Now Open: Madras Season

Today we honor those who’ve made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. It’s also the unofficial start of summer, and therefore the start of madras season. Pictured above is a shot of 25 people, only one of whom is wearing madras, the man who would become known as our preppiest prez. Happy Memorial Day. 

40 Comments on "Now Open: Madras Season"

  1. Philologue | May 28, 2012 at 6:54 am |

    Perhaps both causal and casual.

  2. This is a true story: Back when he was running for president in 1980, George H.W. Bush (that’s George senior) was giving a speech at his alma mater, Yale University, and being heckled by some students. Someone yelled out that Bush was just another out of touch “Brooks Brothers Republican.” The president, apparently offended by that particular remark, promptly opened his suit coat to reveal its J. Press label.

  3. Old Bostonian | May 28, 2012 at 9:37 am |


    I can assure you that there are Brooks Brothers Democrats, as well, many on the Eastern seaboard. Just because we favor a traditional style of dress doesn’t mean that we want the poor to die on the streets.
    Noblesse oblige. Coming from aristocratic roots imposes social obligations on us. Republicans don’t feel that obligation because they have money, but no aristocratic roots.

  4. We’ve been wear madras in the South for 6 weeks now…it has been 80F+ since March.( We had 94F yesterday.)

  5. MAC,

    Thank you for the humerous aside about G.H.W.B.

    Old Bostonian,

    Thank you for turning a witty aside into simply more political partisanship, of which both sides are equally adept at employing. Also, thank you for treating us all to a such a sweepingly incorrect statement. Now, go back and reread MAC’s post, and reanalyze the source of “Brooks Brothers Republican” in regards to your post.

  6. AldenPyle | May 28, 2012 at 10:53 am |

    The best thing about this picture is that it was taken while GHWB was ambassador to China. Wearing a madras jacket is cool; wearing a madras jacket in Cultural Revolution Beijing = ice cold.

  7. I’ve always thought of madras as NPA.

  8. Uncle Jack | May 28, 2012 at 5:37 pm |

    Old Bostonian,

    You seem to have forgotten the unwritten rule that it’s only acceptable to engage in Democrat-bashing on Ivy/Trad blogs (never the slightest hint of criticism of Republicans).

  9. WRONG. Uncle Jack. Just couldn’t let it be.
    Here we go………AGAIN.

  10. Frisco Fred | May 28, 2012 at 6:04 pm |

    Either Jinx was unable to decipher the irony in Uncle Jack’s comment, or he is unable to comprehend its core truth.

    Some of us have seriously considered giving up the Ivy/Trad style of dressing simply so that we wouldn’t be mistaken for reactionaries, sorry, Republicans.

  11. I was trying to hold out until memorial day, but couldn’t quite make it. I am glad that the season is now officially underway.

  12. “Decipher Irony?”. “Comprehend Core Truth”?…….
    MAC does nothing but recite a humorous anecdote.
    George H.W.Bush giving a speech at Yale.
    Who is it who can’t maintain civility and has to heckle?
    A loudmouth lefty. Mr Bush effortlessly puts him in his

    Hardly fuel to start any kind of debate.

    Please do give up dressing the Ivy/Trad style.Government
    issued clothing should be what you wear if you wish to
    remain truthful to your politics of equality for all.

    Life SHOULD be an all equal paradise heaven on
    earth if your leftist philosophies were correct.
    What does your way of thinking have to do if it
    doesn’t have reality to constantly march against and
    protest against. If liberalism is the all binding force that
    eventually unites us all than it should have simply been
    that way from the start. It wasn’t.
    Authority with a system of checks and balances,
    freewill, responsibility.Consequences of decisions.
    Inequality ,for the umpteenth time, is the natural order
    of life. The way it was and still is.


