Jun 25, 201810:21 AM
The Editor's Room
Weekly Commentary with New Orleans Magazine’s Errol Laborde
Seersucker and White Linen Redefining the Season
Since summer officially arrived last week we are well into the season when it is proper for local men to wear suits of seersucker or white linen. It is a time of the year that celebrates national revolutions in the United States and France, though still to come, but hopefully on the way, is a victory dance for a small rebellion headed by a man who once stopped by for a visit.
“You know how in New Orleans people say men should only wear seersucker and white linen until Labor Day?” he asked rhetorically as I nodded impulsively. “Well, it should be extended longer than that,” he pleaded. "There are still a lot of hot days ahead.”
There have been no political demonstrations supporting this cause yet, but there has been that critical moment, common to all revolutions, when the spark was lit. That moment came on the day after Labor Day several years ago when the above mentioned man and some friends met for lunch at Galatoire’s. Someone cautioned that it was past the season for seersucker and white linen, and that provoked a discussion. Dismissing the Labor Day rule with an expletive involving the male of the bovine group, one of the men argued that the tradition should be changed to conform to the New Orleans weather. A cause was born.
Now, there might be some people who would argue that it is not right to mess with the calendar because that could cause more hurricanes or blizzards, but the calendar has been messed with many times. Just look at how Day Light Savings Time has been expanded. By the time we switch our clocks to standard time it is almost time to switch back again.
Though the Galatorie’s men triggered the cause they offered no specifics of a new date, leaving that to others. So, I humbly offer my plan: Expand the season for seersucker and white suits to October 30, the day before Halloween.
There has always been some vagueness about when the season begins; some say Easter; others say Memorial Day. I say go with Easter, not only because it is earlier, but also no one wears a suit on Memorial Day anyway. At least Easter has church and dress-up brunches.
For clothiers this new rules should be good news. The longer the season the more suits to sell. And for the men dining at Galatoire’s they can be comfortable, even in October. Only, if they are wearing white suits, just be careful of the sleeves near the marchand de vin sauce.
BOOK ANNOUNCEMENT: Errol’s Laborde’s books, “New Orleans: The First 300 Years” and “Mardi Gras: Chronicles of the New Orleans Carnival” (Pelican Publishing Company, 2017 and 2013), are available at local bookstores and at book websites.
WATCH INFORMED SOURCES, FRIDAYS AT 7 P.M., REPEATED AT 11:30 P.M. WYES-TV, CH. 12.