Check your coat: this winter’s most popular outerwear

— by Alyson Walsh

Photos: Neil Mackenzie Matthews


Call it a return to the classics but I’m seeing a lot of checked wool jackets and coats around town. Often worn with a waft of insouciant French Chic – think Coco Chanel: the Duke of Westminster years, or my latest style icon Charlotte Husson founder and artistic director of the Parisian label Mister K. The plaid cover-up is a traditional design, so avoid looking too buttoned up by keeping the rest of the outfit understated. A good overcoat in a fabulous fabric not only protects, but can pull together the most casual of outfits.

The winter coat is the most-hard-working piece in your wardrobe and opting for a classic checked fabric is guaranteed to bring longevity, and garner compliments. And, with its variety of incarnations – plaid, dogtooth, tartan, Prince of Wales  – there is a check for every taste. This season traditional, grunge and oversized designs are all over the outerwear department. The one I’m wearing here is Bromley check trench from Hobbs. With it’s seventies-inspired lapels, gentlewomanly fit, tie belt and nutty brown, heritage check I feel ‘just smart enough’. It also plays well with my favourite new colour pairing – conker and navy.




If you normally stick to plain coats, I promise you that a check can be just as versatile. It may also offer a more playful approach to drab winter dressing. Opt for a style with a neutral base colour such as a warm camel or navy, if that sounds a bit boring try a multi-coloured check; both offer more styling options and will mix-and-match with the clothes you already own.

Jaeger always does outerwear well and I’m really into this reversible style with a detachable scarf which is like a souped-up car coat from the late 1960s. Colour is always on the menu at Boden, with chequered styles in green and pink or yellow and brown. As I’ve said before, having a snazzy, brightly-coloured coat is a sartorial trump-card when an everyday outfit is in need of a lift.

If, however, you’re a self-confessed colourphobe, try this winning monochrome houndstooth style from Hobbs. The MaxMara vibes make it ideal for those who hate fussy collars or belt-ties, too. Go big with a cool, jumbo-houndstooth as found over at All Saints and Benetton. And if your budget is under £100, I keep checking out this warm padded coat from the Uniqlo C collection (now reduced; available in grey check and beige check), an absolute style steal.


Check your coat:

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Bromley check trench on loan from Hobbs. My linen scarf is approx five years old from 45R.  The & Wiser sweatshirt is from my collaboration with Dandy Stars. The jeans are second-hand APC, similar still available HERE. Leather loafers from Dune London. 



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  Call it a return to the classics but I’m seeing a lot of checked wool jackets and coats around town. Often worn with a waft of insouciant French Chic – think Coco Chanel: the Duke o…