Right around now, the first of 2017’s spring/summer collections are beginning to drip-feed into stores, carrying with them all the promise of brighter days to come. But while we might long for flimsy summer dresses, the cold weather means we’ll be stuck in thick layers for a while yet – which means now is the perfect time to give your outerwear an update.
If your coat wardrobe (coatdrobe?) could do with a bit of jazzing up, few prints are as versatile or hardworking as the good old check. Tartan can be punky or preppy, gingham is the favoured pattern of Sixties sex kittens as well as cutting-edge contemporary London designers like ShuShuTong, while a tweed check looks good whether you consider yourself a Kate Middleton or a Kate Moss.
Here, we’ve rounded up the best chequered coats out there right now, from high end to high street. Check, and indeed, mate.
Main image background: iStock
Mango check wool-blend coat
Throw this gorgeous heavyweight wool jacket over a jumper and jeans for a trip to the pub, or wear with a sleek midi shift dress and heels for evening luxe.
Zara burgundy grey check coat
Wear with a black turtleneck, slim trousers and mannish flats for a down-to-earth office-appropriate look.
Marks & Spencer checked funnel neck coat
We’re big fans of this coat’s laundry bag-esque pattern (echoes of Celine’s AW 13 collection, darling) and high neck, which will keep out any bitter winter winds that blow your way. Team with slim black trousers, pointed black flats and silver hoop earrings.
Mango check wool-blend coat
The muted candy colours of this wide-lapelled jacquard coat elevate a basic shape into something far more interesting.
Alexander McQueen houndstooth tweed coat
If you happen to stumble upon a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, snap up this uber-luxurious monochrome coat. Blended with linen and silk, we think its cute hand-painted enamel button more than justifies the price tag… Right?
Whistles ‘Jerry’ belted check coat
The belt tie gives this coat a grown-up, sophisticated edge. Make like its namesake, Jerry Hall, and team with pearl earrings and a slick of red lipstick.
PARKA London ‘Rosie’ longline check coat
A wool-blend duster in a khaki gingham print that’s equal parts cool and cute. Perfect for stomping around on country walks with your face half-buried in a massive scarf.
Dorothy Perkins grey and camel ‘POW’ check coat
Simple, grown-up and effective. An easy throw-over-anything work coat that’s more interesting than basic black.
Sonia Rykiel checked wool-crepe trench coat
Eye-wateringly pricey, yes, but this Brigitte Bardot-esque gingham trench will carry you into spring and beyond for years to come. The checks are a blend of black and navy, which pleases us greatly for reasons we can’t quite put into words.
William Evans Really Wild Aston ladies coat in ‘Lovat Gold’
Made from luxury Scottish tweed, this is a little bit ‘Lady Mary Crawley riding side-saddle in a latter series of Downton Abbey’. Team with an oversized dove-grey scarf and Stan Smiths – the mustardy colour will look particularly good on olive or dark skins.
New Look blue check maxi coat
The rich purple, blue and burgundy check on this knee-length coat looks much plusher than the on-sale price tag would have you believe. Hop to it before it sells out.
River Island yellow check faux fur collar swing coat
Wear with cat-eye liner, black skinny jeans and spike-heeled ankle boots for a rock ‘n’ roll, ’60s-inspired look.
Olive navy check long coat
“Hey!” you might be thinking to yourself. “That’s not a checked coat!” Au contraire, friends. Close-up, you’ll see subtle squares drawn in threads of navy and purple: it’s as chequered as Donald Trump’s personal history, albeit infinitely more refined.
Topshop check jersey boyfriend blazer
Reiss ‘Rowan’ textured checked coat
This classically elegant number will suit women of all shapes and all ages – and it’s reduced by more than 50% in the sale.