Prep Work: White and Dirty Bucks

G.H. Bass Buckingham Buc

G.H. Bass Buckingham Buc

Seersucker season is here. I don’t care what anyone says, it starts on Easter and it’s acceptable to wear any time between Easter and Memorial Day that the weather warrants pants that will stay cool. Like peanut butter and jelly, seersucker has an almost inseparable partner, the white or dirty buck. These are the official shoes of the seersucker suit and mark the beginning of warm weather as much as seersucker and sundresses.  


Bucks got their name from the original material used to make them, soft deerskin. Buckskin, if you didn’t make the connection. Bucks first appeared around 1870 and were often worn on the tennis court. The leather was dyed white, or in the case of the dirty buck, a light tan. Today white bucks are typically made from nubuck while tan bucks are typically made from suede.

The other distinctive characteristic of the buck is its signature red brick sole. While there doesn’t appear to be any definitive evidence, it’s commonly believed the red brick sole came about in the 1930s. White bucks really took off in the 1950s thanks to singer Pat Boone.

Where to Wear

Church, the country club, formal, a Southern plantation, a debutante ball, a summer wedding, a party at Gatsby’s house, a picnic on the lawn, a walk in the park. The great thing about bucks is that they toe the line between casual and dressy. Dress them up or treat them like a fancy tennis shoe.

The Options

Prep Work White Bucks Shoes J.Crew Walk Over Allen Edmonds Club Monaco Cole Haan Todd Snyder Walk-Over Brooks Brothers Sperry Top-Sider

Clockwise (from top left): Allen Edmonds Leeds Blucher for Club Monaco | Cole Haan & Todd Snyder Willet Plain Oxford | Brooks Brothers Classic Bucks | Sperry Top-Sider Gold Cup Bellingham Cap Toe Oxford | Walk-Over George | J.Crew Kenton Suede Bucks

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