Why So Many Senators Wore Seersucker Today

It's about time you learned about Seersucker Thursday.
06/08/2017 12:38pm ET | Updated June 8, 2017

Dianne Feinstein knows how to be a boss senator and dress sharply while doing it.

The democratic senator from California showed up to former FBI director James Comey’s hearing on Thursday in a seersucker suit, prompting the internet to go wild.


While some people questioned the appropriateness of the suit given the seriousness of the hearing, it turns out everyone not wearing seersucker is in the wrong.

Today is Seersucker Thursday at the Senate, thanks to a tradition resurrected by the former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.). According to the Senate’s official website, senators in the South used to wear seersucker in the early 1900s to keep cool in the summer (the fabric is very breathable). They continued to wear the fabric until air conditioning became widely available in the 1950s.

But Sen. Lott liked wearing seersucker, and in the 1990s he introduced Seersucker Thursday, reserving it for a “nice and warm” day in the second or third week of June. Sen. Dianne Feinstein later introduced the tradition for women in 2004.

“I would watch the men preening in the Senate,” she said, according to the Senate’s website, “and I figured we should give them a little bit of a horse race.”

The tradition is alive and well again.

Kevin Lamarque / Reuters
Dressed in their seersucker suits, Senators pose for a photo celebrating National Seersucker Day in the U.S. Capitol in Washington June 11, 2015.

A few other senators also showed up in seersucker today:

“[Seersucker Thursday] is just plain fun and celebrates an American product invented in my home state of Louisiana,” Sen. Cassidy told Roll Call on Wednesday. “It’s a lighthearted tradition and shows that the Senate isn’t a bunch of boring suits.”

People clearly loved that Sen. Feinstein was also keeping the tradition alive:

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