Certain pieces exist outside fashion. Though styles and fits may change, you’ll never look at your staples – jeans, blazers, a white button-down – and ask yourself, “What was I thinking?”
To that list, add the checked shirt, a piece so adaptable it’s been adopted by lumberjacks, metalheads and even hipsters, and yet never been so tarnished as to become unwearable.
As summer breathes its death rattle, there’s no better time to embrace the masculine appeal of a boldly printed shirt, whether you’re looking for something relaxed to wear over a tee, or a sharper piece for evening drinks.
Whatever your need, we’ve rounded up some great options to carry you through any situation.
1. ASOS Shirt In Longline With Concealed Placket
A little lighter and more delicate than your average check shirt, this ASOS option is a modern update on the menswear classic.
Its monochrome palette and longline cut aren’t for pairing with a suit and tie, but work best with jeans and a bomber jacket, for a dressed-down look with a Yeezy edge.
We especially love the concealed buttons, which keep things minimalist.
Available at ASOS, priced £25.
2. NN.07 Dexter Slim-Fit Checked Cotton Flannel Shirt
Forget the naysayers – blue and green should definitely be seen when they’re a muted take on Black Watch tartan.
Cut from a heavier flannel, this shirt by Copenhagen label NN.07 is the perfect way to button up against plunging mercury as autumn starts to bite. All you need is some sturdy denim and hiking boots to keep the heat firmly in.
Available at Mr Porter, priced £90.
3. Edwin Labour Shirt
Shorter days don’t mean you need to evict colour from your wardrobe. Just swap summer brights for the autumnal leaf tones of this check shirt by Japanese label Edwin.
Crafted from a red, gold and blue checked flannel, it’s a great casual option to throw on over a white tee, but its spread collar means it’s smart enough to inject a subtle touch of colour on dressier occasions, if you layer it under plain knitwear.
Available at END Clothing, priced £75.
4. Beams Plus Buffalo Check Work Shirt
Fellow Japanese label Beams Plus is all about updating classic American workwear. This season’s take eschews intricate tartans for a bold buffalo print, taking your look from Oregonian forests to surveying cattle on the Californian plains.
Finish it off with straight-fit black jeans and leather boots, for a hat tip to cowboy style that doesn’t veer into fancy dress.
Available at END Clothing, priced £119.
5. River Island Long Sleeve Flannel Check Shirt
The checked shirt is predictably ubiquitous on the high street this season, but River Island’s golden glow stands out among the more drab offerings.
This checked shirt will brighten up any autumn ensemble, whether it’s layered under a military green M-65 jacket on colder days, or worn solo to reflect glimpses of sunshine. And with rolled sleeves, it’s the perfect way to welcome spring. Eventually.
Available at ASOS, priced £28.
6. Dr Denim Tower Oversized Shirt
You can thank the 1990s revival for Dr Denim’s oversized overshirt. The Swedish brand’s grungy silhouette isn’t one for the office, but it will let you channel your inner Kurt Cobain on dress-down days.
Just swap the ripped jeans and shoulder-length hair for skate-cut black chinos and a French crop to ensure you ensemble looks considered, not Nevermind.
Available at Dr Denim, priced £45.
7. A.P.C. Steven Overshirt
Considering how minimalist most of Parisian label A.P.C.’s clothes are, this blue-on-blue check shirt could almost be considered gaudy. But the muted palette and fuss-free cut mean it’s ideal for trickling colour into monochrome outfits.
Crafted from premium Italian wool, it’s the perfect everyday piece to slip on with jeans and white sneakers.
Available at END Clothing, priced £149.
8. Barbour Castleford Shirt
Barbour excels at country classics and, as you’d expect, the brand’s Highland tartan take on the check shirt draws on its Scottish heritage.
That means striking colours – just be careful not to clash with your Christmas decorations – and details like corduroy on the inner collar. Couple with dry denim and a quilted jacket for a rural meets urban aesthetic.
Available at END Clothing, priced £69.
9. Mango Slim-Fit Check Cotton Shirt
If your office dress code isn’t demanding, Mango’s cotton check shirt could offer your nine-to-five wardrobe a break from your white and blue uniform.
Cut slim with a subtle check, it pairs just as well with a suit as it does your jeans – easing your transition from desk to bar.
Available at Mango, priced £45.99.
10. Lee Slim-Fit Western Shirt
The black-and-white brigade needn’t shun checks entirely. If Barbour’s number brings you out in cold sweats, opt for Lee’s Western-referencing style instead, where muted colours shift attention to details like the pointed collar and press stud fastenings.
Make your mornings stress free by sticking to black jeans and a topcoat. And avoid the urge to accessorise with a bolo tie or ten-gallon hat.
Available at ASOS, priced £60.