The Prince of Wales check suit

I don’t know what I would do without my Prince of Wales suit. It has more benefits that a gent can shake a stick at. It can be worn as a smart three-piece suit for all sorts of formal occasions and the jacket, trousers and waistcoat can all be worn separately to create looks for more casual requirements. The Charles Tyrwhitt check suit is highly luxurious with its silk trims, pure wool fabric and natural corozo buttons (and the check design is also rather brilliant at hiding stains). In short, this suit is your best friend.

Why ‘Prince of Wales’?

The Prince of Wales check was originally designed for the English gentry who had settled in Scotland but did not have their own clan tartan. They wanted to distinguish themselves from the Scottish and so dressed their employees in this instantly recognisable pattern.

The Prince of Wales this suit is named after was Edward Windsor, son of George V and born in June 1894. As a young man he served in the First World War and represented his father on many international tours. A bit of a cad, he was associated with a number of older, married women.

In January 1936 he became King Edward VIII of the United Kingdom. Months into his reign he caused an outcry by proposing to divorcée Walls Simpson. Many opposed the marriage, so rather than give up his future bride he chose to abdicate in December 1936, after only 325 days as King. He was created Duke of Windsor in 1937.

Edward was a trend-setter and many of his ideas have an influence over men’s fashion today. In fact, he became the most photographed celebrity of his time because of his rather eccentric sense of style. He and his shirtmaker created the modern evening shirt with front pleats and double cuffs; he made the wearing of brown shoes with a navy suit acceptable and he also helped introduce new fashions in casualwear. And of course, he popularised the Prince of Wales check that was named after him.

How to wear the Prince of Wales suit

The Prince of Wales check suit from Charles Tyrwhitt is quite possibly the most versatile suit you can buy. Primarily it is downright splendid worn as a three-piece suit to formal events, but you can also create both business-casual and casual looks by mixing and matching the suits’ separates.

Formal

Very few things are as smart, elegant and timeless as this three-piece suit. Just add a crisp cotton shirt, smart silk tie, polished black leather shoes and a confident swagger. Wear for all formal occasions from work to a wedding.

 

Business-casual

This suit can easily be adapted for business-casual occasions like dinner with colleagues or drinks after work. Wear the suit jacket with an open-neck shirt and pair of cotton tailored chinos. A silk pocket handkerchief adds a natty flourish.

 

Casual

For casual occasions like a long Sunday lunch simply team the suit waistcoat with a shirt and a pair of denim jeans. Alternatively, wear the jacket over cotton t-shirt and jeans or chino trousers.