    Authority did. Without it in place first there is no
    rebellion. OK?.You are the ones with the problem.
    You are the ones who cannot tolerate the gentlest
    of remarks. You are the PC control freaks who
    are going to try and force this world into accepting
    enforced equality for our own good.
    And there is a Lord in heaven whose wrath is
    going to stop you, destroy you. Simple.
    Go ahead, march down another street with really
    big signs of protest………yawwwwwwwn.

  13. Old Bostonian
    I am glad you are proud of your heritage, I am also glad to hear that you and your family have prostrated yourselves caring for the poor.

    I am confused about republicans letting people die in the streets, last I check FBI stats, most people dying in the streets were in cities controlled by the democratic party, blue on blue I guess.

    By the way the US Constitution outlaws the establishment of an aristocracy. So, I assume aristocracy is a state of mind.

  14. Republicans and Democrats: Tweedledum & Tweedledee.

  15. Rhode Island Trad | May 28, 2012 at 8:54 pm |


    It’s always social democrats who are being accused of being PC. But’ in fact, it’s the Republicans who are being PC when they deny the existence of a class system in the U.S.

    By the way, the Constitution provides for lots of things that the majority of Americans still do not benefit from.

    I’m so glad to be living in Canada, where people expressing ideas such as those expressed by Jinques are considered to be sociopaths.

  16. Class system in the US is pretty much based on money, not an aristocracy. In America fortunes are won and lost, industry, intellect and luck play a large part. GHWB is a good example, three or four generations ago the Bushs were blacksmiths.

    By the way, what constitutional rights aren’t afforded all US citizens, rich or poor?

    Canada is a wonderful place, but they don’t even have the right of free speech afford to US citizens. Their government decides what’s PC, if you cross that line you are prosecuted and I guess called a sociopath.

  17. Maple Leaf | May 28, 2012 at 10:14 pm |


    The US is one big concentration camp compared to Canada.

  18. Maple Leaf
    Put the bong down and get some sleep.

  19. Maple Leaf,

    You do realize that you can’t build an argument on confirmation bias, right?

  20. Confirmation bias! Eureka! Why Everett bless you………..
    You do realize that just because the authority of God is too
    overwhelming, humiliating and insulting a concept to humanities
    self righteous arrogant pride doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

  21. Johnny Reb | May 29, 2012 at 7:17 am |

    Why did Old Bostonian have to turn an interesting anecdote into a political debate? And why did he have to bring aristocracy into the subject?

    Old Bostonian: You do know that MAC was quoting GHWB, right? See, when you quote someone, you include quotation marks around the words that they said, indicating that they were from whoever said them, not MAC, who was only repeating them. This means that MAC doesn’t necessarily agree with the argument in the quote. Get it? I would think with your good-hearted aristocratic roots you would pick up on that.

  22. Michael Mattis | May 29, 2012 at 9:01 am |

    Wow. I’m a “San Francisco liberal” compared to most of you and even I thought Old Bostonian’s response to what was simply a funny anecdote was pretty, as the kids would say, “dickish.”

  23. That story was reported in the media, I ran across it searching for where GHWB had wore the madras jacket. AldenPyle evidently knew, it was China.

    The story really was about J. Press and Yale, if the speech was given at University of Kansas would anyone, but a very few get the connection? At Yale it was funny and quick thinking.

    FYI, GHWB also shopped at Brooks Brothers, so my guess is he wore the J. Press jacket on purpose.

  24. Johnny Reb | May 29, 2012 at 10:26 am |

    Old Bostonian:

    You are truly in the dark, my friend. “Doesn’t mean that we want the poor to die on the streets”? Really? Is that what Republicanism means? You know, it’s people like you that fuel the stereotypes of liberals; you’re doing a disservice to your party.

    Enlighten yourself:
    From a Republican’s blog.

  25. Vittorio Affanculo | May 30, 2012 at 3:10 am |

    Can somebody please arrange for ‘JINX’ to get laid? Then he can leave us all in peace.

