Madras is one of my favorite summer fabrics. It’s made out of lightweight cotton that can feature a number of different patterns including plaid patchwork designs. A lot of the time when you think madras in menswear, you think of casual button-up shirts, shorts, and accessories, but sometimes the bold printed blazer can add that perfect statement to a neutral look.
Popularized in the 1960’s by American prepsters and Ivy Leaguers, madras was at the pinnacle of the youth movement. It was time to rebel against the blacks and greys of menswear’s past and to add some color to your attire while still looking clean. Correct me if I am wrong, but men’s fashion in 2014 thus far is sounding a very similar tune.
If you are a frequent reader of the blog you know how much the Ivy League look has inspired my style. They just had this casual nonchalance while still maintaining a crisp sartorial edge. The youth of this time revolted their father’s attire and broke down the full suit into what we now know as business casual. They did chinos and printed blazers with button down collared shirts and knitted ties as appose to the norm which was a grey suit, a white shirt, and black tie.
The key to pairing a bold item in your wardrobe is simple; keep the other items in your look neutral. The madras blazer in this case is definitely the bold item so I paired it with a pale blue herringbone shirt, a slim navy knitted tie, a 1 inch tie bar, a cotton pink pocket square, a nato strap watch, beige chinos, and brown tasseled loafers. These items compliment the blazer but don’t overpower it.
This look is perfect for any summer function during the day. This could be an outdoor wedding, a formal picnic, a dressy party on a patio, or your fashion forward casual Friday look. Wherever you wear it, just be ready to catch people’s attention and praises.