Monday, August 3, 2015

On the Street…Checks or Plaids?


So we’re having a little debate at the studio this morning…are these checks or are they plaids?



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  1. Moopsen

    August 3, 2015 at 9:31 am

    Those are both checks. Plaid would have varying widths of striping and also, typically, more than two colors.

    • Simone Fraser

      August 3, 2015 at 6:13 pm

      Yep, I reckon this is accurate.
      I think ‘checks’ would not involve the various colours formed by the weave – at least originally – but be bold squares?
      I love being in this tribe where such matters are discussed.

      • Elizabeth Gorringe

        August 3, 2015 at 8:04 pm

        Agreed Sim. :) It is not plaid by my understanding. Plaid is like a non-clan version of tartan. As in, it looks like it could be a tartan but it represents no Scottish clan. Plaid is pretty and often multicoloured, but usually meaningless.

      • With Or Without Shoes

        August 3, 2015 at 8:33 pm

        Closer to checks….


        • Name*

          February 2, 2016 at 10:10 pm

          I love the shoes.. do you know where we can get this?

    • Wonderland Boudoir

      August 5, 2015 at 2:09 am

      This is Gingham, checkers. Plaid has more complicated line, color, and design palette.

      Boudoir Photographer

  2. Maggie B.

    August 3, 2015 at 9:31 am

    It’s large-scale gingham, no? Then the question is whether gingham is its own thing or simply a subspecies of either plaid or checks…discuss!

    • Mary

      August 3, 2015 at 3:33 pm

      In most cases, different. I’d differentiate when speaking about a plaid v. a gingham shirt. One tough one is a Buffalo “plaid”, which is big gingham. I think that I always hear people say buffalo plaid, though.

      • wendy

        August 4, 2015 at 5:01 pm

        indeed. buffalo plaid it is!

  3. Nicole G

    August 3, 2015 at 9:34 am

    Checks, all the way.

  4. From The World With Love

    August 3, 2015 at 9:48 am

    These 2 images are the different between Elegant and Too much…
    Yael Guetta

    • Stella

      August 4, 2015 at 5:24 am


  5. jsevart

    August 3, 2015 at 9:53 am

    Check – it is just two colors and all the little squares are evenly woven on the loom.

  6. Lindy702

    August 3, 2015 at 9:54 am

    Checks!!!! fantastic skirt/image!

  7. Amy

    August 3, 2015 at 9:57 am

    I would say checks – aren’t plaids usually a bit more complicated?

  8. Simone Fraser

    August 3, 2015 at 10:04 am

    Wellllll, I’d describe both as large gingham. Perhaps ‘maxi-gingham,’ in this age of catchy labels?

  9. Carine

    August 3, 2015 at 10:06 am

    Gorgeous outfits! The first one is the epitome of summer chic!

  10. allen

    August 3, 2015 at 10:17 am

    never mind the debate. #1 looks great. once again, less is more.

  11. annemarie

    August 3, 2015 at 10:20 am

    ENLARGED GINGHAM. Neither, in other words.

    • Maria

      August 6, 2015 at 11:38 am

      Gingham is a type of checks with white and a bold color. Just like Tartan is a type of plaid. You are right. Its Gingham checks, which can be any size.

  12. C

    August 3, 2015 at 10:21 am

    They’re both checks.

  13. Naj

    August 3, 2015 at 10:22 am

    I’m going with checks… I have no justification for this whatsoever but it feels right =)

    To me, plaid always involved more colors/shades. Checks always seemed lighter, less serious.

  14. andreea

    August 3, 2015 at 10:22 am

    i don’t care about the semantics: they’re both perfect! :)

  15. Fashion entrepreneur

    August 3, 2015 at 10:25 am

  16. tara henthorn

    August 3, 2015 at 10:26 am

    it’s gingham or vichy…or checky squares… X t.

