Around the early part of the Noughties, I recall walking in to a pub to be greeted with hoots of derisions, whooping noises echoing the guttural yee-ha’s reminiscent of wild west cowboys and a general sense that the check shirt I was wearing had gone down like the proverbial led balloon. Fast forward to 2013 and you’d be hard pushed to walk into a bar and not see a gang of lads where at least one of their entourage was wearing a check shirt not dissimilar to the one I was once ridiculed for. But like everything you have constantly get it rammed down your throat, the check shirts mass appeal has in fact made it an item to avoid; unless you like blending in with the masses that is.
Thankfully check or chequered need not end with your shirt and this season has seen a rebirth of this famous pattern in more guises than simply a shirt. From Prince of Wales to dogtooth, light greys and sky blues to autumnal blues and dark greens, through to effervescent oranges accentuated by traditional black, this season gives us all the opportunity to break away from the check shirt and expand our pattern palette in to other areas of our wardrobe.
Brands For Check Fashion
One of the pioneers of check this season comes in the guise of the incredibly dapper Patrick Grant and his E Tautz tailors on Savile Row. Grant has always walked the line between classic tailoring and contemporary fashion with consummate ease as his A/W’13 collection highlights. From oversized Macs (off the shoulder is very much ‘in’ with fashion slowly veering away from the skinny aesthetic of recent years) to baggy jumpers all immersed in sharp lines, there is a distinct nod to check that the E Tautz designers recognises as a key factor for the forthcoming season.
Topman know a thing or two about what men want and this season proves check is very much in. Ok, so there are still an abundance of check shirts but this season sees bomber jackets, blazers, trousers and sweaters all bathed in check. The colourways in the collection are excellent too and you’ll be hard pushed to beat the brilliant red and black check blazer.
The check suit conjures images of something Willy Wonka may wear as his leads a group of gluttonous children around his famous chocolate factory but when it’s put in the hands of Italian fashion house Valentino it becomes a whole new proposition. Slim line aesthetics, rich hues of green and navy blue and trouser hems cut high for a modern twist on tailoring all merge to create a beautiful take on check that once again prove why the Valentino name is revered the world over.
This is merely the tip of the iceberg as far as check is concerned. Paul Smith, Jigsaw Menswear and J Crew are just another three brands who have broadened the menswear sartorial spectrum thanks to their take on check this season and ensure we can all walk in to a pub without the fear of ridicule looming over us.