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Photography by Mr Andrew Vowles. Styling by Ms Tanja Martin
Words by Mr Mansel Fletcher

With examples dating back to the 1600s, the check has had centuries to reach its current level of sophistication and versatility. There truly is a check for every occasion. Depending on the sort, they'll take a man from the pinnacle of prep for a dinner date to the cutting edge at a gallery opening - via dressing up for a smart lunch and dressing down for a gig. We showcase five ways to wear them from neat and buttoned-up to louche and undone. For those who don't know their ginghams from their glen plaids, MR PORTER invites you to check out the following glossary:

Check Glossary


Plaid (or check) is the generic term given to fabrics which resemble traditional Scottish tartans, but are not necessarily associated with a Highland clan. The origins of tartan lie in 16th-century Scotland, while plaid has more recently become emblematic of American workwear. Madras, another form, is a bright plaid with a large-scale pattern

PA two-tone pattern featuring jagged edges, houndstooth (a.k.a. dogstooth) was developed in the Scottish Lowlands, and is usually found on outerwear. A finer version of the pattern, with smaller checks, is known as puppytooth

PA two-tone pattern featuring jagged edges, houndstooth (a.k.a. dogstooth) was developed in the Scottish Lowlands, and is usually found on outerwear. A finer version of the pattern, with smaller checks, is known as puppytooth

Sometimes called Prince of Wales check, glen plaid (or Glenurquhart in full) is a pattern composed of small checks overlaid with larger checks. The name comes from Glenurquhart valley in Scotland, where the fabric first appeared in the 19th century

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