  17. Name*

    August 3, 2015 at 10:26 am


  18. Gemma

    August 3, 2015 at 10:27 am

    I just love the 1st picture with the pencil skirt. Stunning.
    Gemma xx

  19. Christopher Benton

    August 3, 2015 at 10:28 am

    Gingham check is a form of plaid/tartan, no? But I think plaids tend to have more colors of varying widths.

  20. Shira

    August 3, 2015 at 10:28 am

    Ooh love that first look; the simple tee with that bold plaid midi skirt is perfection!

  21. Meadowlark

    August 3, 2015 at 10:32 am

    Isn’t that what they call “buffalo plaid?”

  22. Liz

    August 3, 2015 at 10:42 am

    Aren’t they tartan?

  23. n

    August 3, 2015 at 10:47 am

    Plaid refers to the fabric, not the pattern.

  24. Dina

    August 3, 2015 at 11:03 am

    Buffalo plaid!

  25. elena

    August 3, 2015 at 11:35 am


  26. debbie

    August 3, 2015 at 11:39 am


  27. Mary

    August 3, 2015 at 11:41 am

    Big Gingham checks. (Nothing to support this – I’ve just always known this pattern as Gingham, even if the horizonals and the verticals were different colors.)

  28. Carol

    August 3, 2015 at 12:37 pm

    buffalo checks

  29. Tracey

    August 3, 2015 at 12:37 pm

    Agree, large gingham .

  30. Silvia

    August 3, 2015 at 12:43 pm

    Large scale gingham. Love the retro but modern elegance of both of these looks. I have been considering wearing more prints and the skirt with t-shirt is definitely an inspiring look.

  31. Zyx

    August 3, 2015 at 12:44 pm

    no idea. there’s probably a technical term the weavers know, but I always think of checks as being 2 colors/shades, as in a white and a black or even a red and a black of the same hue. But these have that extra shade, the gradation in between the white and the dark blue. So they have three things going on instead of two, like a ‘normal’ checked pattern.

    (although they don’t really look like a plaid, either, since the size of the squares are the same, there’s no lines, etc.)

  32. Regine

    August 3, 2015 at 1:05 pm

    Love that skirt! #DesignInspiration

  33. Chris

    August 3, 2015 at 1:10 pm

    In the mid-Seventies a textile person told me that the pattern in question is the oldest complex weave known to humanity, so it might be construed as both check and plaid.

  34. Selkie

    August 3, 2015 at 1:25 pm

    Checks, buffalo plaid and gingham are all types of plaids. Plaid is a woven fabric with stripes included in both the warp and the weft (vertical and horizontal threads that make up a woven fabric) to create overlapping squares or rectangles of color. Even if the stripes are uniform or the same color in both the warp and weft it is still a technically a plaid.

  35. crossing-sweeper

    August 3, 2015 at 1:30 pm

    Checks. Plaid is what we in Britain call tartan – and this is very complicated collection of colours and every pattern has a different meaning related to Scottish clan membership.

  36. claudia

    August 3, 2015 at 1:37 pm

    Love the look with the skirt and the hat, so stylish!

  37. pepavallejos

    August 3, 2015 at 2:11 pm

    Que preciosidad la primera foto, esa falda es ideal.
    Un beso.

  38. Lauren at adorn la femme

    August 3, 2015 at 3:29 pm

    Mary James (photo #2) 111

    adorn la femme

  39. Lis

    August 3, 2015 at 3:55 pm

    These sartorialists be chic…but Dorothy(Judy Garland) from Kansas is “THE” sartorialist for gingham… ;) xo

  40. Johnny

    August 3, 2015 at 4:23 pm

    The woman looks great, classy and cool. The man should run faster to escape the prison guards surely chasing him.

  41. Jice

    August 3, 2015 at 6:06 pm

    Top one is windowpane check and the bottom one, because of the variation in the weave, is buffalo plaid,

    • Diane

      August 3, 2015 at 10:56 pm

      Don’t know if you are right or not, but you win for the best answer.

