There’s something about men in checks. From the upscale boardroom tycoon to a rugged cowboy, checkered shirts
have been a manly classic.
A timeless wonder, it has remained ubiquitous and true to is versatile character through the decades: from old world charm, rugged camper, rebellious poster-boy, hardworking lumberjack, the hard-core surfer, the 90s grunge rockstar to the budding artista.
Every man’s wardrobe mainstay, checks come in varied patterns like the 16th century tartans, tattersall, houndstooth, graph checks, plaids etc. And one can boldly assume today, that checked shirts have been and continue to be quite the favourite of men and women alike.
However, for all its air of nonchalance, there are some clear, unstated rules to wearing checkered shirts. To avoid any fashion bloopers, here’s our “Check-List for Must Have Checked Ensembles”
- The Intimidating Ensemble: A custom fit steely grey suit coupled with a dark grey check shirt (houndstooth or graph checks do the trick) with short spread collar and complimented by a dark metallic grey slim tie.
- Working for it Ensemble: Then there are some meetings, you just need to be arresting. For a perfect business-casual look, wear a tailored fit blue & white tattersall with button down collar and a pair of slim fitted navy blue pants and a Navy Blue tie.
- Casual Friday Ensemble: If it’s a casual Friday you’re aiming for, utilitarian yet stylish, loose the tie, try a dark tartan shirt with a regular fit and cream coloured pants and let your Friday transition to happy hours.
- A Saturday Business-cum-Pleasure Ensemble: A smart-casual lunch out, preceded by a quick meeting enroute. Wear your casual checked shirt with rolled-up sleeves inside a snug waist coat and a pair of smart khakis.
- A Smart Casual Night Out Ensemble: A medium sized white & navy button down checked shirt, with a contrasting brown or grey blazer, dressed down with denims. Or a white & navy button down paired with a navy blue sport jacket/blazer and cream trousers.
- Getting Sporty with the Boys Ensemble: Nothing says ‘touch down’ with a tartan-checked shirt or lumberjack shirt personalised with a button down collar, coupled with a white tee and casual denims.
- And All-time Casual Ensemble: For an even more chilled out summer brunch, there is nothing more elegant that a linen shirt in a colorful grid pattern and rolled up sleeves, tucked into a pair of chinos/khakis or even dark semi-casual denims complemented with an optional summer blazer.
The Don’ts of Checks
- Steer clear of similar patterns: Checks is a standalone pattern that demands all attention. Teaming a tie with a grid pattern on a checked shirt can get very confusing, not to mention the effect you’re aiming for is lost and no one is a clear winner. On the other hand, when choosing other patterns, remember who the hero is and then select, so if the checks are bigger and spaced out, the tie can comprise of more minute patterns and vice versa.
- Checks come in all sizes: Make sure the fits are proportionate to the checks. The adage ‘one size fits all’ doesn’t always apply to all. You can’t sport a lumberjack checked shirt that’s slim fit! Go slim fit on the smaller ones and regular fit on the large sized ones.
- Body Type: Best suited for men with athletic to lean frames, as checks give a more spanned-out/ broader look. Men with large body structures may want to avoid checks.
- Pairing your trouser: When pairing your checkered shirt go for a solid color trouser. Striped or checked trousers will make your ensemble appear too busy.