Mad About Madras

And we don't mean curry!

Yes, here in Connecticut, we all loved Tipsy in Madras, the WASP-y guide to cocktail mixing, printed in 2004, already discontinued, and going -- at cheapest -- for around $89 for a used copy on Amazon. So we don't need our $90 guide to making "tradition drinks," like Bloody Mary's and gin and tonic, but nothing says summer break from the Ivy League or boarding school like a madras-heavy wardrobe. Regardless of your upbringing, there's something fun about this mash-up of plaid, or maybe that's just our SO Connecticut side speaking.

CUFF-LINKS: Rhode Island native, Kiel James Patrick discovered the key to the prepster market, just as J.Crew and Rugby Ralph Lauren did so many seasons ago; that is patterns -- of any preppy nature -- almost always look good together, regardless of clashing colors and styles. In fact, the more clash the better! His button-clasped fabric cuffs are quilted and layered with grosgrain ribbon, sailors rope and patterned chino -- from French toile to embroidered equestrians, and yes, plenty of madras. Order online. Prices range from $30 to $48.

BELTED BAUBLES: Norwalk-based Tailor New York specializes in madras and prepster sportswear, but what drew us in where the belts! We aren't talking about your traditional ribbon belt, but madras and seersucker straps attached to an oversized sparkling silver starfish buckle. Appropriate for both the boatyard and after-hours, the Starfish Belt collection might help set you apart from all your Lilly-wearing counterparts. Seek out individuality at Tailor New York (9 Admiral Lane, Norwalk) or order online.

GRADE A GRANOLA: Really don't know what to get a yuppie yoga friend? Well, Cape Madras, out of Cape Elizabeth, Maine, clearly predicted this predicament and has you covered. Their Madras Yoga Ball comes in two preppy colors, Lodge, a more traditional madras and Cottage, the pastel girly alternative, and arrives at your doorstep completely inflated. No worries about those nasty little things called germs, because the madras cover is completely removable and machine-washable. Order online for $240.


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