Check Yourself

As we all know, trends come and go each season. And although there are certain styles that never fall out of vogue, it’s easier to buy into the look when it’s considered a ‘trend’ as there are suddenly far more options available.

This is why we’re so pleased to see check patterns remain popular for AW14, especially across tailoring. Here at FashionBeans we have a preference for timeless sartorial style, which checked suits and separates definitely embody.

With this in mind, today we’re taking a look at the presence of checked tailoring on the autumn/winter 2014 runways, before breaking down the key pieces you need to try the look out yourself this year.

On The Runway

As always, the best place to start when it comes to tailoring is with the British heritage brands found on Savile Row. From Richard James to Chester Barrie, checked tailoring made its way into several AW14 collections, coming in the form of elegantly-cut jackets, trousers and outerwear featuring oversized windowpane patterns.

Elsewhere, Hackett continued the revival of this time-honoured motif through traditional glen plaid fabrics, while Richard Nicoll also applied windowpane variants to suiting.

Naturally, Alexander McQueen took a more rebellious, punk-inspired approach to the trend, showcasing a vibrant double-breasted check suit in pink and black:

chester barrie hackett Rake Richard James Richard James Hardy Amies Alexander McQueen Richard Nicoll Gieves & Hawkes hackett hackett E. Tautz

Outside of the UK, a wealth of grey checked tailoring was spotted on the AW14 runways at Brioni, Bottega Veneta, Trussardi and Michael Bastian, while sharp tartan separates were also popular at Boglioli and Corneliani:

Boglioli Michael Bastian Corneliani Trussardi Bottega Veneta Brioni

Now you’ve seen it on the runway, it’s time to find out how you can incorporate checked tailoring into your winter wardrobe. Whether it’s through a full suit or separates, we’ve got it covered…

Ways To Wear: The Full Suit

The most impactful way to approach the trend is undoubtedly through a full suit. From tartan to plaid patterns, upgrade your formal wear this AW14 with a well-cut version in a textured, cold-weather fabric.

Whether you opt for navy, charcoal or light grey, a check suit exudes confidence and sophistication. A grey version in a modern lean fit is the perfect choice for the boardroom, paired with a crisp white shirt and navy tie. Finish the look off with a pair of black/brown Oxfords:

  • He By Mango Slim-fit Tailored Cotton Shirt
  • Reiss Maleo Check Classic Suit Grey
  • Reiss Brooker Silk Tie Navy

Another great option for more relaxed office environments is a navy suit featuring a small scale check such as gingham. Ideal for making a subtle statement, try going tieless with your shirt buttoned up to the top – nailing two of AW14’s key aesthetics in one stylish swoop:

  • Reiss Lamb Stretch Button Down Shirt Pink
  • Hugo Boss Checked Suit
  • Dune Minister Brogue Boots

If you fancy dipping your toe into the trend without going all out, take a classic and refined approach when investing in your checked suit.

A charcoal single-breasted style in a subtle Prince of Wales check fabric will see you rise above the sea of plain navy and grey suits on the morning commute, while ensuring you equally don’t stick out like a sore thumb.

Add some interest with a polka dot tie or printed pocket square:

  • Reiss Columbus Cotton Point Collar Shirt Sky Blue
  • Paul Costelloe Prince Of Wales Check Suit
  • Turnbull & Asser Spotted Cashmere Wool And Silk-blend Tie

For the more confident among us, why not opt for a bold blue and green check suit this season? In particular, there are a few Black Watch tartan versions on the current market that would garner attention for all the right reasons.

Just remember to keep the focus on your suit by combining it with a plain shirt and solid tie in neutral hues:

  • Asos Smart Shirt In Long Sleeve
  • Ventuno 21 Slim Fit Green Tartan Dress Suit
  • Reiss Champ Knitted Silk Tie Black

If you’d rather find a middle ground between conservative and statement, a blue suit featuring a windowpane check is the ideal choice.

Windowpane patterns look extremely dapper when applied to tailoring, particularly when their outline comes in a subtle grey chalk stripe. Team with a tweed tie to introduce pattern mixing and another tactile element to your ensemble:

  • Reiss Columbus Cotton Point Collar Shirt Sky Blue
  • J. Crew Ludlow Suit Jacket In Windowpane Italian Wool Flannel
  • Polo Ralph Lauren Tweed Narrow Tie
Lookbook Inspiration

gucci 2014 el burgues aw14 tommy hilfiger tailored aw14 burton aw14 de fursac aw14 luigi bianchi mantova aw14 sarar aw14 tommy hilfiger sportswear aw14 brioni aw14 drykorn aw14 reiss aw14 luigi bianchi mantova aw14

Mini Trend: Check Three-Piece

For the sartorially-inclined gentleman with a penchant for timeless style – why not invest in a three-piece suit this season?

