All season long, Nantucket Island swarms with nature's most vibrant, inviting color palettes. Sunrises brighten our mornings with purple and skies, hilly bogs fill with maroon and red cranberries, and the deep blue tides turn frothy and white as they crash toward our shores. We think that's why madras and Massachusetts go so well together; the distinct, colorful plaid fabric is a summertime essential, and we offer several ways to style it just right for your own Nantucket adventures. Don't miss the video at the bottom with Bill Murray talking about Madras!
It's easy to figure out what to wear with madras if you stick to one rule: keep it simple! When it comes to accessorizing such bright colors, soft is safe and showy is too extreme. We do offer several options in lighter, more muted patterns; it's okay to bring out a pale blue scheme with pops of neon, but neutral is best for the rest of it. The vibrant colors in our madras apparel really shine when we pair them with white, tan, or gray fabric that stays out of the way.
Our Montauk madras shift dress is bursting with the rainbow's warmest colors; strips of lavender are scattered throughout a pattern dominated by bold neon pink, bright yellow, and oranges that range from peach to deep blood orange. Its flattering bateau neckline doesn't leave room for a necklace, but jewelry should be kept to a minimum anyway to let the dress make the statement. Simple earrings from Loren Hope, such as delicate Sophia studs with coral glass stones, offer a subtle complement to the dress's color spectrum.
Skirts are versatile summer staples that add a feminine touch and breezy comfort to strolls along the beach, afternoon lunches, and even trips to the mainland. We think madras skirts are even better at making you look confident and comfortable, especially when you accent them with elegant jewelry.
For a final addition to your green Madaket madras harbor skirt, drape Loren Hope's long, gold-plated turquoise pendant necklace over a white tank top or tee. Meanwhile, Kiel James Patrick's hand-knotted Adalie Sunkiss sailing bracelet is a perfect match for the aquamarine, perwinkle, and salmon in our mid-thigh or knee-length Beach House madras skirt.
Women's Madras Hoodies
Madras has continued to evolve since its journey from the marketplaces of South India to the shoes of Nantucket Island. It was first crafted in Madras (now Chennai), India, with the hot sun in mind, and it's still sported under that same sun every summer. Thanks to the addition of women's hoodies to our inventory, you can incorporate it into your nighttime wardrobe too.
After the sun sets and the sand gets chilly, strike up a bonfire and spend the evening in our Newport madras hoodie sweatshirt. With black that matches the starry sky and blues pulled straight from the ocean (including the pale blue of its soft, terry cloth lining), it's a fitting choice for a night on the beach. Channel seaside nostalgia with Eliza B. leather ascots in stingrcobalt blue.
Our Myrtle Beach madras pattern is one of our favorites. Its patchwork pastels are feminine and summery, and it's easy to find a shirt in pale pink, green, blue, or yellow. Because it's available in shorts, Bermuda shorts, or pants, that shirt can be anything from a tank top to a silk blouse, depending on the event you'll be attending. If it's a casual one, we recommend a Harding-Lane needlepoint hat like their pale blue mermaid hat. And if you're going formal in the form-fitting pants, make a statement with Loren Hope's small dahlia cuff in lilac; each of the brass bracelet's five, hand-polished glass petals are surrounded by real Swarovski crystals.
Men's Madras Shorts
Esquire Magazine called shorts the "easiest" way for men to introduce madras into their wardrobe. They recommend a simple, plain white T-shirt to pull off the loud pattern as casually as possible. To support the neutral, laid-back look, opt for the white cotton and split leather in Kiel James Patrick's Mariner and Cape Poge Bay sailor rope bracelet.
Our loudest pair by far are the Marblehead madras whaler shorts, on which patches of bright green, picnic-blanket gingham are stitched between a variety of bold plaid squares, some in matching shades of green and others in jarringly sophisticated deep reds and blues. Offset the potential for clashes by bringing out those patriotic hues. Try a Smathers & Branson cotton twill, needlepoint hat; they have plenty of choices in both faded rust and navy, which are adorned with everything from a mako shark to a fishing lure. To really balance out this ensemble, we recommend a navy hat with a sea turtle that unites the bright greens and dark blues in one swift move.