Madras, Or Should We Say Chennai?


Madras, the golf course favorite of many an American male, is an exceedingly comfortable summer fabric—originating in Chennai (once called Madras), India. As loud as an item of clothing can be, and befitting the American reputation for our occasional loudness, it is nonetheless appropriately stylish, especially when worn with a certain nonchalance.

It works especially well paired with a t-shirt and snug denim jacket (vintage 1960s US-made Lee, in this case), and Kenyatas sneakers, which although I’m generally opposed to wearing for non-athletic endeavors, I’m willing to make exception for on occasion. Especially if they’re made not in an Asian factory but in Kenya, as these are. When was the last time you wore an Indian fabric (by Brooks Brothers, no less) with African shoes? Anti-colonialists rejoice: clothing from three continents, all encompassing former colonies.

As for other items of Madras clothing—such as jackets—yes; I do have an opinion…

Labels: Fashion, Homme     permalink

6 thoughts on “Madras, Or Should We Say Chennai?

  1. You have great “style”, or at least I believe so since I too own this very pair of pants from Brooks Brother’s. As for your opinion of style above, couldn’t be more accurate. I don’t care what others think. It is about how I feel. At least in association with dressing….

  2. On the subject of Africa, these trousers remind me of a pair that I once bought from an African mama on a beach in Senegal. Every morning she (and other mamas) would come to our beachfront shack with baskets on their heads, sit down and unfurl their wares – bracelets, their husbands’ ebony animal carvings, and these local trousers made from improvised cloth. They were made from many different scraps of fabric (of wild patterns, african prints and colours) all sewn together. They are truly beautiful in their own way and quite functional, resembling drawstring pyjamas. I might re-use them as loungewear.

  3. PS I was looking for images of senegalese trousers and discovered via one link that a Senegalese gentleman sells them via a stall on the corner of 7th Avenue and 10th street in the west village NYC. I don’t know if that is near you or not, but it should be worth a visit if you’re in the area.

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