So back to madras—in moderation. The record shows that if the sartorial amplifier goes to ten then I’m surely gonna figure a way to get it to eleven. The stories are legendary at Flusser house and with Rykken about their flat-out refusal to make things for me. Things that because of color, pattern-scale or “add-ons” … they just simply would not let me do.
When I had the suit above made many years ago, Alan Flusser looked at the trouser cuffs, the sleeve cuffs and the flap pockets…topped off by a flapped ticket pocket and facetiously asked if there was anywhere else on the garment I might want another “flap”. Hell, I thought he was serious and so I requested a rundown on what the additional aftermarket add-on flap options might be. Maybe a spoiler or a pop-up windscreen across the shoulders. Oh hell, why not a cape? And I remember Puerto Rykken in a sigh of resignation one time declaring that if there was an option for triple-vents on a sportcoat…I’d request it. I thought about it for a moment and declared that I’d prefer more like a quadruple or pentagonally vented suit. Then you’d have strips of fettuccini flat noodle-esque grass skirt danglers on the rear of your jacket. A much more interesting manifestation of movement … kind of a grass skirt swish-swishing on the lower back third of an otherwise classically contrived contrivance. And who the hell wouldn’t want that?
Easter Sunday seems to be the church house goin’ day when more people decide to attend and they roll in marginally better dressed than usual. I think Jesus chuckles. Jesus Chuckles—he was a wrestler back in ’68—from one of the border towns—near Brownsville. He beat Wahoo McDaniel, or was it Junkyard Dog, like a borrowed mule one night at the Florence, South Carolina fairgrounds. My daddy bankrolled the rumble.
Oh—clothes and Easter Sunday, that’s it. Bottom line is that Jesus cares not what we wear to His house but I always at minimum wear a coat and most times I’m gonna cinch-up with a tie. There’s one of my previous handlin’ contrivances above.
But what about madras? It may be too early in some parts for madras inclusion on Easter Sunday. Or some might say that it’s too casual and festive for church. Are you kidding me? Have you seen some of the swathings or lack thereof in the pews lately? I’ll halt the rant right here and refer us back to the point I made about Jesus not caring—as long as you are in the pew. And I wore madras on Easter Sunday. Restrained.
I know not from where this reservoir of restraint in me filled. Alchemy, astronomy, juju, the Powerball Lottery…I’m not the guy to much believe in such. And I have a constant need to pray and almost beg for reassurance of my fundamental faith(s). Alls I can say is that from somewhere, a little madras voice spoke to me…mighta been Wahoo McDaniel…and the voice said in an earth toned-muted-muffled-breathy-throaty whisper … “you’ve got enough redneck tacky loud “look at me-look at me” madras. Let’s contrive something more moderated-modulated and muted—something kinda earthy.” Then I realized that it couldn’t a been Wahoo McDaniel ‘cause he didn’t have near that kind of vocabulary. Mighta been Junkyard Dog. So contrive and bespeak mutedly I did. Ok…I’m lying. Who in their right mind would bespeak madras? Why pay that kinda dosh for the highest level of artisanship on such a perishable and rarely worn fabric? I felt like I was pushing it when I had Fluss House make my seersucker togs. So I made-to-measure-d it instead.
Fuzzy GTH patch and O’Connell’s loud, horn-tooting bleeding madras abounds in my closet so the impetus and legitimacy for muted moderation wasn’t feint. It made sense. But as usual, I couldn’t leave well enough alone. Three-two roll with open patch pockets and peak lapels…you know…my ADG standard house model? Of course not. But the idea of simply doing a standard Mad Men era three button sack coat which would have exemplified madras in its heyday didn’t trip my trigger. I just had to add something that would make it my own. You know—a tad of fuzziness.
Ticket pocket? Nope. Throat latch? Nah…who needs a throat latch on a summer jacket? Maybe just a ticket pocket? Bellows pockets? Yep, that would be the ticket. Poachers.
Are you freakin' kidding me? Poacher pockets on madras? Surely you jest, ADG. It makes sense on your now scorched and singed cavalry twill rig. And of course it complements the old Ralph contrivance above. But you ain’t gonna be bird hunting or truffle sniffing in madras. Madras bellows…the idea is wrong on every level—from every angle. Get it?
Got it. And get ‘em I did. Just for the sheer wrongness of it. There’s an inextricable defiance of convention—a redneck, un-clubbable aspect of my essence that I’ve learned to embrace. And the sooner you get used to it, the easier our ride is gonna be. Shut up. I don't bird hunt or truffle sniff in my winter coats with bellows pockets either. So sue me.
Muted tones and a sensible tie…Bohemian Club style. Come on…I wanted it to look slightly unconventional—not like a Shriner.
Just enough waist suppression to further my anti Mad Men sack coat look. Don’t try it—unless you too, have washboard abs. This entire fuzzy diced boondoggle of absurdity becomes more bastardized if you attempt to pull it off, or put it on for that matter, with a beer gut. Shriners. Think Shriners. And then just don’t do it.
Lightweight cream gabardine trousers. The old Colony Model from Ralph. I needed to anchor this thing with a sensible trouser.
Go ahead. Hurl your attacks. I’m ready. Ready for all of your tisk tisking and ridiculing that’s really a thinly veiled call for help. Help with your fear. Fear of…Fuzzy.
Let me close with a word or two on madras pronunciation. I reckon the proper pronunciation of the city was “muh-dross”. Same when ordering said curried grub at an Indian restaurant. Regardless of your bloodline, the American region or city of your birth, the clubs you belong to or your academic pedigree…the fabric ain’t pronounced “mod-russ” nor is it “muh-dross”. It’s mad-riss. Stop with the affectation. You’re trying too hard. Your effort to fancify and highfalutinize the good ole American word for this trad obsession reeks of poacher pocket affectation. Pronounce it regular like or I'll smack you. On the noggin. With a vozz.
Onward. Poachin’ADG II sans young’un.