Madras, the brightly colored plaid cotton fabric that originally came from India, is a traditional American staple for warm-weather clothing. ┬áThe colors and patterns make it an inherently casual fabric, so you’ll see it most often in shorts, pants, and very informal sportcoats. ┬áTies are also a good application for madras, and a madras tie can give just the right pop of color to a summer outfit.

Blazer: Schupp & Snyder, thrifted, $12

Shirt: Brooks Brothers, thrifted, $5

Tie: Neiman Marcus, bought secondhand online, $10

Pants: Brooks Brothers, bought secondhand online, $20

Shoes: Alden for Brooks Brothers, store sale, $400

Total: $447

If I’d paid retail prices: Over $1000

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