If Britain hadn’t already secured its name as the spiritual home of menswear and great tailoring, then you only need to look as far as Oxford shoes and Norfolk jackets just to reiterate it. Prince of Wales check is no exception. Just by scanning through a few photographs from LC:M you get the picture that check tailoring is huge right now. From catwalk designs to men’s street style, there was really only one pattern to be seen in.
As a variation of the Glen Urquhart check, the fabric first gained some popularity with Edward II when he was Prince of Wales in the late 19th Century. What made it more prevalent was his son, Edward III, when he became Prince of Wales. Edward was a trendsetter and many of his ideas have an influence over men’s fashion today. In fact, he became the most photographed celebrity of his time because of his rather eccentric sense of style. Along with his shirt maker, he created the modern evening shirt with front pleats and double cuffs. He also made the wearing of brown shoes with a navy suit acceptable and helped introduce new fashions in men’s casualwear. And of course, he popularised the Prince of Wales check that was named after him. Since then it has retained its regal associations and is still popular with the current Prince of Wales, Charles.
The quintessentially British textile is a woollen fabric with a woven twill design consisting of small and large checks, traditionally made of black/grey and white, but different combinations of grey and navy have been more popular lately.
For those wanting to move beyond menswear’s tailoring basics of solid navy and greys, The Prince of Wales check is easy to style and surprisingly versatile. Worn as a full suit makes a timeless style statement. Alternatively, you can mix and match the blazer with different trousers, or trousers with a different blazer for an up-to-date and slightly more casual look.
What you shouldn't do is mix a Prince of Wales suit with a Prince of Wales shirt, thats just too much! So choose one or the other!