Elegant checked shirts: from gingham to micro-checks.


If you’re one of those people who think that checked shirts are only good for picnic blankets and lumberjacks, the good news is that there’s a huge variety of checked patterns capable of making even the most elegant shirt wearer’s day, providing, of course, you know how to choose the right matches and colours to create a sophisticated, well-balanced outfit. One of the first things to consider when creating a formal look is the size of the checks: the optical effect of very small checks is similar to that provided by a plain shirt, making it easy to match, even with the most classic clothing. Let’s take a look at two of the most popular patterns, so we can create a classic outfit with the most elegant checked shirts.


Gingham: from Malaysia to Brigitte Bardot.

The gingham pattern made its debut in Britain during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, having been imported from Malaysia. It took its name from the term genggam, meaning “stripes” in the Malay dialect, as the fabric originally bore stripes. Production of this well-known checked pattern began in the 17th century in Manchester and originally it was mainly used for furnishings, but with the advent of Napoleon II, the city of Vichy became the main European production site for the fabric and its popularity grew. The gingham pattern is characterised by small checks, alternating between white and another colour, usually dark or light blue, red or black, printed directly on to the fabric. With its crisp, clean look, gingham soon won over ladies and princesses in the whole of Europe and it became famous in the sixties when Brigitte Bardot made it an iconic feature of her own personal style. Over the years, the retro vibe of gingham has found a place in both men and women’s wardrobes, becoming a grand classic. Xacus has provided a modern take on its charm in this shirt [LINK] with French collar, in lightweight, ultra-comfy double-twisted fabric, also ideal for formal occasions, perhaps worn with a dark blue suit and a pair of lace-ups.

Micro-checks: small, but big on elegance.

If you like to stand out with style, an alternative to the plain shirt is definitely a micro-check pattern, for a finesse that is always elegant and formal but has that all-important extra dash of eclecticism. In fact, checks, along with stripes, were the first patterns to be introduced for men’s shirts, and they were worn, in particular by businessmen, as early as in the 1800s. Ideal for more formal occasions such as meetings and business lunches, a shirt with a tone-on-tone micro-check pattern in a classic colour, such as light or dark blue, will always be an excellent solution to pair with a jacket and smart trousers for an elegant outfit. One example is this button-down shirt with its timeless charm, in double-twisted poplin, a compact yet breathable fabric, perfect for those who love smooth, shiny fabrics without fancy textures, for a pleasant sensation on the skin.

  • Reza
    Very nice
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