Why It’s Time To Reconsider The Checked Shirt

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Why It’s Time To Reconsider The Checked Shirt

Words by Mr Adam Welch

9 August 2016

The classic, cosy plaid top gets a makeover this season.

We’re currently seeing a lot of rather brilliant checked shirts (and variations thereof) arriving on MR PORTER. This probably isn’t the most revolutionary piece of style news you’ve heard this month, but that doesn’t make it any less true. And actually, it’s a little bit more interesting than that: these new pieces have a particularly utilitarian, substantial feel to them, which brings to mind a pleasing, nostalgic vision of the great American outdoors. Halfway between shirting and outerwear, they’re the kind of pieces you can imagine popping up in early episodes of Mr David Lynch’s seminal surreal drama Twin Peaks (set for a comeback in 2017) – which is never a bad thing, in MR PORTER’s estimation. Here are our favourites from the current crop, and what to wear with them:

All right, all right, this A.P.C number is, strictly speaking, a knitted wool cardigan and not a shirt. But what’s great about it is that it takes the look of the classic plaid shirt (the well-loved and well-worn kind that every man has kicking around in his wardrobe) and turns it into something that’s even more comforting, cosy and simple to sling on when the wind picks up. Wear it as a casual jacket as we head into autumn and then under your coat for extra insulation in winter. The deep navy colour will go particularly well with these superlative hiking boots from Missoni and Diemme.

This wool shirt jacket from Oliver Spencer has a classic woodsman-like feel to it, with its pleasing palette of midnight blue and bright red, but avoids retreading old ground via its neat, minimal design, subtle slash pockets and graphic variation on traditional plaid. Wear it with a white Henley top from RRL and instantly feel about 10 per cent more manly.

Saint Laurent’s take on the checked overshirt makes more direct reference to the sartorial codes of the American West – a theme we’ve noticed throughout this season’s collections – what with its pointed yoke and sharply arched flap pockets on the chest. Though it’s rendered in a warm wool flannel, the shirt is slightly slimmer fitting than the other examples here, so can be worn both loose over a white T-shirt or buttoned up like a regular shirt, if you so please. Pair it with some slim jeans from Frame denim and you’re set for the weekend.