Who would have thought that a bunch of intersecting lines of various widths, colours and spacings, would become one of the most popular fashion of all time? Perhaps it’s the simplicity of checks, plus the almost infinite colour combinations, that have made this pattern a permanent one in the fashion world. Every man has at least one check shirt in his wardrobe. Many consider checkered shirts as formal for interviews and other meetings. For some it is a means to flaunt their style.
Currently in the market, many different combinations of checks are available. There are mainly five key styles of checkered patterns, each very different from the other in both looks and deployment.
A neat, tight check pattern that can be spotted even from a distance, gingham is typically a medium-weight plain-woven cotton yarn. Its colours are often bright, which makes it a good option for layering.
Prince of Wales
As the name suggests, the Prince of Wales check (also known as Glen plaid or Glenurquhart check) has royal heritage. Defined by large squares that typically combine black- or brown-and-white check with a vein of contrasting color overcheck, it’s commonly believed to get its name from the slick-dressing Duke of Windsor. It’s one of the most versatile and easy-to-wear patterns in the check squad.
With its contrast white squares, they look loud and bold, a feature that makes it notoriously difficult to wear as separates.
There are over 400 tartan styles, and they started out as a means for Scottish clans to set one another apart. These days, tartan still plays a part in contemporary collections. It’s also a signature of Vivienne Westwood and can be found everywhere from Barbour to Palm Angels.
Buffalo checks have been trending in recent years, the pattern finding a natural home on workwear- and outdoors-inspired pieces.
Checks are great with a plain suit. Gingham, with its tight check configuration, is particularly effective when employed as a bold contrast to a charcoal or navy suit. Alternatively, a simple white shirt with a faint windowpane check offers a nice contrast to a pinstripe suit and you could also wear it with a striped tie to field a mash-up of contrasting lines. Anyone can wear checks according to his own preferences and style.
The secret lies in knowing what goes best for you!