  42. Blog Alto Estilo

    August 3, 2015 at 7:54 pm

  43. RT

    August 3, 2015 at 7:57 pm

    Nice pjs … where’s the bed

  44. leso

    August 3, 2015 at 8:49 pm

    Hästens :):):) lol.
    Yay.Matressmakers in Sweden. Hästens signatureprint:gingham.Blue/white.

  45. Jacinta

    August 3, 2015 at 11:37 pm

    Loving the shoes in the first photo. Does anyone have ideas of who makes them?

  46. Monika

    August 4, 2015 at 12:07 am

    That 1st skirt is lovely.


  47. Mbatha

    August 4, 2015 at 12:35 am

    I would say plaid!!!! Checks have two colors like checkers.Here we have three colors Black,grey and white (Neutral Plaid)Thats what i think. FYI i love plaid

  48. TTT

    August 4, 2015 at 6:37 am

    Here in the UK Check is used as a general term for any checked patterned fabric/design.
    We then simply add to that Gingham check, Madras check, Prince of Wales check etc etc.

  49. jaj

    August 4, 2015 at 8:00 am

    They look like a check or large gingham. I love the woman’s outfit in the first photo!

  50. Darrell

    August 4, 2015 at 8:14 am

    Window-pane checks. I’d love to live in that building.

  51. Maria

    August 4, 2015 at 9:06 am

    Checks, for sure!

  52. Sarah

    August 4, 2015 at 9:40 am

    Plaid has never looked so good!

  53. Anna

    August 4, 2015 at 10:03 am

    I have no idea, but the jammies on the second photo are simply delightful! Make me daydreaming of a nap.

  54. Sarah_H

    August 4, 2015 at 12:41 pm

    If it is two colors, evenly balanced as the lower one is, it is a check no matter what its’ size. The upper one looks to be slightly off balanced with the white sections larger, so it may qualify for a plaid. Though a plaid most always has more than two colors.

    The two are frequently mistaken in current fashion terms. I have seen a glen plaid called a “check” and a houndstooth check termed a “tweed” recently. Ga!

  55. LIZPR

    August 4, 2015 at 12:51 pm

    It’s in between! True checks are just two tones, right? Like a checkerboard. These prints have faded tones.

    A true plaid (and don’t get me started on the difference between “plaid” and “tartan”) has varying degrees of squares and lines throughout.

    Scott – I have it – it’s ENLARGED GINGHAM. Credit to anyone who said this before my comment here!

  56. Aldwin

    August 4, 2015 at 1:30 pm

    These are obviously tartans denoting membership in the MacGingham clan.

  57. Armenyl

    August 4, 2015 at 2:35 pm

    I love the style in the first photo is so simple, yet so elegant!! It’s really refreshing to see.

  58. pippi hepburn

    August 4, 2015 at 2:50 pm

    Large gingham checks. And I agree with others above, that skirt is beautiful. It works perfectly with the sandals that are so minimal they don’t compete with anything. Just a cool look and she did not even need that hat. It is competing with the skirt. But she looks great and a great shot.

  59. Margeaux & Shannon

    August 4, 2015 at 3:12 pm

    Both plaid because check has an even amount of black and white…. there is less white in both outfits. Nevertheless we love it!!!!

  60. tallulah

    August 4, 2015 at 4:43 pm

    Whatever the plaid/tartan/check/gingham PJ’s are I LOVE the brown sandals.

  61. ann

    August 5, 2015 at 12:36 am

    These are large ginghams. Not plaid. Not windowpane. Colloquially known as buffalo plaid, but “plaid” is really a misnomer. From a former fashion designer in the 60′s and 70′s.

  62. StyleFromAfar

    August 5, 2015 at 8:28 am

    I own a pair of PLAID pajamas exactly like the young man in the second photo. They were sold as plaid adn I love them, especially on cool fall evenings before I put the flannel sheets on my bed.

  63. Maria

    August 5, 2015 at 8:55 am

    Is there anything a loose white t shirt does NOT make cooler? Anyhow, it’s checks, not plaid.

