When I say checked shirt, I’m actually referring to any shirt that is made of a pattern which features horizontal and vertical lines, so this includes tartans, gingham, fine oxford prints and bold lumberjack checks. Beyond being the most readily available design for shirts – it’s probably more popular than a plain men’s shirt – with every guy in the world owning at least one. See, the style of the ‘checked shirt’ varies so much that you can own 20 and it wont ever look like you have a weird obsession with the print. It’s pretty safe to say that this particular design is every man’s best friend, a constant companion from the first stages of becoming style aware as a teen, to dressing your age upon retirement. Some would say it’s a boring and very predictable choice, I don’t think this is true really…I mean that all comes down to the wearer, wear it untucked under a ill fitting blazer and you’re going to get disapproving looks. But buy the right size and wear it with the most complimentary components, you’ll look like a proper dapper dude. Like everything in men’s fashion, it all comes down to how you style it – it’s the make it or break point for so many. With all that in mind, here are our favourite categories of check this season, and a little advice on how to work the look into your wardrobe.
This is more of a casual shirt. Often associated with the ‘country attire look’, it definitely racks up a good few points for masculinity – which need to be utilised with the addition of worker boots and a weather hardened jacket. Traditionally made of a warm brushed cotton or flannel, it’s made for the colder months but it also works well thrown over a t-shirt when it’s unseasonably warm – like now.
The Cross Check
You could play noughts and crosses on this print, built from fine lines that leave a great example of graph paper in it’s wake, it’s more of a contemporary design. Now the super fine and very small prints will work for a smarter ensemble, but the more obvious and bold checks are reserved for a relaxed look. If you’re after that ‘Indie Rocker’ look, this is one shirt you should pick up. Wear it with black skinny jeans, biker boots and a bomber jacket – cliche I know, but it looks damn good.
This is always a popular choice for the office, and yes it does look pretty dapper under a suit, bringing a little life to what could be a fairly monotonous uniform. However a good gingham shirt can also be taken though into the weekend, paired with a pair of jeans and a nice pair of tan loafers – it’s the definition of smart/ casual. But we can’t just stereotype this shirt into one generic bracket. A finely checked shirt in the right shade and the right slim fit, paired with a pair of black skinny jeans and boots, revives it for the younger more edgy lad – see Paul & Shark (right)
In conclusion, with checks the possibilities are endless and so are the variations of it. You know that it’s the kind of shirt that you’ll continue to wear for quite some time, so I choose to ignore those who say it’s boring and predictable, you can own 50 of them and they’ll all still be worn for different occasions. The old faithful…