f stripes feel too straight and you’re not dotty about spots, checks are the prints you need to, er, check out this season.

While tartan and plaid are big in winter, gingham and madras checks pack a punch in lightweight fabrics for high summer.

Whether it’s monochrome, pastels or brights, checks add instant personality to your outfit. Their versatility means that you can go subtle with micro-checks or uber-bold with the loudest dimensions.

Find your square route with this summer’s hottest graphic prints.


Gingham is a wholesome check that’s woven in two colours. Stick to gingham if you prefer a feminine, almost cutesy take on checks.

The bigger the squares, the bigger the statement, but finer gingham works especially well for petites, as it doesn’t overwhelm a small frame.

Combine two prints in one for a summer spin on the traditional print. Florals have bloomed all over gingham - a print clash that works especially well with bright flowers over a monochrome or grey check.

For a small scale check alternative, try a micro-houndstooth, which will look seasonally on-trend in a black and pastel colourway.


The most graphic check you can get is perfectly square and symmetrical with defined lines. Be inspired by the squares in a mathematics textbook.

Up the minimalism ante with timeless black and white, or for a nautical nod, try navy and white. To soften up this strict trend, wear your squares in light knits and pale grey, which will team effortlessly with casualwear like jeans, leather pants or black trousers.

To give window pane checks a chic edge, try a dress or skirt with a sheer overlay of squares. Even black will look less harsh for summer with a layer of square gauzy fabric that exposes your limbs.


Blow up your squares and mis-match the colours for a check that wouldn’t look out of place on a summer picnic blanket.

The brighter you go, the more beach-ready your big checks look. Make these bold summer squares work by keeping the rest of your outfit and accessories neutral.

Make a statement with coordinating separates, like a top and skirt, that will have double the impact of a dress.