Although check shirts are about as basic as most wardrobes get, it can still be tricky to match them up with other garments – especially shoes – as there’s usually no single colour to pick out. However, choosing clothes to pair up with check shirts doesn't have to be difficult when you aim for a mood rather than a specific look. Think laid back and informal, and use the principal colour merely to guide you rather than to lay down the law. Here’s our brief guide.
How do men wear check shirts?
The check shirt is a versatile garment. It can be worn over a t-shirt, with jeans or canvas trousers, open-necked or buttoned up, with boots, shoes or trainers. The weight of the fabric determines how informal it is and what it’s best worn with.
At its heart, the check shirt is a modern interpretation of the tartans, Ginghams and buffalo checks that have been used in shirtmaking ever since weaving was invented. It’s rarely worn formally as the check can clash with a jacket. The exceptions are when the squares are tiny, such as pin check, or widely spaced, like a graph check.
For a light check like Gingham, you’ll look smart with a pair of narrow jeans and Chelsea boots – a professional urban look that’s never going out of style. For bolder, heavier checks, a decent pair of 6-inch boots are always going to work.