With Summer comes a big fat does of color in a mans wardrobe, most noticeably perhaps in the form of extreme plaid madras trousers. Outrageous though they may be, they are in a way a form of controlled chaos. Their natural counterparts being almost invariably the very staid combo of white tennis shirt and navy blazer, they come in varying degrees of outrage...but there is a method to the madness.
At the "introductory" level, we have a pair like this. For many men, this may be far over the top...not just a little, but climbed-the-ladder-and-jumped level. I say kids stuff. In only one plaid, albeit a large one, a pair of trousers like this can be the stepping stone to that which lies beyond...the dreaded, and much revered, patchwork plaid.
The pinnacle is reached in a pair like this. We'll call this Level Four Patchwork Go To Hell. A real old pair from the early 1960s, made of real vegetable dyed "bleeding" Indian madras, and cut nearly stovepipe straight. Look closely at the repeat, if you can find it. Each column down repeats five different plaids, but no column repeats across. And yet, there is a consistency of color and scale that keeps them in check, maybe even better than the pair in level three, almost certainly better than level two. The higher the level of chaos, the steadier the control of the wearer. It's almost as though the more daring you're willing to get with this stuff, the better you'll pull it off. Keeping your mouth shut and behaving as though there is nothing unusual about those crazy pants you're wearing makes all the difference.
In a largely conservative and old fashioned wardrobe, the best place for a man to indulge in a pinch of controlled chaos is in his pants.
p.s. #s 1 & 3 are available for sale in The Shop, along with some old seersucker and other things. 2 & 4 are mine...eat your heart out.