Just like every year, autumn brings out the menswear trends most linked to British elegance, with its wools and flannels,available in the form of blazers, trousers, and shirts. Tartan, in particular, has become the go-to wardrobe staple, especially in view of its historic value that - season after season - never misses a chance to inspire fashion designers and cool hunters all over the world, to become authentic trending topics.
This a fabric with roots in traditional old Scottish society, from where it takes its name. The Scottish clans, who had settled in different areas, would use the well-known “plaid” as a traditional tunic, made in wool woven with coloured threads dyed using natural roots and berries to create the bright colours and different tones for every area of ancient Scotland. The tunic was worn belted at the waist with a pin at the shoulder and was the precursor to the famous kilt: the pleated skirt that went on to become part of traditional Scottish costume and is still a spotlight catwalk item for men and women alike: from Dsquared2 to Richmond, and McQueen, who has added a more pop-like feel to this fabric.
More than anything, the tartan shirt has influenced everyday styles and inspired looks in some of the world’s most famous movies, starring sex symbols of the calibre of James Dean who have worn soft flannel shirts, in a range of some 1000 different checks. Models inspired by outdoor and lumberjack styles have been transformed into genuine fashion trends to great success, even in the concrete jungle, with the most famous grunge bands of the 90s, like Nirvana and their frontman, Kurt Cobain.
When paired with a great pair of army boots or calfskin ankle boots, any of the different check shirt colour mixes can give you a perfect dose of heritage, preppy style that any man - whatever the generation - loves to find in his wardrobe. Pair your check shirt with great classics, like a blazer, or go with a free casual look, wearing it over a tee or fine cashmere crew neck. And for peak check expression, add a leather jacket for irresistible, rebellious results.
This season’s new flannel shirts come in a palette of woodland, woody, and natural tones, with touches of sky shades, in tartan or solid colours, with a melange effect. The touch is soft and the look is both sporty and contemporary. The perfect way to recreate the timeless charm of country style, or immerse yourself in nature or the metropolitan jungle, in complete comfort, even at the start of the cold weather.
When you can, it’s nice to leave off the stiff volumes and severe tones, and to express your own style freely with a bold check in warm reds and yellows, expertly mixed with white, blue and black. A romantic evocation of British taste with a retro feel, through to the classic blue and green tartan that can be interpreted with timeless elegance when paired with a velvet blazer, ever the sophisticated ally of the true gentleman.
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