  26. Good One Vittorio. With enough practice and effort you
    may someday graduate to complete moron ala Andrew Dice
    Clay. Tell me dear boy why is it when the story of your
    life is written it shall be a book of empty pages?
    Stay in the safety of the shallow and superficial end
    of the pool of life you’ve no business in the deep end of
    things. Nice try. Gather up your lack of wit and go home.
    I now leave you in peace.

  27. GOP and DNC: birds of a feather.

  28. Given the sartorially awful decade of the 70s, it’s great to see this photo of GHWB in a classic madras jacket. Bravo! The man knows how to dress.

  29. Dickey Greenleaf | June 9, 2012 at 2:11 pm |

    One thing about Texas, and that is, it’s very clean, neat, and orderly. So that’s my way of saying former President George W. Bush senior is on to something, The Yalee Strikes again.

  30. Spring/Summer 2018 was peak madras mania season. It all went downhill from then. I have a mental picture in my mind of a bunch of unemployed Madras weavers in Chennai sitting around smoking bidis. So sad.

  31. john carlos | May 25, 2020 at 4:59 pm |

    Mitchell- I’m doing my part to keep them employed: sport coat, trousers, belts, sport shirts (long and short sleeved), and several pair of shorts. I’m a long time Madras trad.

  32. @john carlos: well done, sir. A man can’t have too much Madras in his wardrobe.

    Two years ago, Uncle Ralph featured Madras from head to toe in his collection: shoes, socks, hats, shirts, etc…

    I’m surprised the Indian people haven’t given him the kind of recognition that the British royals have given to Sir Ralph.

  33. john carlos | May 25, 2020 at 10:50 pm |

    Mitchell- I’ve been wearing madras since I was in my teens in the 1960’s. I’ve done Uncle Ralph, Gitman, O’Conell’s, and Press. Long live the India plaid.

  34. john carlos | May 25, 2020 at 10:52 pm |


  35. Vern Trotter | May 26, 2020 at 6:07 am |

    When Lee Atwater began to manage the Republican national campaigns, he had GHWB drop the madras, the peppy watch bands and glasses frames. Atwater, from Aitken SC, was a preppy dresser himself. It worked well until Ross Perot cost Bush the White House against Bubba in 1992.

  36. Vern Trotter | May 26, 2020 at 11:05 am |

    Mea culpa. Of course it is Aiken SC. One of America’s nicest towns.

  37. Charlottesville | May 26, 2020 at 12:50 pm |

    I cannot hope to wear it with the aplomb of the late President Bush, but am plugging away in the home office in a J. Press Madras sport coat today. I wore a seersucker sport coat yesterday and hope to continue the post-Memorial Day theme with either a tan poplin or blue pincord suit when I head into my real office tomorrow. Today is warm, the sun is out and if only this infernal plague would abate, it would be about perfect.

  38. Vern Trotter | May 26, 2020 at 4:30 pm |

    Google “Bush looks at his watch!” Take your pick of one or several and see President Bush looking his finest in a navy suit, white shirt and Grenadier Guards tie. Sadly, he looks at his watch just as he is asked a question about his class and upbringing and he gives some pushback while appearing to wish he were elsewhere. A seminal moment in the debate and in the election. Clinton pounced, hit the fastball down the middle over the fence and never looked back!

    Looking at the tape from this distance in time, I suspect the question was a plant by the Clintonistas! But that is politics and GHWB let down his guard. He sure looked great that night however.

  39. Vern Trotter | May 26, 2020 at 5:04 pm |

    Actually that was not a Guards tie on second glance. Some sort of bar stripe, I suppose.

  40. PocketSquare | May 27, 2020 at 4:29 pm |

    At first glance the president looks great, on second glance i am noticing the gentleman to his left wearing a three button tropical poplin suit. On the third glance the gentleman on the presidents far right has a bellows pleat patched pocket with flap! Totally cool vintage image. A lot of individuality in politics in this photo as apposed to almost total conformity you would see in a picture of todays republican party.

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