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October 15, 2020 2 min read

Prince of Wales Fabric: a brief history and how to match it

The Prince of Wales is a particular weave of wool, made so that there is an overlap of large and small squares. Usually a more colorful or lively thread of fabric is superimposed on the pattern of squares, to make the fabric itself more contemporary. Among the fabric, the Prince of Wales is one of the finest, together with the houndstooth, another variant of wool or tweed weaving.

Who is the Prince of Wales?

Around 1800, it seems that a group of wealthy English gentlemen moved to Scotland, and when they attended the hearings to King George IV, they were  asked to wear different colors and textures from those of the local clans. For that reason they began to wear a certain checked fabric known as glenurqhart plaid ("checkered of the glenurqhart" valley in Inverness Shire).

But what is the tie with Prince of Wales check suit?

Over time this design became part of the British textile vocabulary with the name of glen plaid (also called glen check) and since the time of Edward VII it is used for the suits of the heirs to the English throne, from which it took the name the Prince of Wales fabric. Edward VII retains the title of “Prince of Wales” longer than any of his predecessors, and probably he should get the credit of getting Prince of Wales suit recognised as a must have for the male wardrobe.

Duke of Windsor Prince of Wales Fabric

How to wear a Prince of Wales suit?

However, the fabric has not remained in the wardrobe of royalty only, on the contrary, it has become a symbol of the men’s style that never sets. In fact, a Prince of Wales suit is suitable for any situation, from the office to a weekend event, the important thing is to know how to match it. There are two choices:

  • opt for a jacket and trousers in Prince of Wales fabric with a waistcoat that chromatically recalls the two garments;
  • choose a Prince of Wales check three piece suit (jacket, trousers and waistcoat) combining them with a shirt and a tie with harmonious and non-contrasting colors.

Not only three-piece suits

Definitely, a stylish choice can be the two pieces, so opt for the Prince of Wales jacket with Prince of Wales trousers to be combined with pure wool or cashmere turtleneck sweaters.

The Prince of Wales confirms itself as a timeless fabric, also loved by the stars on the red carpet, and which in recent years has also gone beyond the border of the male wardrobe to become a staple for both men and women. 


Eduardo De Simone 

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