The past few months have been prime time for patterns. First gingham had a moment of glory at the onset of Autumn, then florals enjoyed an unlikely surge in popularity when Winter settled in. It is checks, though – from startling tartan to plain old plaid – that have dominated the resort collections, and that look set to be the defining pattern for AW18, bearing in mind their pre-eminence on the menswear catwalks throughout January. Checks came in all cuts and colours, and all shapes and sizes at the AW18 shows: bold, punk-infused Tartan appeared at Charles Jeffrey, Versace and Dries Van Noten, pops of plaid livened up Sacai’s streetwear looks, and classic check variants such as windowpane and Prince of Wales impressed showgoers at Kenzo, Thom Browne, and E Tautz.
The catwalk is a good place to start when considering how to style this trend – certainly, it will be interesting to see how the designers interpret check over the course of February’s fashion weeks. In this post, we’re taking a look at where you can pick up your plaid so that you too can look impeccable in check. Whether it’s to get ahead of the game for Fall 2018 or to wear as a transitional piece for the remainder of the cold season, it’s definitely a good idea to invest (there’s a pun on exchequer here somewhere, but we’re not feeling it) in some check garments sooner rather than later.
A large overcoat is perhaps the most tried and tested way of wearing checks. A coat in a bold check pattern can be made to stand out by wearing all black/neutral tones underneath, but can likewise make a fine addition to a colourful, maximalist look if worn in classic brown and grey hues (especially when matched with other autumnal colours).
The above trench by Calvin Klein has featured on many a street style blog over the past few months, and with good reason. The understated grey check is extremely versatile, and the transparent overlay adds a distinctly contemporary – and photographable – twist to the classic garment. Burberry, a long-term producer of some of the fashion industry’s best check coats, pulls off a similar effect with this shiny, oversized offering. Wet weather might mean you have to put a raincheck on your plans, or you could plan to wear a check raincoat instead. For something a little cozier, this Malene Birger coat is a bargain.
The checked trouser is an office-wear staple, responsible for making many a dull blazer-and-trousers combination not only wearable but stare-able. This is an item of clothing that definitely rewards you for taking risks so we would encourage you to opt for wide-legged renditions with more unique patterns.
However, if you’d prefer to play it safe, these straight-legged, grey pants by Tibi are currently half-price at The Outnet, and are a surefire way to stay stylish throughout the working week (or the wild weekend for that matter!).
There comes a point in the life of every fashionista when she buys her first checked blazer. It’s a seminal moment that marks the passage from girlhood to grown-up dressing. It’s the ultimate hybrid of stylish tailoring and confident professionalism and is a piece that will stay with you well into your working life if you treat it with respect and chose wisely when purchasing. This statement blazer from Acne goes brilliantly with a tight-fitting black polo-neck and slim-fit black trousers.
A checked blazer in neutral tones will get along famously with subdued suit separates, but can also smarten up a more casual look when worn with a white t-shirt/ blouse and jeans, for example. However, we are of the opinion that the only thing better than wearing checks, is wearing double checks – which is why we suggest buying this blazer by the incomparable Isabel Marant to match aforementioned trousers. Buy quickly as they’re selling fast!
A windowpane dress is a perfect vehicle for introducing checks into your wardrobe. Windowpane sits squarely on the demure end of the checktrum (the check spectrum), far away from check’s enfant terrible, tartan. It’s the perfect pattern for a classic, understated chic look, it’s smart and sophisticated enough to bring into the boardroom, but also casual and friendly enough to wear to a family dinner. We think the contrast pocket on this Jaeger dress at John Lewis is a nice twist, and we also love this more body-hugging red-on-blue offering.
For a more playful take on check that will see you well into the warmer months, we recommend buying this Oasis skirt, which is also available at John Lewis. The dark colourway is a stylish take on the classic tricolour, and lends itself to being worn with lighter colours, so would go nicely with the season’s trendiest colour, yellow. The short, widely-frilled hem will add a light touch of Lollita to any outfit.
Article Written By: Desmond Huthwaite
Featured Image: Street Style – Collage Vintage