Ready-to-wear linen separates and checkered jackets are flying off the shelves as men embrace the post-lockdown art of casual dressing up | Illustration by Briana Murphy for The Market Herald

Looking Sharp: How To Wear A Checkered Suit

Ready-to-wear linen separates and plaid jackets are flying off the shelves as men embrace the post-lockdown art of casual dressing up.

When searching for the perfect suit, many men make the mistake of limiting their options to a solid colour. While single-coloured suits are ever-popular, there’s one choice that displays a clear sartorial statement – the plaid suit.

The square pattern has evolved from the Scottish kilt style to a modern men’s tailoring essential with options for every occasion. Today, you can find plaid suits in a variety of patterns including tartan, gingham, windowpane, and Prince of Wales. Here is a look at some of the best styles of plaid and how to style them.

Tartan Checkered Suit

While plaid is used as the catchall for any square checkered pattern, in the US it’s a synonym for “tartan,” which is a huge cultural icon of Scotland. The tartan pattern made famous in Scotland, came in different colours and sizes to distinguish between the hundreds of clans. The original plaid used on kilts also served as a rebellious statement against the English. Today, plaid is commonly seen in various men’s collections. This Khizad Tagliator two-piece tailored jacket is the perfect number to bring out for any work-related occasion. Designed in dark blue and light brown wide checks, wide notch peak lapels and unlined, soft-shoulders – this jacket offers a structured yet relaxed look, perfect to wear on its own or under a trench coat in the winter months.

Gingham Checkered Suit

Typically designed in a blue and white colour scheme, the gingham check plaid suit is commonly seen in shirts and smaller accessories like the good old-fashioned pocket squares. While largely popular during the ’60s in Britain – Gingham continues to grow in popularity with the pattern commonly adorning full suits and waistcoats.

Justin Timberlake in gingham shirt and suit | Source: Pinterest

Windowpane Checkered Suit

The name windowpane derives from the very wide checks that are spaced far apart resembling a windowpane. Often tailored in the shades of white or off-white colours, the classic windowpane suit was a popular choice in the ’40s with iterations these days designed in a range of hues. The spacious style works well on trench coats and flannels, with the wider style tending to form rectangles instead of perfect squares often making the wearer appear taller. If you aren’t a suit guy and want something that looks put-together and comfortable, this is a style you will keep reaching for.

Roberto Mararo CEO at Mararo tailoring & Pitti Uomo Style icon | Source: Pinterest

Prince of Wales Checkered Suit

Not to be confused with the more common Glen plaid, the Prince of Wales check is derived from an authentic version designed by King Edward VII as a shooting uniform when he was Prince of Wales. The pattern is rather conservative, suited to royalty, consisting of tightly woven small and large checks in muted colours, usually greys, blues and whites. This ‘Archie’ suit jacket is expertly cut on a double-breasted block from wool that’s patterned with traditional Prince of Wales checks. Wear yours with the matching trousers for formal occasions, or chinos if the occasion is more low-key.

Styling a Checkered Suit

Perfecting the style of a statement checkered suit depends on the occasion. For a smart work look, opt for a paired-back Prince of Wales suit or a navy gingham and pair a tan shoe to complete the look. Warmer days call for a pattern with larger checks styles such as a windowpane or tartan – these offer a lighter tone and come in more breathable, natural fabrics such as linen and cotton – perfect for staying cool.

When pairing the checkered suit with big pattern shirts such as spots of stripes, again choose a larger pattern like the windowpane. This creates a canvas to layer the shirt and matching the colours such as a light blue shirt with a navy jacket will complete the look.

Join The Rich List

Receive the beautifully curated selection of what's trending in luxury with inside stories and tips from our experts

You may also like

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This