Seersucker is more commonly worn by our cousins across the pond, but it's appropriate in the UK, too, even if the weather isn't so great. We show you how to wear the summer's preppiest cloth with Radio 1 Breakfast Show host Nick Grimshaw.
I’m not bothered about Lady Gaga,” says Nick Grimshaw, breezily, in his affable and slightly camp Mancunian twang. “I’m in awe of people who have been famous since I was young. But someone like Gaga — I feel like I know who she is. It’s like ‘Oh — there’s Lady Gaga, she’s off to work.’ I’m not fussed.”
On a plush chair in the swish, slightly Orwellian office space that has been the location for his Esquire photoshoot, Radio 1’s prolific DJ is expounding on fame — a subject in which he is well versed. Grimshaw exists at the nexus point of celebrity: he has become famous, as have his friends (he picnics on Primrose Hill with Agyness Deyn, Daisy Lowe, Henry Holland, et al). But, more importantly, as a DJ broadcasting to 11.1 million listeners a week, an endorsement from “Grimmy” can launch bands and artists into the mainstream.
Before he took over on the station's flagship Breakfast Show in September 2012, Grimmy had inherited the coveted 10pm-to-midnight slot once occupied by John Peel. And like Peel, Grimmy displays a similar commitment to uncovering new talent. “I listen to an inhuman amount of music. On Mondays, mostly, in a massive seven-hour binge.” A musical omnivore, Grimshaw was ahead of the curve in discovering dance duo The 2 Bears, and was one of the first to sing the praises of hip-hop’s latest enfant terrible, foul-mouthed YouTube sensation Azealia Banks (he’s mates with her as well, naturally).
Grimshaw also spent his weekends as a presenter on T4, Channel 4's flagship weekend show, before that was taken off the air, and later this year he will be fronting his own panel show on BBC3, Don't Sweat The Small Stuff. “No-one believes me when I say how busy I am. It’s true though. I’m permanently single — I’ve got no time for a relationship. But I love what I do.”
And then a car from the BBC arrives and he’s off, for “a beer and a burger with good old Annie Mac [Radio 1 co-presenter and friend]”, followed by another evening of gossiping, laughing and gently dictating the nation’s musical tastes.
(Top credits - Grey and white cotton seersucker blazer, £400, by Gant. Blue cotton shirt, £75; navy cotton waistcoat, £125; navy, white and red checked wool trousers, £175, all by Gant Rugger. Burgundy knitted silk tie, £125, by Ermenegildo Zegna. Black ceramic J12 watch, £3,775, by Chanel. Green office chair, £652, by Vitra)
(Blue and white striped cotton seersucker blazer, £415; navy striped cotton waistcoat, £255; blue and white cotton shirt with contrast collar, £110; multi-colored checked cotton tie, £75; navy cotton chinos, £199, all by Polo Ralph Lauren. Green cotton socks, £14, by Hackett. White nubuck and leather lace-up saddle shoes, £215, by Grenson. Jewellery, model’s own. Turquoise crocodile notebook, £195; orange zip-up leather notebook, £370; green zip-up leather notebook, £370, all by Smythson)
(Blue and white cotton seersucker blazer, £349, by Boss Black. Blue cotton shirt with contrast collar, £165, by Boss Selection. Red and white striped silk knitted tie, £65, by Hackett. Black ceramic J12 watch, £3,775, by Chanel)
How to wear it | know your stripes
Seersucker is a thin puckered cotton fabric, mostly striped or checked, worn in summer because of its weight. Traditionally a casual fabric, modern cuts and dyes have smartened it up. Take your cue from Gregory Peck as lawyer Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird, whose seersucker three-piece set the bar high.
(Navy cotton seersucker blazer, £1,720; grey patterned silk shirt, £1,760; navy wool roll-neck, £610; navy seersucker cotton trousers, £420; burgundy leather lace-up shoes, £710, all by Hermès. Green cotton socks, £14, by Hackett. Black ceramic J12 watch, £3,775, by Chanel)
(Grey cotton Prince of Wales check seersucker suit, £1,200; navy silk patterned tie, £110, both by John Varvatos. Blue and white cotton shirt with contrast collar, £89, by Arrow. Orange cotton socks, £14, by Hackett. Navy leather loafers, £450, by Gucci. Orange Generation chair, £800, by Knoll. Black ceramic J12 watch, £3,775, by Chanel)
How to wear it | tone it down
Seersucker holds checks well, like this example from Bottega Veneta, finished with a natty, printed check. Wear with a simple shirt and tie to prevent it from looking over-worked.
(Navy and black checked cotton seersucker blazer, £1,345; navy and black checked cotton seersucker trousers, £505; navy linen lace-up shoes, £370, all by Bottega Veneta. Blue cotton shirt, £95, by Hackett. Turquoise silk tie, £48, by DKNY. Black ceramic J12 watch, £3,775 by Chanel. Green zip-up leather notebook, £370; turquoise crocodile notebook, £195, both by Smythson)
How to wear it | Ace the details
The closer the pucker in the cotton, the smarter seersucker looks. Team this Yves Saint Laurent clean-cut suit with a sharp-collared shirt and skinny tie. Then punch up the look with a patterned pocket square.
(Grey cotton seersucker suit, £1,290, by Yves Saint Laurent at Matches Fashion. Cream cotton shirt, £89, by Brooks Brothers. Navy club stripe wool tie, £110, by John Varvatos. Red and blue patterned silk pocket square, £35 by Thomas Pink. Black ceramic J12 watch, £3,775, by Chanel)
(Red and white cotton seersucker blazer, £400; blue cotton shirt, £125; green, navy and white checked cotton tie, £75; blue cotton chinos, £140; red cotton socks, £14, all by Hackett. Brown and white leather lace-up brogues, £195, by Grenson. Black ceramic J12 watch, £3,775, by Chanel)
Words by Max Olesker
Photography by Roger Rich
Fashion by Gareth Scourfield