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What Is Your Kind of Plaid?

Not all plaids are created equal. Plaid is actually just one of many different kinds of check patterns. Gingham for example is a much smaller micro-check, usually featuring just two main colors (sometimes of different shade). Argyle on the other hand has more of a diamond shape and often has often a handful of different colors. Below is a quick guide of 5 of the most popular check patterns found on a men’s necktie

Plaid – Most people simply call every check pattern “plaid”. To the expert there are minor differences however. Plaid is regular in shape (90 degree angles), and features multiple parallel lines. Plaid patterned ties are perfect for any season (depending on color). Because most plaids are quite “busy”, ties featuring this pattern are usually best worn with solid colored shirts, or single colored shirts featuring very subtle fabric weaves (herringbone, pique, oxford cloth, etc)

Tartan Check – Tartan is a traditional style of plaid that is typically associated with Scottish fabric. Instantly coming to mind here is the Kilt. Traditional tartan check is made in colors hunter green or red. Another very famous tartan-plaid is the signature pattern of Burberry featuring brown, tans, as well as off white and red accents.p>

Gingham – Gingham is a much smaller check pattern that usually only uses two different color yarns. While commonly found on pic-nick blankets, it is just as common in men’s fashion. Most common are dress shirts featuring a blue/white or gray/white gingham check. The gingham check is also found on ties – usually even smaller in scale and commonly paired with summer fabrics such as cotton or linen.

Argyle – Argyle is a bold pattern consisting of differently colored diamond shapes as well as window-pane checks. It is most commonly found on socks and sweaters, but also on men’s neckties. Argyle patterned ties can be fun when worn the right way. Because argyle is such a busy check pattern, neckties with this design are best paired with a solid color dress shirt.

Window-Pane – Window pane checks usually only have two different colors. The check pattern usually is made up of one or two parallel lines that are darker than the background. Window-pane is a very common pattern for suits and blazers, but is also occasionally chosen on a tie design. Window-pane check ties are best worn with solid shirts as well as very tight patterns, such as narrow striped shirts or shirts with gingham checks.

Tattersall – Another check pattern that is most commonly found on dress shirts is the so-called “Tattersall”. This check pattern consists of two colored checks made up from thin lines. It almost looks like two overlapping window-pane checks. Tattersall is rarely seen on men’s tie designs.