4 Shades of Checks

A few months ago, we schooled you in different kinds of checks—yes, there’s more than one, and they all have names! And this time round, we are here to show you how you can use this humble pattern to create extraordinary looks.  

Photographs: Kim Hyuk; 
By: Manveen Guliani; 
Text By: Meghna Sharma Model: Sun Hye-Young; Hair: Kyung Min Jung; Make-Up: Sooyoung Sim; Assistant: Songa Kim; Fashion Intern: Ananya Banerjee

Checks and (faux) leather, when paired together, results in a certain power play that makes for an eye-pleasing effect. It’s amazing that the toughness of leather is so beautifully enhanced, yet softened, by checks. You can further accentuate the look by adding link-chain jewels, broad belts, and more. And , if you are not a skirt person, you can achieve the same finale with a pair of flared trousers, too. Bodysuit, skirt, belt, necklece, thigh-high boots, all Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello.

Oh, to be young again! This sartorial style has aged so beautifully that it can make you feel like a teenager (minus the gawkiness!). Just throw on a checkered, box-pleat dress and blazer, and you’ll see what we mean. Team your Mary Janes with a pair of knee-high or calf-length socks for the ultimate school-girl vibe. Jacket, Polo Ralph Lauren; mini dress, Mulberry; hairclip, Dior; tote bag, Celine; Mary Jane Shoes, Gucci; beanie and socks, stylist’s own

Time for Classics:

The world of fashion is constantly reinventing fabrics and styles to make them more current. But once in a while, it is nice to wear a style the way it was intended. Checks have always had two sides: the school-girl look and the easy, I’m-too-cool-for-school vibe. Both of which we LOVE! And so, adding a plaid shirt, checkered overshirt, or mini skirt to your wardrobe staples is a stylish idea. These pieces have gotten more refined over time, and will totally prove to be vital additions to your ‘drobe. Floral print silk tie, Satya Paul, Rs 2,795.

Casual button-up shirt, Polo Ralph Lauren at The Collective, Rs 9,990.

Block-heel sandals, Steve Madden, Rs 8,999.

Checked wool mini skirt, Gucci, Rs 1,04,200 approx.

Rib-knit slipover, H&M, Rs 1,499.

Checked overshirt, Mango, Rs 6,590.

Ribbed high-neck thermal bodysuit, Uniqlo, Rs 2,630 approx.

Baguette Bag, Fendi, Rs 1,92,900 approx.

Mary Jane stilettos, Head Over Heels by Dune London, Rs 3,499.

Mood for Vintage

The checks pattern has a certain je ne sais quoi quality that can instantly transport you to an era gone by—especially styles like cropped jackets, breezy culottes, mini skirts with ruffled hem, or fitted blouses. Luckily, all of these pieces are trending at the moment, making it easy for you to achieve the look without rummaging though your mum’s (or grandmother’s) trunk full of clothes. Pair these with retro favourites like a pair of Mary Janes and easy waves to stay authentic to the period, but with a modern twist. Gold plated cuff, Suhani Pittie, Rs 5000.

Cropped checkered suit jacket, Dhruv Kapoor, Rs 18,500.

Knee-length floral skirt, H&M, Rs 2,299.

Long dress with high neck and a belt, Zara, Rs 4,490.

Cable-knit sweater with shoulder pleats, Massimo Dutti, Rs 7,290.

Black studded stiletto pumps, Dune London, Rs 11,999.

Check pullover, Vero Moda, Rs 2,999.

Mid-rise check culottes, Vero Moda, Rs 2,799.

Personalised necklace in mother of pearl, Isharya, Rs 10,679.

Faux patent leather buckle Oxfords, Forever 21, Rs 1,999.

We might have underestimated the value of a windowpane checked shirt in our wardrobe. Mostly reserved for days when we are feeling uninspired and throwing on just about anything would do, this classic piece comes with sartorial magic waiting to be wielded. If clashing heavy prints is not your thing, take a cue from this look—fuse the feminine energy of a floral print with the masculinegender-neutral vibe of a checkered shirt for a street-style-level-cool look. Even better: throw on an oversized coat and combat boots to hit it home! Coat, shirt, dress, all Gucci; necklace, Monica Vinader; loafers, Dr. Martens

The cold weather calls for layering, but it doesn’t have to be monotoned! #Boring. Instead, look for interesting separates that can mesh well to create a striking look. Take two staple pieces like a checkered coat and a fuzzy jacket, for instance. On an ordinary day, worn alone, they would look chic, but basic. Layer them together and you have yourself a elevated look waiting to be snapped! Fur coat, Miu Miu; trench coat, MSGM; crop top, 8 by Yoox; jeans, Guess; bucket hat, Tommy Hilfiger; necklace, Rascas by Ille Lan

Street Chic

The key to nailing the street-style vibe is to put in the right amount of effort to make a look look effortless. First order of business: invest in a good checkered shirt. Buffalo plaid, tartan, gingham, big, small...whatever you like! The world of fashion has embraced this print and is now adding to its edgy vibe with accents like fringe, studs, and more. Next, sprinkle some unique accessories: a bucket hat, scarf, socks, or belt. Now build your look around these two key elements. Large brim bucket hat, Dior, price on request.

Fringe-trim plaid shirt, Polo Ralph Lauren, Rs 22,100 approx.

Mid-rise, slim-leg cropped jeans, Scotch & Soda, Rs 11,420 approx.

Floral scarf, Nicobar, Rs 3,650.

Petit check cotton wool shirt, Gucci, price on request.

Stretch jersey T-shirt, Love Moschino, Rs 12,300 approx.

Quilted belt bag, Versace, Rs 147,700.

Chuck Taylor High Tops, Converse at VegNonVeg, Rs 4,999.

Denim jumpsuit with belt, Mango, Rs 5,590.

Evening Glam

We know this pattern has been infamous for being too cazjh for far too long. But give a girl the right kind of checks and she can conquer the world...or at least the room she walks into! 2020, unlike many other things, has thrown some wonderful sartorial options our way. You can take the school-girl route and rock a pair of plaid stockings under a solid mini, or wear the big-girl (checkered) pants and team them with super-high heels for a ’70s-boho-meets-glam vibe. Want to start small? Team a blingy bag with a dark velvet dress, or glittery socks with pumps or strappy heels in the same pattern. Checkered braid ring, CaratLane, Rs 16,824.

Ankle strap heels, Swarovski X Oceedee, Rs 16,999.

Metallic top, Ted Baker, Rs 5,200 approx.

Embellished check flared trousers, French Connection, Rs 14,150 approx.

Kawaii miniature bag with silver foil, KNGN, Rs 6,500.

Wide belt with buckle fastening, Crusset at ajio.com.

Monogrammed socks, Gucci, Rs 13,770 approx.

Delphi ankle boots, Versace, Rs 1,52,900.

Checkered tweed mini skirt, Mango, Rs 4,590.

Asymmetric metallic top, Zara, Rs 1990.