The Best Check Shirts For Men

Like many style classics, the modest plaid shirt isn’t going to set the world on fire anytime soon. But in a world of frivolous floral shirts and crafty Cuban collars, the plaid shirt is the no-nonsense partner we all need, a steady Eddie that’ll never let you down (as long as you wear them right).

You must already have a few in your wardrobe and don’t worry if, oddly enough, you don’t. Their reputation as style staples, immune to cuts and the changing seasons and fashion trends, means there will always be options available in stores, summer and winter alike.

The first known variant of the checkered shirt appeared in 1850 with the two-tone buffalo checkered shirt from the American brand Woolrich. It was influenced by a tartan pattern that had belonged to the clan of notorious Scottish outlaw Rob Roy McGregor after plaid patterns were banned in Britain for much of the 17th century.

And while those Georgian leaders succumbed to their mortality, the plaid shirt proved immortal, carried by its reputation as a fashion icon sported by all style icons from John Wayne to Travis Scott and it is as important for grunge fashion and preppy style as well as for lumberjack hipsters.

“The plaid shirt is a perennial,” says Beth Pettet, partner and head of menswear buying at John Lewis. “It’s an item that’s as at home with a pair of jeans or casual shorts as it is smarter chinos, bridging the gap between that delicate, smart casual vibe that men increasingly have to navigate. when the rules are no longer clear.

“In short, kind of like a security blanket for those days when you don’t have time to think too much about what you’re wearing, but still need to look stylish for the day ahead.”

How to Wear Plaid Shirts

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What to look for

“Clean lines, simple designs and simple colors will ensure your purchase is timeless,” says Pettet. “Cool blues, indigos and ecrus still look modern but warmer tones are perfect for fall and are increasingly relevant.”

To modernize this age-old style, Pettet recommends turning to different textures and fabrics to add an extra element to your cut. “From linen-cotton blends and seersucker in the summer months, to brushed cottons and flannels in the fall, choosing a fabric with some substance will give this look a bit of interest and new life and will keep the tiles from feeling too flat.”

Another thing to remember when wearing checks: dress according to your body type. Bigger checks will make you look larger – a useful ally for tall, thin men – while micro checks can be useful for those with a short stature.

These are the key styles to look for.

Buffalo Plaid Shirts

The OG of the plaid shirt world, buffalo plaid has great transformative power, effectively turning the most innocent of choirboys into a devious bad boy in one fell swoop. It’s all down to its rugged workwear origins and the long line of badass fashion types who’ve worn the look over the years, from Kurt Cobain to David Beckham.

A two-tone or three-tone striped fabric with large squares of equal size, the bison square is bold, simple and effective. Red and black are classic, though they still shed the bearded barista connotations of 2012. Whichever color you choose, it’s not the button down desk, but it’s much better suited to the tall air (or, failing that, a trendy co-working space).

have the look

Harness the rocker vibes on this one or channel your inner lumberjack. Both looks are similar, relying heavily on buffalo plaid, but with the first you’ll want to pair it with skinny black jeans while the second look calls for a looser, mid-wash pair of jeans.

Best Buffalo Plaid Shirts for Men

H&M Checked cotton shirt - click to buy Pull & Bear Cotton buffalo check shirt - click to buy Barbour Hordon Buffalo Check Overshirt - click to buy Boohooman Longline Camel Check Shirt - click to buy

Madras Shirts

Taking its name from the ancient name of Chennai, a city in southern India, the Madras shirt, like the plaid, technically refers to the name of the fabric, not the check. It is made from a very short cotton fiber, which makes it extremely lightweight, but also causes small bumps to form during the manufacturing process, giving it a unique texture similar to seersucker. Breezy in style and craftsmanship.

It became a favorite of the American preppy elite in the 1960s, being seen as an exotic status symbol by those who could afford the expensive-to-ship garment and is still a slightly fancier alternative to the more rugged tartan plaid. Madras checks often come in wilder colors than other types of shirts, especially in the summer.

have the look

Lean preppy, to capture some of the mid-century kudos of this shirt. We’re talking slim chinos with rolled hems and canvas trainers below. If it’s a long-sleeved option, roll up the sleeves so the look doesn’t look stiff and throw on a lightweight blazer, but be careful not to bring too many conflicting shades into the look.

