One perennial pattern that tailors and customers both love today is the glen plaid. Among the 8 main types of checks, it is probably the most used in popular culture. It has its origins in Glenurquhart in Inverness-shire and it’s a tiled pattern with a mix of houndstooth and other pin checks.
The woven twill weave (traditionally a right-hand twill) combines two dark and two light stripes, with four dark and four light stripes to create this patterned effect. At Officine Paladino, we’ve given our take on this classic pattern by injecting a mix of lighter colours into the material. This offers added depth to the cloth.
The Countess of Seafield
Mary Elizabeth Nina Ogilvy-Grant, the New Zealand born Countess of Seafield, is said to have used this check pattern to outfit her gamekeepers. The name glen plaid was coined later in 1926
The fabric gained popularity post-WWII as the then Prince of Wales, Edward, frequently wore finely tailored double-breasted suits in this fabric pattern. The prince often buttoned the last button, instead of the middle, creating a louche, nonchalant fit that iconised his style.
This pattern later became even more popular after Cary Grant wore it with a pair of tortoise-shell sunglasses in the movie North by Northwest (1959). The Hollywood heartthrob was named the best dressed man in the world, in no small part thanks to this look.
The Glen Plaid today
Modern glen plaids today offer different variations of the glen plaid, often playing with colour and adding different hues from the classic black and white, or grey. This brings added depth to the look.
The easiest way to wear a glen plaid suit would be to pair it with a crisp white, narrow collar shirt and a half-Windsor. However, a chambray shirt or a striped oxford can also work well.
A light grey glen plaid jacket works with a top in light or dark colours. The same goes for our mocha-coloured Latte OP 2152. For the more adventurous, we recommend breaking up the suit and wearing the jacket with olive green or earth-toned pants or a denim-like material such as Lagoon OP 2123.