Trend report: Prince of Wales check

Jenessa Williams

Where did the trend come from?

Images courtesy of Who What Wear

First developed in the 19th century, the Prince of Wales check originated in Scotland, brought to popularity by the Duke of Windsor, formerly known as Edward VII.

Made up of two dark and two light stripes crossing a pattern of irregular checks, it’s a nice subversion of traditional tartan or gingham, ideal for both work and play. It’s not all black and white either—AW17 sees a play on colour and shape that allows a rock and roll, fun-filled finish.

What should I be looking out for?

From left to right: Mango Boots, Zara Pencil Dress, New Look Jumpsuit, New Look Heels, Topshop Pinafore, Zara Earrings, Saint Laurent Shorts, MGSM Coat, Stella McCartney bag, Mango Blazer, Miss Selfridge Scarf, Zara Dress

Wardrobe staples in classic shapes. Whether it be the perfect pencil dress, flattering blouse or tailored trousers, you can’t go far wrong with P.O.W as a piece of smart casual wear. Opt for high-cotton or linen mixes in heavy fabrics to minimalise the need for constant ironing.

Check accessories can also add a touch of country chic to a more casual look of jeans and a t-shirt. Shoes, bags and earrings all offer a modern take on the trend without proving too much of an investment.

How should I style this trend?

Left outfit: Mango Blazer, Marks & Spencer Jeans, Zara Boots, Mansur Gavriel Bag. Right outfit: Zara Sweater, Sainsbury’s Skirt, ASOS Loafers

Office dressing is pretty straightforward when it comes to donning the Prince of Wales check, but for something more casual, the key is colour.

Look for pieces that have a thread of colour running through them, and match accessories accordingly.

Go prim and proper with A-line dresses and tucked-in blouses a la Mad Men, or opt for something more '70s bohemian with loose-fitting flares, tight t-shirts and platform shoes.

This check deserves the limelight, so avoid pairing with other prints. Instead, pair with accessories that emphasise roundness such as earrings and circular bags, creating an optical softener against the straight lines.

Where can I get this look?

Left outfit: John Lewis Top, Rosie Assoulin Dress, Toolally Earrings, Office shoes. Right outfit: Egalitee Shirt, River Island Trousers, Mango Earrings, Simple Be Heels

Practically everywhere! Mid-tier stores such as Reiss, Zara and Mango hold great lines in suiting, whereas Net-A-Porter has a great selection if you’re looking for something in a slightly more unusual colourway.

For accessories and basics, New Look is enjoying a shining moment—blouses, jumpsuits and trousers all clocking in at under £30 a piece.

Feature image via Love Style Mindfulness