  64. Jp

    August 5, 2015 at 1:14 pm

    Oversized Gingham Check.

  65. Up

    August 5, 2015 at 1:20 pm

    It’s gingham because of the white paired with a bold color. It is a check because of the equal size lines and even grid pattern.

  66. erika

    August 5, 2015 at 5:15 pm

    Checks of course ! and I love the skirt, t-shirt combo in the 1st pic. So Summer !!

  67. Gillian Da Costa

    August 6, 2015 at 8:10 am

    Definitely checks!
    Great article here on the difference –

  68. Juanita

    August 6, 2015 at 1:04 pm

    Oh! This is a bit ‘prison camp’ for my tastes. We also wore those exact sandals as kids – just saying!

  69. Ann-Marie

    August 6, 2015 at 1:43 pm

    My first thought without much pondering was plaid. I thought this primarily because I associate plaid with a weaving of some sort–that the bands of color go through each other while checks just sit side by side. This pattern looked like the stripes passed through each other like they were woven, so that’s why I’m opting for plaid.

  70. Vilborg Helgadóttir

    August 6, 2015 at 1:51 pm

    I really like the outfit in the first picture, a bold skirt set against a neutral rest – and the unexpected pop of colour in the form of a bracelet – love it!

  71. JVc

    August 6, 2015 at 4:16 pm

    First picture is checks. The second picture is awful.

  72. Q

    August 6, 2015 at 6:22 pm

    Hey Everyone!

    Just caught this. May I throw in my consideration? Yes? Well: Gingham is a kind of cotton fabric intrinsically checkered a certain way, so it’s not a gingham. Plaid is a kind of checkered print. So, they could be both a plaid and a checkered print.

  73. Chris

    August 6, 2015 at 10:43 pm

    Checks/plaids are so summer cool when, combined with unstructured white. This girl is wonderful, the combo of tan leather and very loved hat is so soft:-)

  74. Albert

    August 8, 2015 at 2:46 pm

    Love the man look! Would love to rock that look myself :)

    Best, Albert | Palming Pebbles
    Palming Pebbles FB

  75. Adam

    August 11, 2015 at 11:35 pm

    Considering that both of these prints are a square-shaped bichromatic pattern, I’d classify them as checkered.

  76. Name*

    August 12, 2015 at 11:34 am

    Checks. And the lady in the first photo looks amazingly fab and chic. Chic!

  77. Lavin

    August 12, 2015 at 4:42 pm

    With my experience at Ralph Lauren we would call a larger scale check a Buffalo Check.

  78. Erica DeWitt

    August 13, 2015 at 8:41 am

    I second (third?) the buffalo plaid. That’s what we call it where I grew up in New England.

  79. Hari

    August 13, 2015 at 8:32 pm

    Does anyone know what is the name of the type of shoes the guy is wearing ? And where could I find them ?

  80. Sarah

    August 17, 2015 at 11:41 pm

    Where can I buy the skirt?

  81. [email protected]

    August 21, 2015 at 9:49 am

    They’re pyjama’s!

    • drieu

      August 27, 2015 at 10:04 am

      You’re absolutly right, the guy’s out in his sleeping dress. Poor men, maybe he was too confused in the morning?

  82. Liz K

    August 22, 2015 at 9:36 pm

    They are picnic tablecloths.

    Happy Labor Day!

  83. Lara

    September 11, 2015 at 10:12 pm

    that first image could have been taken in bali.

    that pattern is a traditional balinese pattern as well.

  84. Pippa

    October 18, 2015 at 4:25 am


  85. Sarah

    October 19, 2015 at 1:20 am

    I’m just here for that skirt.

  86. Silvia

    April 6, 2016 at 1:16 pm

    Daniel, the boyfriend of a friend of mine, usually wears the same model of sandals but in brown and leather. With jeans, he looks great. ¿Do you like these sandals for men?

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