The Check's In The Post: Prince of Wales Check

The Rake’s Sartorial Guru Chris Modoo muses on the most generous of masculine patterns, the large-format Prince of Wales check.
Roger Moore in The Man With The Golden Gun (Photo by Moviestore/REX/Shutterstock (1628324a

I have always liked a Prince of Wales check. Named for Edward VII and made fashionable by his grandson, it has always had a place in the wardrobe of the well-dressed. My father bought me a black and ecru double-breasted glen-checked suit when I was sixteen, rather than the typical plain grey or navy as my first suit. The idea was that I would get more wear out of something that could also work separately. It was imagined that I would probably grow out of it in a year or so but my late-teen growth spurt never actually happened and I had several good years of wear out of it, both as a suit and as separates. I particularly enjoyed wearing the trousers with a blue blazer or sweater.

This suit was eventually upgraded to something made-to-measure, and I commissioned a three-piece with a “button 3, roll 2” and ticket pocket in a virtually identical pattern, except for the addition of a faint sky blue overcheck. This in turn was eventually supplemented by another double-breasted, although this time in a rather nice Saxony wool and cashmere by Loro Piana. I was working as a salesman on Savile Row at the time and was aware of most of the offerings from the British cloth merchants, but there was something rather special and slightly different about the Loro Piana offering at the time – something a little more exotic. I subsequently learned that the blue overcheck was “guarded” creating a nice geometric balance in a complicated pattern.


January 2022


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