When it comes to shirts, you probably own a classic blue Oxford shirt, a few of the formal variety and several casual shirts for the weekend. Among your casual stuff, a checked shirt may feature highly especially on cooler autumnal days when you want to relax. And with so many checked options out there, you can pull off smart, smart casual or casual, essentially everything but scruffy as long as you follow our dos and don'ts of how to wear the checked shirt.
Do consider the fabric
While it's no longer just the uniform of lumberjack, the checked shirt is still available in that thick brushed cotton so associated with the name. The flannel version is great for wearing at the weekend in place of a jacket or casually thrown over a t-shirt or even a plain hoodie.
A finer cotton checked shirt is just as versatile if not more than its lumberjack counterpart. Wear with jeans or under a jumper when you head to the pub for a Sunday lunch.
Don't be afraid of colour
One way to instantly inject colour and spice things up a bit in the wardrobe department is via the staple checked shirt. Keep it muted in a black and grey check or adopt a brighter red check or purple check. Team with jeans and boots or plimsolls and a casual jacket such as a fisherman's style at the weekend.
Do check your style
Checks come in a real assortment of styles and designs which can be essentially drawn into two camps - busy vs clean patterns. A busier pattern has far more lines and edges towards the lumberjack style. Cleaner patterns tend to be small checks and distinct squares (gingham check is a great example of this). Choose the latter if heading on a date or even in the office. The former is best for a walk at the weekend of wearing to that Saturday match.
Don't just stick to casual
The checked shirt does have its place in the casual wardrobe but you can also smarten it up. Try a cleaner pattern check with a tie and blazer for work or even teamed with a dark suit. By making simple changes such as tucking into your jeans and adding a belt, you can instantly transform this casual piece of kit into something sharper. Add vibrancy to your whole wardrobe via the staple checked shirt.
Do think about sleeve length
In summer, try a short sleeve checked shirt. They can actually look very smart when done all the way up and offer an alternative to the Oxford shirt on particularly warm days. Long sleeve shirts work in two ways. You can roll the sleeves up when you need to if wearing an oversized version in the place of a jacket or thrown over a plain t-shirt. Alternatively, do the cuffs up and wear with jeans for a slightly smarter style.