Patchwork Madras Shorts

Patchwork Madras Shorts

I love madras. There’s nothing like a nice light madras in the summer. I own quite a few madras shirts, but when it comes to madras shorts I don’t own a single pair. It’s time to change that.

I definitely have a type when it comes to madras. I tend to avoid brightly colored madras preferring more muted tones. I have used the term muddy madras to describe my type before. I couldn’t remember where I got that term, but it came to me the other day. It turns out that I was standing on the shoulders of giants. The term originated from the trad legend Heavy Tweed Jacket (HTJ).

When it comes to shorts (or pants for that matter) I have a different madras preference. That preference is patchwork. I don’t quite know why, but I find patchwork madras shorts a lot easier to wear than a single madras pattern. I am not saying a single pattern can’t be pulled off well, but it has a much greater chance of looking dated in my opinion.

I recently scored a backup pair of my favorite Ralph Lauren chino shorts on Ebay for pennies on the dollar. I am not a huge fan of clothes shopping on Ebay in general, but riding high off my recent shorts purchase I went looking on Ebay for a pair of patchwork madras shorts. There were lots to choose from. I probably viewed 20-30 pair before I settled on a pair. In the end I didn’t go with Ralph, Brooks, or even Castaway clothing, but Old Navy. Yes, you heard that right, Old Navy.

Old Navy Patchwork Madras Shorts
Old Navy Patchwork Madras Shorts

When picking out a patchwork I have one tip. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. This is especially true for patchwork madras. Don’t get caught up evaluating if you like each individual panel. Instead, take a step back or zoom out if your shopping online and look at it as one pattern. Whether you like how it looks from this perspective is far more important than each panel since this is how it will be seen both by others and by you in your full length mirror.

In the end it all worked out well. My shorts came in from Ebay and they were great. They were long. Probably close to 12 inches, but I knew that when I bought them. That’s an easy fix. I paid $15 for the shorts and $10 more to have them hemmed. I dropped them off at the dry cleaner down the street and a few days later I field tested them on the golf course. All in all not bad for $25!

oxford cloth button down
Jerrod Swanton is a simple man interested in simple, classic, and traditional style.

4 Comments on "Patchwork Madras Shorts"

  1. Tie clip says:

    Hi Jerrod, nice patchwork madras short. Glad your enjoying them, they obviously slotted into your wardrobe and style easily since they’re an Ivy Staple. I used to have a few pairs of PRL patchwork madras shorts and board shorts that were flat fronted, but I moved on to the PRL double front pleated regular madras shorts when my waistband expanded… Lol.
    Question: Would you wear anything else in patch madras asides from shorts and shirts?
    Also I agree that patch madras shorts are easier to wear then regular madras shorts when starting out.
    Thanks for the blog post, it’s nice to read your posts again

    • oxford cloth button down says:

      It’s feels good to be welcome back, thanks! I have a patchwork madras hat that I like. I actually have 2. I just scored my new one. In theory I’d wear patchwork madras pants if the patchwork is right but I just have to prepare myself for the amount of attention they’d get lol. So, that’s a hat and a probably for pants if the setting was right. I think PRL does the best patchwork madras design/colors btw.

      • Tie clip says:

        No worries! Yeah patchwork madras trousers are a tricky one aren’t they? I’ve never been brave enough to dress that boldly with casual trousers, I feel like they’re up there with critter trousers or Nantucked reds. Yeah I think your right about PRL doing the best patch madras designs/colours. Spier and Mackay tries but they never seem to get it right somehow…?!?

        On a similar note, do you think you’ll consider writing a favorites list of your top 5 or top 10 Spring/Summer wardrobe staples sometimes soon? I always enjoy the list type posts.
        Thanks Jerrod

  2. Irving G. Steinberg says:

    Hi Jerrod, great madras! And so great to see these new posts as well as the old posts back
    online. And congratulations on all the new updates to your life! How exciting.

    I always prefer madras in plaids (the retro me ) but patchwork is fun. Been looking for a tasteful vintage mid century madras sport coat (I ditched my old ones due to ill fit) but it seems the stock
    Online has all disappeared into closets again. Looking forward to your posts again!

I would like to hear from you