How to Wear Checked Shirts
Posted on 30 March 2022
In our previous blog ‘9 Check Patterns used in Men’s Shirting’ we looked at the wide variety of checked fabrics used in men’s tailoring. Certain checks, such as the understated, demure graph check, lends itself to more formal styles of shirt, whereas a jovial gingham or a Madras check would more commonly be associated with casual wear. In this blog we will discuss in more detail how and where to wear your checked shirt.
If you want something restrained which will be suitable for the office, and that’ll easily pair with a tie, then a standard single-color graph check is a good option. Even safer would be a mini or micro check that looks like a solid from a distance. If you’re wearing a graph check shirt to your workplace then consider matching it with navy or black tailored trousers, a belt, a complimenting tie, and formal leather or suede shoes.
Moving toward business-casual, try a Tattersall or a Windowpane check. Both the Tattersall and the Windowpane pattern give room to add in more colours than the single-colour graph check, but remain simple and uncomplicated. Pair with smart trousers, chinos, or more formal jeans. A tie can also be worn as per your preference.
For smart-casual situations consider choosing a Shepherd’s check, a Tattersall, Windowpane, or a Gun Club check. All of the aforementioned can be found in different qualities including brushed cotton and twill which, due to their softer texture, give a less severe feel. Avoid overly starched ‘formal’ fabrics like poplin or giza. Pair your smart-casual shirts with jeans and suede or leather shoes. Avoid a tie unless you’re going for the English country gentleman look, in which case a contrasting checked tie with a different scale, or solid tie would work.
Dependent on your personality and the occasion, for a totally casual, tieless look, choose gingham or a Madras check in warm weather and flannel tartan/plaid for winter. Tartan/plaid shirts can be worn as over-shirts, unbuttoned over a plain tee. Pair your casual shirts with jeans or chinos, and fashionable sneakers.
As a general rule, if you’re looking to blend in with the crowd then stick to more subdued, austere shades such as blue, white, black, and grey, and select more simplistic, minimal checks. However, if you want to forget about playing it safe, then seek out brighter background colours, multiple colour grids and larger scale checks. If you’re feeling particularly brave, you could even pair checks with checks!!!
Check out our favourite Stiff Collar checked shirts below: