CBS Local — Irrespective of the proceedings of former FBI director James Comey testimony to the Senate intelligence committee, something else has caught the eye of those following along: Senator Dianne Feinstein’s seersucker suit. Particularly, those from southern states took notice.
That’s because it’s “Seersucker Thursday.” The tradition was started by Senator Trent Lott in 1996, in a bid to show that “”the Senate isn’t just a bunch of dour folks wearing dark suits and—in the case of men—red or blue ties,” via the US Senate.
Here’s Sen. Feinstein at the James Comey’s public testimony.
Seersucker suits were all the rage before the invention of air conditioning in the 1950s, as they worked better than suits of other material on the hottest days. The word “Seersucker” is derived from the Persian words that mean “milk and sugar”.
Sen. Feinstein was one of the biggest advocates in pushing the tradition of Seersucker Thursday. She picked up where Sen. Lott left off, and in 2004 she encouraged the women of the Senate to join her. She even bought all 14 of them seersucker suits as gifts, and 11 of them wore it the following year.
In 2012, Seersucker Thursday was discontinued before returning in 2015 thanks to Senator Bill Cassidy.