One sure way to recognize summer (other than the heat) is the sight of people wearing madras fabric. This lightweight cotton hails from the capital city of Chennai (formerly Madras) in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu .
The plaid fabric has an extremely long history which goes back as far as the 2nd century but is often associated with American Preppy culture although the British were the first to bring it back from India.
It is generally most popular in the form of shirts and shorts but is also made into more substantial pieces like sport jackets as well as smaller items like belts and ties which are perfect for those who only want a taste of Madras.
A unique twist on the fabric is Patchwork Madras which incorporates pieces of differently patterned Madras which are sewn together into one garment.