The $1,100 Vintage Madras Jacket

Last year we reported on a $1,200 Ralph Lauren madras sportcoat; the price struck us as a little steep, not by the standards of RL, but of the fabric.

This year the headline stealer is this vintage patch madras jacket from Chipp, for which an eBay seller is asking $1,100.

The seller’s rationale for the steep tariff is that the jacket’s provenance. It comes from Chipp, who are credited with either inventing or at least popularizing the patching of madras. Coincidentally, Chipp also made clothing for JFK and other notable personae. Ergo to own this jacket is akin to owning a work of art or historic artifact a few degrees of separation removed from touch football at Hyannis Port.

It’s the kind of thing that’s only possible thanks to the Internet, which has created a small cognoscenti who actually might care about original patch madras from Chipp, as well as providing the appropriate buzz machine. “If Put This On features this,” wrote Zachary DeLuca, the vintage Ivy clothing dealer who alerted us to the listing, “it might actually go for asking price.” — CHRISTIAN CHENSVOLD

15 Comments on "The $1,100 Vintage Madras Jacket"

  1. C’mon, the seller doesn’t even know what a 3/2 roll is! Unbutton that top button and add $100 to the price.

  2. Thanks, Christian and Zachary, for spreading the word on this. Fun article.

  3. I don’t think even we have the power to get someone $1100 for a Chipp madras coat.

  4. Derek Guy | May 14, 2012 at 9:59 am |

    Seller was smart to list Ivy Style before the NYT.

  5. Tom Conroy | May 14, 2012 at 3:58 pm |

    You might be able to get Mr. Winston to custom make you one for the same price.

  6. It doesn’t even look like it’s been dry cleaned (at least it’s free shipping). I’m sure a good cleaner could be found to get it in presentable condition. I’m left wondering how the seller came up with $1,100.00 since the coat doesn’t seem to be the seller’s specialty. Additionally, I would think that a Chipp coat with the hallmark vivid lining would be far more desirable than this one. Other than the Chipp tag and the 3/2 features, it looks pretty generic.

  7. It’s worth whatever someone is willing to pay… There is likely someone out there for this… I would offer on it but it is not my size. I would think $300-$350 tops for me though.

    Seller seems to sell random vintage things. My guess is she/he is a starving college student who did a quick iPhone search for Chipp while in the thrift store and got the ivy style article… Then paid $40 for the jacket hoping for a big payday and now needs to get a replenshment for summer vacation spending money! Kudos I say… I often troll eBay myself for such things, but rarely get much worth looking at… Good find.

  8. Farmer Jones | May 15, 2012 at 9:40 am |

    The key won’t be finding someone to lay out $1100 for it, it will instead be finding a short-armed freak willing to lay out $1100.

  9. This sort of jacket is a great example of nostalgic ideas trumping both quality and common sense. It’s just cotton patches sewn together and cotton is neither hard-wearing nor an ideal cloth for a jacket. It has little give and drapes badly and it’s probably made from left-over off-cuts of cloth anyway.

    But hey, give it a ‘provenance’ and a name and it becomes something fantastic. Rather than the piece of cheap cotton clown-wear that it is.

  10. Hans,

    “Clown wear.” What an excellent summation of GTH.

    In fact, this jacket would go very well with a Bozo-do and a red nose. Maybe Nantucket Reds down below to keep the red theme going?

  11. I’ve never wore a patch work madras jacket, but I’ve had friends that have and done it well. I have owned muted madras jackets and enjoyed them, cheap and comfortable in warm weather. I’ve never worn one out, I out grew them.

    Cotton is king, it’s cheap, rugged and comfortable. Cotton endures repeated laundering, that’s why dress shirts are made of it, or Levis, or the winners and loser of WWII wore it.

  12. Mitch McDonald | July 3, 2012 at 7:16 am |

    This post reminds me of an old pair of Levi’s up for auction. Something that just boggles you that it was the first of its kind. Magnificent. Something I would love to acquire.

  13. I personally love madras, and bought some madras patchwork fabric at, and found they had a large collection to choose from. I think they are wholesale and retail, both. I got my own jacket made.

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