Prince Of Wales Suits

The King & Allen guide to… Prince Of Wales Check Suits

There is a nothing more quintessentially British, than a Prince of Wales suit. To wear it is to wear an icon of British heritage – a timeless style that will be enjoyed and treasured for a lifetime.

Not only is it steeped in British history, but it occupies a very practical place in a gentleman’s wardrobe, since it looks equally magnificent in the office as it does at an event. Moreover, men’s Prince of Wales suits have an air of great prestige, in part because of the history and in part because of its rarity. It’s very hard to find off the peg and almost impossible to have any choice of pattern if you do.

At King & Allen, we stock over 50 different styles and patterns, and we have seen a huge surge in popularity recently for not just the classic grey Prince of Wales suits, but also for other colours (such as blue and brown) as people look for a suit style that goes beyond the plain solid colours, but is not as business focused as a pinstripe.

The History of the Prince of Wales Check

The Prince of Wales check is a variant of the Glen Urquhart check, having originated in the valley of Glenurquhart in Inverness-shire, Scotland, where the checked wool was first used in the 19th century by the New Zealand-born countess of Seafield to outfit her gamekeepers. The fabric first gained its moniker due to its popularity with Edward VII in the late 19th century.

The style was made famous, however, by his son Edward VIII (of Mrs Simpson fame) when he was Prince of Wales – in essence because he had such an extensive and infamous wardrobe.

Since then the check has continued to maintain its regal status and is still extremely popular with Prince Charles.

How to wear a Prince of Wales suit

We usually recommend that it be worn as a single breasted 2 button jacket, or double breasted 2 show 4 (as favoured by Prince Charles). These are both classic English cuts and will therefore compliment the style of cloth. The jackets should be double vented at the rear, and could potentially sport a right hand ticket pocket as a nod to days of yore when the pocket was used during the daily commute. The trousers should have buckled or buttoned side adjusters, which again is the more classic Savile Row British style… and could even sport a turn-up, but only if you’ve got the height.

Accessorising Your Suit

We would recommend a plain shirt with a patterned cloth, ideally in white or a hue that compliments any colour running through the check. A brown brogue is the ideal shoe to accompany most men’s Prince of Wales check suit styles. Finally, a plain silk pocket square is the ideal finishing touch – truly regal!

To discuss your individual needs please book an appointment or call us on 0800 027 4430.

A small sample of our suits


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