Photo by Muffy Aldrich
The Modern Guide to The Thing Before Preppy

Friday, February 9, 2024

Patchwork Madras Shorts

Muffy Aldrich wearing patchwork madras shorts in Newport, supplied by Cape Madras.  Photo by Salt Water New England
Somewhere between khakis and GTH pants are Patchwork Madras Shorts.  Definitely jaunty, comfortable enough to be put on and forgotten about, and always game, they epitomize summerwear.  As with most preppy staples (and Bond movies and pizza), even fairly mediocre examples of patchwork madras shorts are completely serviceable.    

Given the summer season is quickly approaching, what are your thoughts on patchwork madras shorts (dos and don'ts), and where do you get yours?


 

20 comments:

  1. Perfection! Thanks once again.

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  2. Been wearing patchwork Bermudas (Cape & Westwood) from Cape Madras for years. They’re the best. Wear them with a white or navy shirt, and you can’t go wrong. If you’re feeling especially genteel, combine with a blazer, and a straw-hat.

    https://capemadras.com/collections/men/products/mens-madras-bermuda-short-westwood

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    1. Mr. Reichardt, You are my style guru.

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    2. Much obliged, as they say in the Cowboy Movies.

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  3. Forgot to mention - always wear a solid color belt with the madras - critter/theme belts are too much.

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    1. "Too much" is the whole point old sport!

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    2. Exactly, Anon @ 7:30 PM, “too much of everything is just enough.”

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  4. Most definitely yes. I have gotten several pairs at thrift store.

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  5. I've had a pair of Bermuda shorts, a shift dress, and pull-on slacks in the same Madras fabric, all bought decades ago. They are some of the most comfortable summer clothing I have! I have tried to order Cape Madras' Lennox shorts for a few years now, but shorts for ladies in my size seem forever difficult to keep in stock.

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  6. Not something we staid Englishmen would normally wear, but if I can get hold of a pair I may give them a try (just for fun!)

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  7. I am in stitches over "As with most preppy staples (and Bond movies and pizza), even fairly mediocre examples of patchwork madras shorts are completely serviceable."

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  8. In 1966, when I was 14, I had a patch madras zip-up windbreaker with a hood that I just loved. Then in the '80s, when I was cute and slim, a favorite summer outfit was: Ralph Lauren drawstring waist patch madras short shorts in shades of pink, rose, coral, and green, worn with a pink RL pique polo shirt, firm popped collar, banded sleeves. This looked great with a deep tan. (Thank the deities I don't now have skin cancer from those years of Cape summers.)

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  9. The more washed and faded, the better!

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  10. Trying to find authentic, bleeding-madras patchwork shorts is not easy these days. Wear them with a solid color shirt, either a light blue oxford cloth button down or a navy blue polo shirt.

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    1. Exactly! More than that is too much. It goes from colorful to tacky very easily.

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    2. O'Connell's still has some bleeding madras clothinghttps://oconnellsclothing.com/catalogsearch/result/?q=madras+shorts

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  11. Been wearing the same pair of Madras shorts for over 30 years. Interior drawstring. They don’t make them like they used to. If I had to replace them, O’Connell’s has good options.

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    1. Check the sizes on O'Connell's offerings. For better selection and some deals (New Englanders love good deals), check Castaway's sale offerings. Probably the hardest to find are true Madras shorts that are of one fabric, not patches. They have nearly disappeared. I would like to see the Original Madras Trading Company offer them. I, like others here, like Madras old and soft enough to be nearing the point of disintegration.

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  12. Is the yellow block a GPS distress locator Muffy ?

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  13. Madras rules! I miss the skirt I wore in high school.
    New and used, Madras color choices are lacking. Shopping for fabric, many plaids are listed as Madras.

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