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Seersucker Thursday hits the Senate floor

Thursday - 6/21/2012, 6:04am  ET

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Here's a look at Seersucker Thursday's 2006 Senate participants. (Courtesy of U.S. Senate)

Lacey Mason, wtop.com

WASHINGTON - It's Seersucker Thursday in the District.

The thin, cotton and puckered seersucker fabric was brought to the colonies by the British originally, according to the Senate.

The first seersucker suit was made in 1907 by a New Orleans clothier. The lightweight fabric was named for the Persian words "milk" and "honey."

The suits were often worn by members of the Senate during hot summer months until the 1950s. Then air conditioning became the norm, making it unnecessary to wear special clothing.

But in 1996, Mississippi Sen. Trent Lott wanted to revive the tradition -- and Seersucker Thursday was born.

Now, seersucker fabric is a fashion statement. It's no longer solely used for business suits and isn't limited to men. Seersucker dresses are a big hit.

There's even an annual Seersucker Social where participants take a 5- to 10-mile bike ride which ends on the lawn of Hillwood Estate. Click here for photo and video from last year's event.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)