some like it check...
Fall is upon us! And nothing screams autumn quite like some good old fashioned plaid--which is why we have to ask: Do you have your checks in check??
Lucky for you, you have us, and we have a trusty guide to the season's most chased after checks & popular plaids so you can wow your boss when you compliment her Glenurquhart check blazer. Yup. That's a thing.
SHEPHERD'S CHECK: Often mistaken for gingham, this check as alternating squares of solid & twill. That's the big (little) difference. (Twill weave results in diagonal lines. Denim is a twill weave, hence the diagonal ridges in your jeans!)
GINGHAM: The squares between the solid colours are a plain weave, resulting in a uniform blend of the two colours instead of the diagonal lines seen in Shepherd's check.
BUFFALO CHECK: A larger version of the previously mentioned Shepherd's check, buffalo check is defined not only by it's larger squares but also by black being one of the two colours woven together. Fun fact: the red and black version of buffalo check is actually the tartan of the legendary Rob Roy MacGregor.
TATTERSALL: Sometimes 'Tattersal' or more recently referred to as 'grid check' by lazy designers (ha! Kidding not kidding), the design originally comes from a small scale version of horse blanket checks. Sticking with it's equestrian roots, the name comes from the famous horse auction rooms in London and is still most commonly used for riding shirts.
WINDOW PANE: A much larger version of Tattersall, it resembles window panes (go figure) and is often used as overchecks on other designs. Such as...
GLEN CHECK: Aka Glenurquhart or Glen Urquhart (pronounced uhr-kart) is named for it's birthplace in Scotland. It can be identified by it's alternating panels of houndstooth and guard's check. Glen check is commonly mislabeled as PRINCE OF WALES CHECK, which is a variant of glen made for Edward VII when he was Prince of Wales. You can scour the internet for the right or wrong between these two checks and it'll drive you crazy, but a very old photocopy of a very old text tells us that true Prince of Wales check is cream and grey check with either brown or deep red overcheck (our example above has a red 'overcheck'). Hopefully all this comes in handy when you're on Jeopardy one day because oh my god this write-up. #toolong
HOUNDSTOOTH: Easily identified by the alternating 'hound's tooth' shape, or what we like to think of as a very pixilated, very angry gorilla--do you see it?
TARTAN: This multicoloured plain weave is anything but plain. There are an infinite number of colours and patterns for tartans, all of which are wonderful.
Perhaps the best aspect of plaid is that it's a no fail wardrobe investment. It's been around forever and it's been in style forever. So go ahead, splurge on a great check coat, you'll have zero regrets when you're still rocking it at eighty and feeling super chic!