Best Madras Plaid Shirts for Men

Beams Plus Button Down Inian Madras Shirt - click to buy Woolrich Madras check-pattern shirt - click to buy Polo Ralph Lauren Madras Plaid Button-Up Shirt - click to buy Studio Nicholson Madras Patch Pocket Shirt - click to buy

Gingham Check Shirts

The neatest checkerboard tile, gingham is usually molded in white and various shades of red or blue. Instead of being woven into a plaid fabric, it is more likely to be seen on a medium weight cotton or linen yarn in the summer. Hijacked as a style signature by mods and British brand Ben Sherman in the 1960s, it was normally worn in a mod uniform tucked into jeans with suspenders on top, although preppy interpretations also work.

have the look

The mods had the good idea to try to improve this neat and relaxed model. Wear without accessories, so your outfit doesn’t turn into a suit, and tuck it into mid-wash skinny jeans with a black Harrington jacket over them in fall and winter. It can look rather slick indeed hidden under a navy blue suit.

The Best Gingham Shirts for Men

Mackintosh MILITARY gingham-check shirt - click to buy OFFICINE GÉNÉRALE Gingham Cotton-Blend Flannel Shirt - click to buy Beams Plus Button Down Oxford Gingham Shirt - click to buy Mackintosh ROMA button-down gingham-check shirt - click to buy

Scottish shirts

From the hundreds of Scottish clans that own their own tartan to the many brands that have adopted their own tartan signatures (Vivienne Westwood, Burberry, Aquascutum, Barbour – we could go on and on), tartan has become synonymous with fashion. luxury. This is largely thanks to the distinctiveness of its patterns, which will impact the shirt just as much as they would a kilt.

have the look

If you consider yourself a punk, a red tartan is pretty much standard issue. For everyone, darker shades work best and consider an undergarment or overcoat (depending on the weather) to break up the intricate pattern. “Pair with beloved or lived-in sneakers and lighter, looser denim rather than always pairing it with boots to make it look fresh,” says Pettet.

The best tartan shirts for men

Burberry check cotton poplin shirt - click to buy Gitman Vintage Button Down Tartan Flannel Shirt - click to buy BARBOUR TARTAN SHIRT - click to buy Fred Perry Tartan Button Down Shirt - click to buy

A checked shirt

Big and bold, no one puts window control in the corner. It is distinguished by its large rectangular outlines which rest smugly on a different colored background. The contrasting squares will stand out, making it an eye-catcher – and as a result, it’s quite difficult to wear.

If you have a bit of a belly, for example, you might want to look for a more subtle, lighter pane in a matching shade so the eye isn’t drawn to an area you might not want to be drawn to. the eyes.

have the look

You’re not fighting fire with fire, and as such it’s best to play it safe with the rest of your outfit if you’re wearing panes. Try simple black pants with the shirt tucked in or a chunky navy peacoat that shows a small window of stunning checks.

The Best Plaid Shirts

A.P.C. Trek Checked Recycled Cotton-Blend Flannel Overshirt - click to buy Rails Wyatt Plaid Shirt - click to buy H & M Regular Fit Flannel Shirt - click to buy Barbour Check Chester Shirt - click to buy

Tattersall Plaid Shirts

Beginning life as a pattern on 18th century horse blankets (the name comes from a historic British auctioneer), the tattered tile is created by combining a horizontal band with thin vertical stripes. The result is a grid of small squares on your shirt. Its origins in horse racing have made it an integral part of British outerwear and a look generally reserved for our modern version of what you’d call the landed gentry (the classy people, basically).

have the look

Keep the tile tattered with its British outerwear family and you can’t go wrong. Barbour waxed jackets and Wellington boots are where this style looks most comfortable, but you can also try it tucked under a fitted black suit for a cool high-low style.

The best plaid shirts for men

BEAMS PLUS Button-Down Collar Checked Cotton Oxford Shirt - click to buy  MIZZEN + MAIN Leeward Anti-Microbial Plaid Shirt - click to buy Barbour Check Bradwell Shirt - click to buy PURDEY Button-Down Collar Checked Cotton Shirt - click to buy

Prince of Wales check shirts

Most often seen on outerwear like suits and winter overcoats, the Prince of Wales pattern is a signature of British dandy fashion. Named after fashion icon the Duke of Windsor when he was known as the Prince of Wales, it features large squares paired with a black or brown and white check with a blue overlay vein , pink, red or contrasting green.

It sounds complicated, but the result is one of the most wearable checks on this list and an instant passport to the first-class menswear show.

have the look

This is a standing check that deserves a standing outfit to sit by his side. Use it as a subtle variation in your office shirt rotation next to a plain navy or black suit. Gray suits tend to have a check, so it’s best to stay away, so the deal doesn’t get too heavy.

The Best Prince of Wales Check Shirts for Men

TOM FORD Light-Grey Prince Of Wales Checked Cotton Shirt - click to buy Ralph Lauren Glen Plaid pink shirt - click to buy Eton Contemporary-Fit Check Shirt - click to buy J Crew Slim Baird McNutt Irish linen shirt - click to buy

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