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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

A Proposal

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.




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The Editor's Room

Weekly Commentary with New Orleans Magazine’s Errol Laborde


Errol LabordeErrol Laborde holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of New Orleans and is the editor-in-chief of Renaissance Publishing. In that capacity he serves as editor/associate publisher of New Orleans Magazine and editor/publisher of Louisiana Life magazine.

Errol is also a producer and a regular panelist on Informed Sources, a weekly news discussion program broadcast on public television station WYES-TV, Channel 12. Errol is a three-time winner of the Alex Waller Award, the highest award given in print journalism by the Press Club of New Orleans. He also received the National and City Regional Magazine Association Award for Best Column for his New Orleans Magazine column, beating out 76 city magazines across the country. In 2013, Errol received the award for the "Best News Affiliated Blog," awarded by the Press Club of New Orleans.

Errol’s most recent books are Krewe: The Early Carnival from Comus to Zulu and Marched the Day God: A History of the Rex Organization. In his free time he enjoys playing tennis and traveling with his wife, Peggy, to anywhere they can get away to, but some of his favorite spots are the Caribbean and historic locations around Louisiana. You can reach Errol at (504) 830-7235 or errol@myneworleans.com.




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