Former Sen. Trent Lott wants to bring seersucker back to the Senate, and he’s got ammunition: more anecdotes than you could imagine about the wrinkly cotton fabric. At a “rally” to promote the fabric at downtown’s Occidental Grill, Lott recalled when a visitor to the Capitol on a Seersucker Thursday asked if the senators wore a uniform.
“Only when they catch us and incarcerate us!” he said.
When Congress cancelled Seersucker Thursday, the cross-party dress-up Lott organized in the ’90’s, this year, presumably thinking that dressing like a drunk-by-noon plantation master isn’t the best move, the Post‘s Dana Milbank lamented the death of another bipartisan tradition. But seersucker was always more about power than bipartisanship—-showing that you have so much of it that you can wear pajamas to work.
That’s why Lott, out of office and essentially a lure for a restaurant’s drink deals (he’s now ensconced at lobbying powerhouse Patton Boggs) looked like he was pre-gaming a horse race involving his own horse, while the other men in seersucker looked like quirky promgoers.
But Lott has another theory.
“They didn’t want to do something that looks like they’re, forgive me, having fun,” he said.
Lott chatted with restaurant staff, reporters, and the four or five actual customers who showed up. He explained the rules of seersucker footwear (white bucks: yes; saddle shoes: OK; black shoes: are you crazy?), and told the stories you would imagine Trent Lott would tell. (Did you know he was one of the Singing Senators? Yes, you did. So did we.)
“In Mississippi, I also raise chickens,” Lott said at one point, holding out his iPhone. “Isn’t that a funny-looking chicken?”
Perhaps realizing that the enthusiasts in the restaurant weren’t the shock troops of sartorial counter-revolution, Lott worked his way to the end of the bar to leave. Spying the move, organizer Adam Shapiro told Washington Examiner Yeas & Nays reporter Jenny Rogers that, if she dodged around a pillar, she could catch him for a quote.
“Yeas and Nays?” Lott said, just steps away from the stairs he had been plodding towards for 15 minutes but still on. “Vote yea on seersucker!”
Photo by Will Sommer