In the last 20 years, checked shirts have become a fashion staple comparable to blue jeans. They seem to have a comeback every few years, with new styles and ways of wearing them; however, they never really go away. This is because there is no one checked shirt.

How to wear checked shirts with style

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The colour, style, thickness, length and texture are forever changing. You can incorporate a checked shirt into any wardrobe, from hipster to rocker to business or even high-formal; however, in every case, getting the right shirt for the right look is essential to avoid a style crash. One thing is for sure, checked shirts are here to stay.

Checked style

As a rule of thumb, the larger the squares in the check, the more casual the look. This means a classic lumberjack print is best teamed with roughed-up jeans, whereas a fine check can sit easily under a suit jacket. If you are going for a colourful check, the more lines or detail in your check, the higher the overall look of quality; however, for muted colours or pastels, less detail usually works better.

Fit and form

The days are over when wearing a checked shirt automatically meant it was baggy. You can still style a loose fit check, especially in casual wear, but some brands – such as mens Farah shirts – are designed to fit. Make sure you size appropriately to the style you are buying.

Getting checked shirt colour right

How to wear checked shirts with style2

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The colour of a check shirt is important for two reasons. Firstly, it needs to suit you and not wash you out or make your skin tone look too high; for example, pale green-hued shirts can make pale skin look blotchy. Secondly, checked shirts have a personality of their own. Greens, blues and yellows together exude a classic English country look, while red and black hark back to the days of rock’n’roll. Check out stockists such as for colour ideas.


Again, thickness is about so much more than staying warm or cool. Thickness affects the style and the fit, and how the shirt will hang. There is a minimum thickness expected in winter and spring months; however, don’t forget that layering is an important part of the checked shirt ensemble, with jackets, waistcoats and ties all contributing to a more put-together look.