The checked suit has gained popularity in recent years as fashion designs have stepped forward into bolder styles and designs. Logomania has revived among luxury brands. Simultaneously, the demand for patterned fabrics such as glen plaid is surging among designers and tailors.
The classic check is the most popular design for men’s suiting in the 21st century. But the check itself comes in many forms, from gingham (a checkerboard style pattern alternating in white and a second color) to windowpane. The latter is so named for its similarity to its namesake form, with two thin intersecting lines that create the look.
A classic style, revived
The windowpane check was a popular style among tailors during the baby-boomer era of the 1950s and 1960s, with very large checks and thicker lines, usually on a grey or brown fabric. It was seen as a rather casual look, worn on weekends at the country club or other engagements. But today, the style has been modernised by fashion-forward tailors who see it as a way to stand out from the crowd.
If you’re still new to wearing patterned suits, pick a lightly subtle windowpane fabric like our Shadow Pane OP 2021, a Super 130’s wool with a faint check pattern in a slightly lighter blue. The design will only be noticed by those paying attention and makes it easy to style it as a full suit or with a different suiting fabric to create different looks.
How to wear the windowpane today
- For starters, try a windowpane in a non-conventional color or combined with a different pattern. Our Purple Rain OP 2009 is an excellent example of a multi-patterned windowpane check. Our Chantico OP 2188 in a midtone gray with brown windowpane frames also offers a different take on the design.
- Keep your windowpane jacket or suit the focus of your look. Avoid loud colors or patterns, but consider mixing a different check such as a gingham shirt with a similar hue with your windowpane fabric.
- Alternatively, you can go classic with a simple T-shirt or white long-sleeved shirt with a full windowpane suit. You will look outstanding among your peers.
Try creating your own windowpane check suit on our Styling Tool to see how it will look, and realise it with our partner tailors. For more ideas, check out our Suited Approach lookbook, which is full of great windowpane check fabrics to customise your next suit.