How to wear check shirts

Check shirts tend to rise and fall in popularity every year; however, as a classic, they never completely go out of fashion. This means a check shirt should be a staple in your wardrobe; in fact, there are times when only a check shirt will do. The great thing about check shirts is that you can buy them as an investment – next time they are all the rage, you can just throw one on.

Formal Shirt

Not all check shirts are created equally. From fit and quality to casual and slightly-smarter, there is a lot to get right; however, the one thing we all agree on is that the colour and fabric are crucial.

The colour

We can’t overstate the importance of the colour. No matter what the trend, a checked shirt must suit your skin tone. There are also variations of colour and size of check to consider. Very large, very bold colours such as black and red check will always be more casual, while small checks in pale hues can be very formal. The range you can wear is also vast; after all, check is not tartan. You are not wearing your family’s colours; instead, it is just style and fashion.

Casual Style

The material

Whether thick or thin, 100 per cent cotton is key in quality shirts, such as Farah shirts from stockists such as EJ. Cotton will keep you warm and comfortable in winter and cool and dry in summer. It is also shine-free and perfect for displaying check.

Cotton is anti-static. This is important in layering, as a check shirt can go over a T-shirt and under a jacket. Sometimes all you see it the placket and cuffs, but it still needs to sit well.

Know what smart casual means

Critically, the check is smart casual; however, few people really get what this means and often switch the order of the words to mean casual smart. Smart casual means your casual-style clothes are in good condition, well-laundered and well-fitting. It is styling right off the pages of a magazine, not office clothes without the tie.

A good check can also be smart and even formal. Nothing is more surprising and flattering than a high-quality dress shirt in pale check. Just as in the more colourful variety, the squares add shape and definition to your body.