Check suits are extremely popular with bespoke customers because they look as good in the office as they do at an event, and they are a chance to show individual style and taste. The only suit that comes close in versatility is a suit in a solid colour but block colour suits do not have anything like the panache of check suit.
A check suit is one of the hardest suits to buy. They involve slightly more thought regarding shirt, tie and pocket square combinations, but get it right and your suit will stand out as refined, stylish and original. Check suits and the word ‘dapper’ go hand in hand!
Below we have outlined out top 5 tips for choosing the perfect check suit for you.
Choosing the perfect check suit – tip 1: choosing the right weight of cloth
A heavy check suit (with a cloth weight of 12.5 – 15 oz) has more of a country feel to it, and indeed most tweeds have a check to them that reflects the season or the environment they are to be worn in. However, in recent years more cloth makers have produced medium weight cloths which allow the opportunity to sport a similar look but are more practical for urban life. The check suit has therefore established an image as the choice of ‘the country gent in town’ – a reputation it can be very proud of.
Choosing the perfect check suit – tip 2: how bold should the check be?
There are many different types of check, and a good rule of thumb is that the smaller the width of the check the more subtle and understated the final look. A Prince of Wales check suit in charcoal grey will simply look charcoal grey from 3 metres away, whereas a bold windowpane check in two contrasting colours will be spotted from the other side of the room! (and is therefore often better suited as a sports jacket). Your tailor will be able to advise on which checks will work better for your needs.
Choosing the perfect check suit – tip 3: colour
The reason it’s so hard to choose a check suit is because often there is the introduction of a second colour… and it’s hard enough choosing one!
The two check suit combinations below are certainly a good start.
1) Grey & blue (with either as the dominant colour) works well and can be combined with white, blue, grey and even light pink shirts.
2) Grey/blue with burgundy also works well, especially with white or pink shirts.
Choosing the perfect check suit – tip 4: the cut
A check suit is a rare occasion when a three button suit can look stylish but it must be combined with a waistcoat and we advise that the jacket is left open.
The one button style is more suited to solid colours. The two button style is by far the most popular. We would advise not to be too outrageous with the style choices -a check suit should look elegant, and since the cloth itself is already quite ‘busy’ we would suggest keeping the rest of the suit simple and classic: notched lapels, double vents side adjusters and an un-patterned tie/ pocket square.
Choosing the perfect check suit – tip 5: waistcoats
A check suit should always be accompanied by a waistcoat. Whilst a two piece check suit looks good, a three piece propels the suit to the realms of magnificence! Wearing a check suit shows that you take great care in your appearance, as does wearing a waistcoat. It is logical, therefore, that the two compliment one another perfectly.
To see samples of our work or to receive free, impartial advice on choosing a check suit, please get in touch.
King & Allen hold fitting days across the country and have tailoring centres near London (Surbiton) and Manchester (Wilmslow).