Like a lot of style classics, the modest check shirt isn’t going to set the universe any time soon. but in a world of waste flower shirt more clever cuban collarChecked shirts are the practical companion we all need, a steady heel that will never let you down (as long as you style them correctly).
You’re bound to already have a couple in your wardrobe and don’t worry, curiously, you don’t. Their reputation as a style staple, free of cutting and changing fashion seasons and trends, means there will always be options available in the store, come summer or winter.
The first known version of the check shirt came in 1850 with the two-tone buffalo check shirt from the American heritage brand Woolrich. It was influenced by a tartan pattern that belonged to the clan of the famous Scottish outlaw Rob Roy McGregor after the British banned the plaid pattern for a large part of the 17th century.
And when those Georgian rulers succumbed to their mortality, the check shirt proved immortal, fueled by its reputation as a fashion icon sported by every style icon from John Wayne to Travis Scott—and that’s just as important. As much grunge fashion And preppy style as it is for lumbersexual hipsters.
“Check shirts are a perennial,” says Beth Payette, partner and head of menswear buying John Lewis, “It’s an item that’s equally at home with a casual pair of jeans or shorts as it is a smart chino, bridging that tricky casual gap into the smart vibe that men are increasingly having to navigate.” when the rules are no longer clear.
“In short, a security blanket for those days when you don’t have time to think too much about what to wear, but still need to look stylish for the day ahead.”
What to look for
“Clean lines, clean designs and simple colors will ensure that your purchase doesn’t look out of date,” says Petet. “Fresh blues, indigo and ecru always look trendy but warm tones are great for autumn and are increasingly relevant.”
To modernize this age-old style, Payette recommends looking at different textures and fabrics to add an extra element to your ‘fit. “From a linen-cotton blend in the summer months to brushed cotton and flannel in the autumn, choosing a fabric with a substance will add some interest and new life to this look and the checks will stop feeling too flat. “
Another thing to remember when you wearing a checkDress for your body type. Larger checks will make you look wider – a useful ally for tall, skinny people – while subtle checks can be useful for those who are short in stature.
These are the major styles to look for.
buffalo check shirt
The OG of the check shirt world, Buffalo Check holds great transformative power, effectively turning even the most innocent of altar boys into a sly bad boy. It’s all down to its rugged workwear origins and long line of badass fashion types that have graced the years from Kurt Cobain to David Beckham.
A two- or three-color striped fabric with large squares of equal size, the buffalo check is bold, simple, and effective. Red and black is classic, even if it’s still rocking the connotations of a bearded barista from 2012. Whatever color you choose, it’s not one for the buttoned-up office, but it’s far better suited for the great outdoors (or, failing that, a trendy co-working space).
Either tap into the rocker vibes on it or channel your inner lumberjack. The two are similar in appearance, resting heavily on buffalo checks, but with the former, you’ll want to pair with some slim black denim, while the latter look requires a wider, mid-wash pair of jeans. .
Its name is derived from the old name of Chennai, a city in South India. madras shirt, like plaid, technically refers to the name of the fabric, not the check. It is made from a very short cotton fiber which makes it extremely lightweight, but it also results in small bumps forming during the manufacturing process, giving it a unique texture similar to seersucker. Breezy in style and construction.
It became a favorite of the preppy American elite in the 1960s, being seen as an exotic status symbol by those who could afford expensive-to-ship apparel and still some for the more robust tartan plaid. A far better option. Madras checks often come in paler colors than others shirt typeEspecially in summer.
Lean Preppy, for catching some of this shirt’s midcentury kudos. We’re talking slim chinos with rolled hems and canvas sneakers below. If it’s a long sleeve option, roll up the sleeves so the look doesn’t feel harsh and throw on a lighter blazer, but be careful not to add too many conflicting shades to the look.
Gingham Check Shirts
The cleanest check on the chessboard, gingham is usually cast in white and various shades of red or blue. It is more likely to be seen in summer on medium-weight cotton yarn or linen rather than woven into a plaid fabric. Hijacked in the 1960s by mods and British brand Ben Sherman as a style signature, it was typically worn in one. modern uniform Tuck into jeans with braces on top, though preppy interpretations work too.
The mods had the perfect idea to try to make this streamlined, smart-casual pattern look smart. Wear no accessories so your outfit doesn’t wear off the dress, and with a black one tucked into some slim mid-wash denim harrington jacket On top in autumn and winter. It can actually look rather sleek tucked under a navy suit.
From the hundreds of Scottish clans who have their own tartan checks, with many brands carrying on their tartan signatures (Vivienne Westwood, Burberry, Aquascutum, Barbour – we could go on and on), tartan became a byword for check fashion. is luxury. This is largely down to the uniqueness of its pattern, which will have as much impact on a shirting as they will on a kilt.
If you consider yourself a punk, red tartan is practically standard issue. For everyone else, darker shades work best, and consider an undershirt or overcoat (depending on the season) to break up the intricate pattern. “Team it with some well-loved or lived-in sneakers and lighter, looser denim to keep it always feeling fresh by pairing it with shoes,” says Payette.
Windowpane Check Shirts
Big and bold, no one checks the window panes in the corner. It is distinguished by its large rectangular outlines that sit comfortably on a different colored background. The contrasting squares will stand out, which makes it a source of attention—and as a result, it’s hard enough to wear.
If you have a bit of a tummy, for example, you can look for a more subtle, light windowpane check in a tony matching shade, so that the eye doesn’t draw toward an area you don’t want the eye drawn out.
You don’t fight fire with fire, and so if you’re wearing window glass it’s better to play it safe with the rest of your outfit. Try simple black trousers or a heavy navy peacock with a shirt that allows a small window of show-stopping check in.
Tattersall Check Shirts
Starting life as a pattern on an 18th-century horse blanket (the name comes from a historic British horse auction), the tattersall check is made by combining a horizontal stripe with a thin, vertical stripes, The result is a grid of small squares on your shirt. Its origins in horse racing have made it a fixture of British outerwear and a look usually reserved for our modern version of what you call the landed gentry (basically the posh ones).
Keep tattersall in check with your British outerwear family and you can’t go wrong. Waxed Barbour jacket and Wellington boots are where this style looks most casual, but you can try slipping it under a slim-fitting black suit for some fresh high-low styling.
Prince of Wales Check Shirts
Commonly seen on outerwear such as tailoring and winter overcoats, the Prince of Wales Czech dandy is a signature of British fashion. Named after the noted fashion icon the Duke of Windsor, when he was known as the Prince of Wales, it was characterized by large squares consisting of a blue, pink, red or green overcheck combined with a black or gray-and-white check. occurs with the vein.
Sounds complicated but the result is the easiest to wear check on this list and an instant passport to the first class lounge of menswear.
This is a stand-up check that deserves a stand-up outfit to sit alongside it. Use it as a subtle variation in your office shirt rotation by sitting down with a plain navy or black suit. Gray suits have a check for them, so it’s best to clean it so the case isn’t too heavy.