker suit. Can you imagine the horror!

Brian said:

Looking sharp! Nothing wrong with a seersucker suit…

Mo K said:

You are quite the dashing and dapper gentleman, oh Leader Maximus! As for the goatee, hmm. I didn’t care much for it on Mr. Mo, either. He does, however, look very good in a nicely trimmed full beard. In fact, he’s had facial hair for all of our married life. It suits him well. Have you tried the full beard before? What does Mrs. Villain think about that?

Eric said:

… I’m impressed…. you need yourself a pair of H.S. Trask saddleshoes now, sir…. oh yeah…..

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