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Suits

Making the case for: A check suit

Making the case for: A check suit

"If you're used to wearing a plain suit, trying a patterned one can seem far from your comfort zone. On the other hand, many a guy is after a way to update his look or make his outfits a bit more stylish without going over the top. The check suit is exactly the way to achieve that in smart settings. 

"Here's why this isn't as extreme a move as you might think. Unlike patterns such as paisley or even jacquard, check patterns are familiar—you've seen them on shirts, coats, jackets, and trousers—which makes them less bold. 

"To be clear, the suits I'm talking about bear zero resemblance to an Austin Powers costume. They're in a range of patterns that have suited men for decades, from tweed to Prince of Wales (one of my personal favourites) to the windowpane design on the suit here. A bold tartan might be too much, but there are some far subtler designs you can try out first. 

"Another plus: you can wear each piece of a check suit separately, which makes it a good investment. The jacket (similar to a textured blazer) can look nice at the weekend with smarter chinos, while the trousers could work really well with a plain crew neck jumper. And when you wear the two together, all you need is the simplest shirt and tie to complete the look.

"If you're up for it, try a few types of check before deciding on the best one for you. Something that feels really flamboyant for one person will feel just right for another—it's all about getting to know what you're comfortable with. So don't be put off if the first check suit you try on doesn't feel right. And if you're still unsure, do some googling: everyone from the Duke of Windsor to David Gandy has pulled off a check suit in his own way."

Thread senior stylist Alice Watt