Coming Summer Must Have The Madras Sports Coat

Posted on July 11, 2013 by Roger Stone

Madras, Wikipedia tellsl us is a lightweight cotton fabric with typically patterned texture and plaid design, used primarily for summer mens trousers, shirts and sports jacket ( although, egad, never together!)The fabric takes its name from the former English name of the city of ChennaiIndia. This cloth also was identified by the colloquial name, Madrasi checks. Madras today is available as plaid patterns in regular cotton, seersucker and as patchwork madras.

Madras is notable because the front and back of the fabric are indistinguishable.One style popular during the 1960s was called bleeding Madras. It used dyes that were not colorfast in a typically plaid design, resulting in bleeding and fading colors that yielded a new look to the fabric each time it was laundered. Patchwork madras is fabric that is derived from cutting several madras plaid fabrics into strips, and sewing them back together as squares of 3 inch sizes, that form a mixed pattern of various plaids criss crossing.  This smashing  is in a three button sports jacket or a full cut trouser.

Full cut shorts for the Hamptons or the Cape. Neck ties and belts work too. Madras began in the 1960s on Ivy campauses and became a peppy staple, embraced by WASPS everywhere. Ted Kennedy sported madras at Harvard before he got thrown out for cheating.  As a student ,Bill Buckey wore madras shorts to a Yale Political Union meeting. Grace Kelly wore a madras skirt as did Dina Merrill. A cocktail party must.

Southern Republican power-broker and long-time Mississippi Republican National Committeeman Clarke T. Reed  ( When Clarke Reed say yes he means no..Ronald Reagan) always showed up in a patchwork madras sports coat and charcoal slacks and sub-dude elephant club tie at each Republican Conventions as did early Goldwaterite and Nebraska Republican National Committeeman Dick Herman.  Eisenhower Cabinet Secretary Bern Shanley of New Jersey wore a madras sportscoat to the 1964 convention. Bill Weld and Tucker Carlson clearly have them in their closets.(Welds ancestors are so old-money when asked were they got their hats they said We dont get our hats, we have our hats. Madras reeks of martinis, G and Ts , trust funds and old old money, perfect for GOP.

Jacket or trousers are cool when when paired with a Brooks Brothers or J. Press  all-cotton button down and proper club tie, ribbon belt optional. Bow-tie friendly. Each pattern unique and available in any hue. Bass Wee-Juns, horse-bit Gucci loafers or white lace-up bucks with red soles. Socks discouraged. Right in Nantucket, Ocean Reef , Cape Cod or Greenwich. You dont have to be old money to dress like it. A crested pinky-ring, a splash of Aqua di Parma, a Cuban cigar, a Bombay Sapphire martini. Old Money.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *