Solid colored and striped custom-made and ready-made shirts work year-round, but there’s nothing like having a few seasonal items in the closet to make the changing months feel more special. In the fall, I like to incorporate a few custom-made checked shirts into my rotation. They come in three varieties:
- Graph checks: The name describes the pattern. These look like those pieces of graph paper you used to use in science class. A bit dressier than the other checked shirts mentioned here.
- Tattersalls: Basically like graph checks, but multi-colored. You can find them in dressier or more casual varieties. The dressy ones are typically made from a smooth cotton and feature thin stripes, while more causal ones might be something like a brushed flannel and have thick stripes. If you want to wear a tie with your shirt, stick to the dressier kind.
- Tartans: A ton of variations here, many of them being classified with special terminology. “Modern tartans” are those designs made in their standard, traditional colors, while “ancient tartans” will be the same, but made to look a little more aged and weathered. “Hunting tartans” also refers to tartans with lots of greens and blues, while “dress tartans” make more use of white. You can wear tartans under tweed sport coats or Barbour jackets, but being on the more casual side of shirts, I find they look better without neckwear.
Pay attention to the subtle nuances of how dressy or casual a shirt looks. As usual, the bigger the pattern or more textured the fabric, the more casual a shirt is considered. Pair accordingly.
Parts excerpted from Put This On..