Q I can't help but notice all the check around at the moment. I remember it first time around in the late 1980s, so I'm dubious I'll end up looking like a dodgy Rod Stewart tribute act. How should a chap my age wear check?
Marty (40) Athlone.
A Checks, tartans and plaids, the staple of Scottish sartorialism, have been creeping back into popularity over the past couple of seasons and are now firmly back on the menswear agenda. Cool brands such as Tiger of Sweden, YMC and Vivienne Westwood are leading the charge.
The key to wearing check this season, particularly if you're only dipping your toe in the water, is to think hints as opposed to full-on. Fabrics can be layered, so make the most of the opportunity to mix tones and textures and you'll be bang up to date.
London brand YMC's (You Must Create) plaid trousers (1) feature an innovative use of corduroy woven over a plaid fabric, creating a lightly patterned appearance that's relatively subtle. Keep the rest of your outfit pared back (€175, mrporter.com).
A check or tartan shirt is perhaps the most obvious choice. Zara's checked jacquard shirt has a contrasting denim yoke which gently breaks up the pattern (2 €39.95).
Topman's navy/green tartan shirt features a contrast sleeve and has a slim fit that narrows at the waist for a more tailored look (3 €40).
Outerwear hasn't escaped the trend, and this Paul Smith check coat is an updated classic (4 €1,675, Brown Thomas). If all this is a step too far, channel the trend with tartan socks, a tartan tie or a tartan scarf (5 €65, Tommy Hilfiger).