I have always wanted a blue seersucker suit.
I'm not the type who's inclined to drop large amounts of money on clothes; there are too many books, records and DVDs to buy. But ever since I saw Robert Harper's character "Bubba", the lawyer on the fantastic, one-season wonder, New Orleans-set TV show "Frank's Place", I have wanted one of those suits.
I needed a nice suit for my old friend Matt Brown's wedding, so this was the perfect occasion. I casually mentioned to him that I might buy one for the wedding, and he got very excited. "Oh man," he said, "I'd love to see you in one of those!"
Problem was ... nobody had the damn things in stock. At least none of the nice cheap-suit places I'd be inclined to get one. Finally, the stodgy old Brooks Brothers came through. My dad helped out with a pair of white shoes, and a new, more understated band for my beloved, venerable old straw hat (which at the time I usually only wore to outdoor music festivals).
When I showed up at the wedding and got out of my Bug with the suit on, the combined effect rocked. Matt (who himself was stunningly dressed in a long, beautifully embroidered Nehru-style jacket) took one look, then his eyes lit up. He ran over, exclaimed, "Wow, you did it!" and gave me a huge smooch. I smooched him back, too -- his bride didn't mind.
This picture was taken in April of 1999 by my friends Michael and Louise Pemberton, who became French Quarter residents by August and subsequently settled in the Marigny. I'm standing in front of one of my very favorite (and one of the very best) restaurants in New Orleans -- Brigtsen's, at the Riverbend. The meal that evening was fabulous, and the funny thing is ... nobody said a word about the suit (seersucker not being uncommon in New Orleans), but I got two compliments on the tie, which is taken from a Frank Lloyd Wright design. Both the maitre'd and the waitress who seated and served us said, "Nice tie!" (Well, it did go well with the suit.) I get compliments on that tie every time I wear it.
The problem with a blue seersucker suit is that these days, you usually see only 60-year-old men wearing them. I'm only about two-thirds that age (and can get away with claiming to be just over half), and ... I can make that suit look good.
chuck's bio | the gumbo pages
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