Oh, Oh! See what I did there with the title? I mean, im just so witty. It is common knowledge by now that menswear has fully embraced pattern, colour and texture as the modern man continues to gain confidence and become more sartorially adventurous with his personal style. There will always be a place for block-colours and muted tones in menswear, but pattern and print is fast becoming an essential part of any contemporary wardrobe, and the pattern of the AW15 season is undoubtedly checks.
It is likely that the majority of my readers will already own a checked shirt or two (I have A LOT) – but this autumn/winter the pattern is being applied to nearly every garment imaginable, whether in gingham, plaid, tartan or Prince of Wales check form. The current trend caters for everybody: smaller checks in muted tones are available for those who prefer a subtle and refined approach, whilst louder, oversized checks are on offer for those who tend to be a bit more sartorially audacious.
If head-to-toe colour has been a trend to master for the past few seasons, then prepare yourself to take on all-over checks. At Topman Design, Design Director Gordon Richardson showed slim tartan suits in a grunge-inspired palette of red, mustard and grey, while Tom Ford served up a slice of swinging 1960s era London with sharp, mod-inspired micro check tailoring. Tapping a slightly seedier source for inspiration, Dunhill’s John Ray looked to London’s Soho in the sixties to create his drably luxurious layered check looks. There was a wide-collared check shirt underneath a cropped mac in a contrasting, larger check, as well as a charcoal check overcoat. Meanwhile, at Shaun Samson, Woolrich plaids dominated the up-and-coming designer’s West Coast-inspired, early 1990s grungy aesthetic.
(From Left to Right: Tom Ford, Dunhill, Hackett)
Checked patterns are huge within the current menswear market. From high street shops such as Topman and Burton to online superstore ASOS to premium retailers like Mr Porter and Oki-ni, there is a checked piece to suit all budgets and personal styles. Whether you are after tailoring, knitwear, tees, outerwear, trousers or even accessories such as shoes and bags – the check has truly cemented itself as the go-to pattern this year.
(From Left to Right: Office, H&M, LBM 1911)
The great thing about this trend is its versatility: you can add a subtle, muted check to an outfit for a welcome touch of detailing, or go all out in head-to-toe, oversized checks in bold, brash colours – there really is something for everyone. I love all kinds of print like polka dots and cameo but honestly, checks are where its at.