A quick guide to checkered dress shirts

Surprisingly enough, there are quite a few types of checkered dress shirts. Here is a short run down of what’s out there and remember for most flexibility always get custom dress shirts:

Gingham – This checkered pattern consists of evenly spaced vertical and horizontal stripes that crisscross each other on a white background. Gingham is often associated with tablecloths but has been making their way into runway fashion. As a dress shirt fabric, they are a gamble. Gingham is more appropriate as a casual shirt than a corporate shirt.

Tattersall – The Tattersall pattern is woven (or printed) with evenly spaced lines in alternating colors vertically and horizontally. The lines are typically darker than the background color. Tattersall was originally most common on horse blankets but have become a popular dress shirt pattern over the century.  


Tartan/Plaid – This is the pattern you’ll typically see on Scottish Kilts. The pattern consists of horizontal and vertical lines and bands in various colors. It is most often associated with specific districts, regions or clans. Often the fabric is a twill weave and tartan should be only used for casual dress shirts.

Madras – Aptly named after the original manufacturing city in India, Madras is a light fabric consisting of criss crossing lines of different thickness. . This pattern is often seen on summer shirts and shorts sported by the preppy crowd. Due to its usual bright colors, the pattern should be kept away from the business wardrobe.

Shepherd’s Check – This one is really similar to Gingham except that it’s twill weave. This pattern gives off a much more sophisticated look than the regular Gingham and would be an interesting choice for the office. This pattern is also where the Houndstooth pattern originated.  


Windowpane Check – This check looks like windowpanes. It consists of singled colored crisscrossing lines that are a bit far apart from each other. This type of check is often seen in blues. As with stripes, the bigger the check the less formal the shirt.


Graph Check – Similar to the Windowpane Check, the pattern on the Graph Check is just smaller, looking exactly like the graphing paper we use on our math and science classes. Along with the other checks, this pattern gives off a more mature look.

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