I Love My... Band Of Outsiders White Seersucker Shirt



Thomas Mathew is the e-commerce manager at NYC boutique, OakNYC. He also tweets at @staybrown.

"More often than not, you can catch me when I'm out and and about in a white shirt buttoned up all the way. I appreciate the clean simplicity of them, and they're basically part of my go-to uniform. When people find out where I work, they tend to be surprised I'm not wearing an all-black, asymmetrical, draped number instead of my white button-down (and while I do have a few of those in my wardrobe, I like to gently remind them that Oak is actually a pretty democratic place, and that it's not actually a high-end Hot Topic). More than just the garment itself, I love the idea of the white shirt. They're exceptionally versatile and easy to dress up or dress down, and there's also a fair amount of diversity in the fabrications you can find them in. They're also ephemeral, because I do live in New York City, and this ain't the cleanest place, so they won't stay pristine forever. Because of this, they require a certain diligence, and the ritual of keeping them in tip-top condition can be no easy feat. I like this aspect of them because I'm a pretty firm believer that nothing in life worth having comes easy.

"I keep a steady rotation of them ranging from the amazingly inexpensive Uniqlo oxfords to a few nicer ones, but each summer I always look forward to wearing one in particular: My Band of Outsiders white seersucker shirt. Most people I know that are into Band of Outsiders are like members of a cult—but for good reason. While I haven't drank the entire vat of Kool-Aid myself, I can definitely attest to the fit and fabrication of the shirt. I originally picked it up two years ago at our end-of-season 304050 sale (which is going on right now, actually!) when it reached half-off, so I also kind of love that it was a relatively pragmatic purchase. Since I haven't encountered too many shirts like this, I've taken extra care with it as I don't think it'd be too easy to replace. The fact that it's monochromatic is rare, and I much prefer it over the traditional striped seersucker. I'm also really into the fact that the etymology of seersucker came from my own country, India (thank you Wikipedia). It's held me down for almost every summer wedding I've been to since I've owned it, as well as countless late nights between Brooklyn and Manhattan. It's treated me well and has been something like a good luck charm—I can usually expect something auspicious to happen when I'm wearing it."