Now I’m sure most us fellas own at least one checked shirt. Whether it be a formal work shift or a casual shirt you just wear around the house, there’s something very familiar and re-assuring about a traditional checked shirt. I think this stems from the fact that check has been an every present pattern in a man’s wardrobe for generations.
My Dad used to take me fishing when I was a kid and he was always sporting an old check heritage shirt (I think it might have been a Barbour actually), yes it stunk of the outdoors and bad trout, but he loved it. It was his fishing shirt! I think the point I’m making here is that the checked shirt means something different to each individual and its versatility will ensure it remains a timeless piece of men’s apparel.
In recent years fashion designers have become far more creative when looking at their colour palettes/patterns for their latest checked shirts and we continue to be spoiled for choice in 2014. Today I want to run through some traditional and current trends that will keep you ahead of the game when incorporating checks into your wardrobe. We’ll also look at some of my latest shirts recommendations for SS14.
Check Shirt Lookbooks & Street Style
The Key Check Shirt Trends
The Formal checked shirt is staple look when establishing your office attire. The key thing to keep in mind when putting your formal outfit together is to ensure your tie and suit compliment your check. I would recommend keeping your tie, suit or blazer either pattern free or keep if you include patterns, make sure you keep them subtle; remember, you don’t want to take the focus away from your checked shirt. Examples of these current formal wear trends can be seen below. I would stay clear of matching your check patterns, particular when it comes to size and colour.
However, subtle changes such as polka-dot tie, against a formal check shirt can make a for a good look. Paul Smith’s PS collection and Aquascutum are highly respected for producing great formal checks.
See Also: How To Dress Business Casual
Heritage and traditional country-wear brands have become extremely popular in recent years, which could be put down to vintage and used-clothing now being firmly entrenched in the men’s fashion industry. Heritage brands such as Pringle of Scotland (that your grandfather probably wore) are now being discovered by a younger generation. I mean just think, some old shirt your father used to wear that’s been gathering dust in his wardrobe might be just the thing you’re looking for. Vintage suits and Blazers tend to compliment these shirts; think traditional earthy colours and tones such as browns, greens and deep reds.
As mentioned previously, I would not go overboard with pattern mixing for the rest of your outfit as it will just look cluttered. Traditional UK outerwear brand Barbour are at the forefront of men’s heritage fashion. They really know their stuff men it comes to producing high quality check shirts and I’ve provided some examples of these below.
Colour Blocking was featured in the many of the major fashion houses spring summer 2014 runway shows and British designer Paul Smith has wonderful examples of this in their summer knitwear collection. However, colour blocking is also being twinned with various check patterns to give us a new breed of creative and casual shirts designs. Many designers are delivering shirts that feature staple colours backgrounds to compliment a check pattern.
This is highlighted perfectly below on the Penfield Wayland Denim Trail Shirt, with its light blue body and dark checks across the shoulders. We’ve also seen a rise in popularity of check on check colour block shirts, which sees an allover checked shirt featuring contrasting colours and tones on the front pocket or collar.
The Utility Check
This trend doesn’t need much of an introduction. It’s a checked shirt for the everyday man, a bit of an all-rounder fit for any occasion. As with the majority of check shirts, I would keep the rest of your outfit relatively pattern free as you don’t want to busy things too much; remember the checked shirt will most likely be the prominent item of clothing in your outfit. All that’s left now is to chuck on some slim fitting denim, a pair of converse and you’re set! Keep an eye out for some great short-sleeved options around this summer like this yellow/orange checked number from Beams Plus featured below.
See Also: How To Wear a Print Blazer
The dip dyed look was firmly on trend in 2013 and is popular again this year amongst the high street rails and stockrooms. Over-sized dip dyed t-shirts worn with slim fitting denim is can be seen regularly in current street style and this dip dyed design is now being seen on checked and plaid shirts. Asos have some good examples of this look in their SS14 collections.
This is one arguably my favourite shirt trend at the moment. I’ve always been a big fan of bold and brash shirts and the patchwork check is just that. By patchwork, I suppose I mean a general miss-match of colours, prints or anything really that gives the shirt a bit of personality and makes it a bit of a one off. This is an entirely casual look and again these shirts should be statement pieces in your wardrobe so don’t try to compliment them with any other checks or over patterned items.
American Vintage Shirt-makers Gitman have a great example of this trend in their current SS14 collection in the form of the Checker Blossom shirt. I’ve featured the Checker Blossom and some further examples below. This style is real winner for summer!