Sunday, May 8, 2011

Yay or nay: The patchwork madras jacket

I always have a shortlist of items in my head that I'd like to add to my wardrobe. For the past year or so, I've been wanting to add not only a decent seersucker jacket (or suit), but a madras jacket as well. When I ran across a vintage patch madras number on ebay a couple months ago, I put my bid in and ended up getting it for incredibly cheap.

patch madras jacket
On a casual Friday at the office, I paired it with a white OCBD, some dark denim, and some red suede bucks. As you can see, it's not the typical madras jacket, as the fabric patches are made up of much darker colors, include black watch plaid and others. Kinda crazy, but that's what these jackets tend to be.

patch madras close up
Plain cotton pocket square here on the detail shot.

red suede bucks
Another shot of the shoes. I'll write more about them later, after I've seen how well they wear and hold together.

Veering back to the jacket, I have to say that I caught more flack for wearing it than I have just about anything I've donned in the past couple years. One co-worker called it a, "crazy old man jacket" and even my wife added to the chorus of boos. It was kind of tough to hear, because I actually like it quite a bit, but what say you, fair reader? Is it as bad as others have stated, or should I keep it in my arsenal for future GTH days?


  1. This is a keeper. Screw the comments from the timid... there is a reason we don't ask for or accept style advice from the undaring and stiff.

  2. You wear this thing 'til you have to sew YOUR OWN patches into it! Patchwork. Tartan. Madras. ..Amazing. AND red bucks! A sartorial bow to you, sir.

  3. I have 3 patch mad jackets, and I love them all. The trick is to be able to wear them, and not let them wear you. If you can wear them without feeling sheepish about it then do so. If you feel even the least silly, don't. The jacket will eat you alive.

    I too love the kicks.

  4. You should keep it in your closet, even if you never wear it again. Owning such a beast will fuel your confidence like nothing else.

  5. Thanks everyone for the comments. I think previous to making this post, I was actually leaning on the side of letting this one go, but I'm going to sack up and keep it for sure now. Next time out, I think I'll have to pair it with some bright green pants and really make heads roll. :)

  6. I catch flack for my summer cloths - patch madras coat, blue seersucker, and a chino suit. Thankfully my wife bites her tongue. That said, I've had the madras for 4 years and its the most comfortable coat I own. I wouldn't trade it for anything.

  7. I can't abide patch anything, and I detest GTH.

    I'm not the best person to ask.

    However, I will offer this piece of advice: only one *ahem* prominent item per outfit. I have some bold shirts and ties; I never pair them. A bold shirt gets a plain tie (often a solid), and a bold tie gets a solid shirt (usually blue). My white duck pants get worn with a navy blazer. My spectators get worn with otherwise unremarkable clothes. And so forth.

    More than one bold item per outfit usually makes the wearer look like a clown. I suggest you check out Giuseppe Timore's fine blog, An Affordable Wardrobe, for how to wear GTH.

  8. This is a really bad look. This is a little bold for a madras jacket. The beauty of madras is its faded look. This used to be achieved by the natural bleeding of the fabric when vegetable dies were used. Now, good madras will come slightly faded (see the shorts currently offered by J Press for a good example). Pairing this with those red shoes and jeans makes it look even worse. Next time try khakis and some kind of brown leather shoe. tseidel is right on how to pair bold items. Also, don't roll your shirt over the jacket - one stylistic flair too many (especially given the sideburns you are rocking).

    I have many GTH items and where them frequently. I would never, however, imagine wearing them to work. About the most formal you can get with the GTH look is wearing this stuff to a party of some sort (e.g., cocktail party, rehearsal dinner). Maybe on a Friday in the summer you can think about busting something crazy out at work, but this jacket is just ugly.

    You look like a clown

  9. Anonymous: I probably shouldn't even respond considering you're likely a hit-and-run commenter, but I thank you for your comment and even welcome it. You raise some good points (especially on the sleeve cuffs, which I mainly let fly due to the heat and ride home on my bike).

    I'm all for debate and even outright dismissal of my stylistic choices (and I often make posts knowing darn well I'm going to take some flack), but there's no need for name calling.


  10. Nope, I'm back! The truth hurts sometimes, but if you don't want it then don't put yourself out on the internet for everyone to see and then ask for comments. I'm not calling you a name. I am merely stating that you literally look like a clown. Do a google image search for clown jacket and you will see what I am referring to. With that said, I admire anyone that is trying to dress in anything more than t-shirts and jeans. I have learned a tremendous amount over the past two years form reading blogs like yours. Keep it up and don't be dismayed by what you may perceieve as name calling. As others have said, you can't be timid in wearing this stuff. Part of not being timid is not being bothered by anonymous internet posters like myself.

  11. That's fair. I guess I read you above comment a bit more pointedly, but I see what you're getting at.

    I've mentioned it before and will continue to say it, but I'm learning as I go as well, and part of the fun is sorting things out and getting opinions on it.

    Thanks again for the comment(s). Stop by again and hopefully I'll have something in a Style Share post that you find interesting.

  12. Those are some amazing red bucks my pale brother.

  13. While not a fan of the red bucks the jacket is a classic. I own enough Madras to sink a ship and love it. You should consider a Blackwatch dinner jacket as well, I own one and rarely go to black in non social formal situations (i.e. Opera etc), formal dinners at or black tie weddings are perfect for a Balckwatch dinner jacket. Sets you apart in a sea of conformity

  14. I looked at this again.

    I still can't abide patch anything.

    Having said that, this jacket is just way too loud. Do you think you could soak it in something to get it to bleed and lose some brightness? Heck, hot water might be enough.

    Giuseppe had a post about a vintage madras jacket that he soaked--to get rid of the stench--with unexpected, yet highly favorable, results for the color. It's here.

    Sadly, there's no way to spot test it, and you could end up ruining the jacket. From where I sit, that's no loss, but I can see how you might be upset.

    This advice is worth exactly what you paid for it :-)

  15. Loose the jeans and throw in some white slacks with a straw boater hat....lawd have mercy!!!!