Thursday, May 18, 2023


J. Crew Patch Madras circa 2007

Many of us grew up wearing madras in the summer - I recall having a patch madras one piece swimsuit, a madras Bermuda bag, and a madras wrap skirt that I loved. I have been wanting to find a madras piece or two for my summer wardrobe. I love these pieces from J. Crew many years back.

Madras refers to a colorful and lightweight cotton fabric, woven into distinct combinations of horizontal and vertical stripes. To oversimplify - madras is the warm-weather cousin of the wintertime staple, tartan. 

Authentic madras comes from a region in southeast India that was once called Madraspatnam, which is known today as Chennai. Cotton yarn is hand-dyed and then hand-spun. The yield is cloth that is the same on both sides with tell-tale bumps that result from the yarn being too fragile to be combed or carded. 

Madras has been a preppy classic for decades.

J.Crew Limited Edition Long Patch Madras Skirt - circa 2007

I got this madras Frances Valentine dress recently and love it. A great statement piece - no longer available in the madras unfortunately.

Frances Valentine Bliss Exploding Madras Dress

These two pieces available now are very chic. This patch madras skirt has such a vintage vibe. I would wear it with a classic white shirt or a navy blue polo shirt. I especially love patch madras.

Jacqueline Patchwork Madras Skirt

This madras beach sarong can be worn three different ways: tied at the waist as a skirt, tied at the chest as a bandeau dress or tied around the neck as a halter. 


  1. I love madras! Next up is seersucker.

  2. Your madras post brought back a happy memory for me. My Aunt and Uncle invited me to spend two weeks with them at a lodge in Maine in the early sixties. I was the perfect companion for their 12 year old daughter, since we were the same age. One rainy day we all went shopping to a nearby town. They bought us both matching madras shorts. I loved those shorts.

  3. I love madras! My husband has a couple of madras shirts which are quite old now. I still love them. I also had a madras swimsuit.

  4. Thanks for the memories, Beth. I had madras bermuda shorts, shirt, blazer. At different times. Bought the blazer in Georgetown so long ago.

  5. Ellen Cashen StoneMay 19, 2023 at 10:38 AM

    Love this post! I had some cool patch madras bell bottoms and of course the purse too back in the day!

  6. Love this post. I love Madras and always will. There are so many different patterns you can't lose with any of them. Your post is the best.