How to wear heritage checks
Take your style inspiration from 'The Crown' this winter with a contemporary spin on the classic print, writes Meadhbh McGrath
There were all manner of checks on the catwalks this season. At Calvin Klein, creative director Raf Simons presented a much-Instagrammed modern interpretation by covering a check trench in a layer of transparent plastic, while Tibi offered a youthful take with a shoulder-padded skirt suit and Off-White paired a check pencil skirt with matching boots. But the most dominant version was the heritage checks, which ruled the runway at Stella McCartney and Mulberry.
Much of the collections looked like a contemporary nod to Claire Foy's wardrobe as a young queen Elizabeth in The Crown. Think skirt suits with pussybow blouses, quilted moss-green jackets and silk scarves, but updated with super-sized silhouettes and cinched waists, exaggerated shoulders and midi hemlines. While we're not suggesting you try a Mulberry-esque duvet coat, the mood is perfect for cold Irish winters.
The easiest way to embrace the trend is with a check coat. River Island's brown check trench is gorgeous, but they come in all manner of colours, styles and proportions, so whether you prefer oversized, fitted, double-breasted or boxy cut, there's something for everyone.
If you don't want to commit to a new winter coat, try a check dress, which can be layered over fine-knit roll necks and cotton shirts as the temperatures drop.
Maje's blue ruffled midi looks great with knee boots and a long coat, or with accents of gold and sculptural earrings for evening. Follow Alexa Chung's lead and opt for a more structured silhouette, like this fitted, waist-conscious number from Topshop, with a pair of a chic kitten heels.
A check skirt might remind you of your school days, but if done correctly, it's a simple and office-appropriate way to integrate the look in your wardrobe. Pair with a muted, block-colour knit or crisp shirt for workwear, or amp it up by opting for a contrasting check blouse. Zara's patchwork version recalls Mulberry's lovely skirt sets; top off with colour-pop heels and a circle bag and you're good to go.
The double-breasted check blazer is the key piece for this trend. Ideally, you want a full suit (with 80s-esque power shoulders, like Yasmin le Bon in Ralph Lauren), but if that strikes as too much, pair the jacket with a slogan T-shirt and jeans, a floral midi dress or whatever else takes your fancy for easy AW17 style points.
A pair of check trousers is more versatile than you might think, particularly if you opt for a loose-fitting pair. Prince of Wales checks were the most popular colour on the catwalks (and on the high street), but we like Massimo Dutti's green wool version to stand out from the crowd. Style with a knit or blouse that highlights the check print - in this case, a cosy mustard jumper.