Crafted from pure wool or a wool-blend and featuring a traditional check pattern, you’ll cut a dashing figure in a razor-sharp jacket, waistcoat and trouser combination:

topman aw13 luigi bianchi mantova aw14 Vistula aw14 tesco f&f aw14 jaeger aw13 suitsupply aw13

Checked Blazers

If you don’t want to go all out with a checked suit this winter – or simply have no need for one – we’d suggest testing the waters with a blazer. The perfect piece to take you effortlessly from day to night, a checked blazer works just as well on off-duty days as it does in the office.

Ideal for when temperatures begin to plummet, a textured wool (or wool-blend) version will add some much-needed warmth to your autumn/winter ensembles. Team a tailored grey plaid jacket with a crisp pale blue shirt and black trousers to create a stylish formal contrast.

A blazer is also a go-to piece for smart-casual occasions, helping to sharpen up any look instantly. For events such as this, or creative working environments with relaxed dress codes, try combining a checked tweed blazer with slim-fit indigo denim jeans; the rugged, heavyweight fabrics complement each other perfectly.

Finish with brogue boots to introduce a touch of the country to your city wardrobe.

Lookbook Inspiration

m&s best of british aw14 massimo dutti aw13 avva aw14 angelo nardelli aw13 ravazzolo aw13 digel aw14 avva aw14 tommy hilfiger tailored aw14 jaeger aw14 todd snyder ss14 pal zileri aw14 el burgues aw13

Key Pieces
  • River Island Tartan Blazer
  • He By Mango Check Wool-blend Suit Blazer
  • He By Mango Check Wool-blend Suit Blazer
  • Reiss Raeburn Check Wool Blend Blazer Charcoal
  • Topman Black And White Heritage Checked Blazer
  • Ralph Lauren Check Wool And Alpaca-blend Blazer
  • River Island Dark Blue Tartan Blazer
  • Ted Baker Canne Wool Check Jacket
  • Ted Baker Sparjac Wool Check Jacket
Checked Trousers

Another way you can try out the trend (or get even more use out of your suit) this season is by incorporating checked trousers into your outfits.

A slim-fit pair in a grey or navy check will look sharp and modern paired with a plain white/sky blue/pink Oxford shirt. Finish off the outfit with an ivy league-inspired sweater or blazer in a neutral hue and a vintage pair of penny loafers.

For an edgier approach, go for a pair of tailored trousers in a textured woven fabric that creates an irregular check pattern. Perfect for chilly evenings out with friends, team them with a polo shirt and black biker jacket to channel a rock ‘n’ roll aesthetic.

Lookbook Inspiration

calliope aw14 ravazzolo aw13 avva aw14 suitsupply aw13 lbm 1911 aw13 brioni aw14 hugo boss aw13 tommy hilfiger sportswear aw14 reiss aw14 drykorn aw14 pal zileri aw14

Key Pieces
  • Asos Slim Fit Smart Trousers In Tartan
  • Sisley Slim Fit Suit Trousers In Check
  • Topman Navy Check Stretch Skinny Chinos
  • Topman Grey And Blue Check Skinny Suit Trousers
  • Topman Multi Coloured Checked Suit Trousers
  • Next Grey Check Slim Fit Suit: Trousers
  • River Island Light Brown Check Smart Trousers
  • Etro Slim-fit Check Wool Trousers
  • Ted Baker Basqatt Debonair Check Trouser
Final Word

Whether you decide to go all out with the checked tailoring trend this autumn/winter in a classic plaid three-piece suit, or take a refined and of-the-moment approach with slim-fit trousers featuring a windowpane pattern, the key is to keep your choice of colour and fabric in mind.

Hues like blue and grey will work with pretty much anything in your current wardrobe and are ideal for work, while a textured blazer will help you stay both snug and stylish – whether on- or off-duty – throughout the colder months ahead.

That said, this trend wouldn’t be what it is without its key ingredient: the check. From tartan to tattersall, opt for tailoring that features an attractive all-over grid pattern to exude effortless confidence and panache. Yes, it helps that it’s a big AW14 trend, but trust us – checked tailoring will remain in your wardrobe a lifetime.

Now you’ve heard from us, it’s over to you. Do you see yourself sporting a suit featuring a plaid or windowpane pattern this autumn? Or will you be keeping it simple by teaming a checked blazer or trousers with plain pieces?

Let us know in the comments section below…