Madras is one of my favorite summer cloths. Madras is commonly made from a lightweight cotton fabric that resembles a plaid or patchwork design. Patchwork madras fabric is created from cutting several plaid fabrics into 3 inch squares and sewing them all together.
Originally named “Madrasi checks” and founded in Chennai, India, Madras was brought to Europe by the English empire in the 1600s. Madras made its way to the United States in the early part of the 1700’s and became a staple for the wealthy, as it was one of the easiest fabrics to wear to combat the summer’s heat. Fast forward to the 1950’s and Madras is back as a staple in the wardrobes of Ivy leaguers everywhere.
Today madras is typically worn as a statement piece in the summer. Madras comes in a variety of wardrobe options including button down collared shirts, shorts, blazers, ties, and pocket squares. Due to the various colours in the cloth, Madras is actually easier to wear than you think. The rule when wearing madras is to keep other items you pair softer in colour and solid in print. For some extra inspiration, above are two looks incorporating a madras blazer and shirt.
If I had to recommend one madras piece for any guy, it would be a madras button down shirt. If you already have this piece in your wardrobe and you are feeling adventurous, why not try a blazer or a pair of madras shorts. Just remember never wear these pieces all together!