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Our Favorite Brands Are All Using this Unexpected Pattern

Mario Andretti and Gary Kasparov are both well-acquainted with the pattern.


Chess grandmaster Gary Kasparov is acquainted with it. Mario Andretti has greeted it more times than most other professional race car drivers. Now, your favorite designers are using it all over their collections. Checkerboard.

It’s been seeping back into the fashion scene steadily and if you pay attention, you’ll see it basically everywhere. From sneakers to shirts, sweaters and accessories, the pattern follows in the footsteps of the recent animal-print trend. Perhaps the most well-known example is Sean Penn’s character Spicoli in the ’80s teen movie Fast Times at Ridgemont High. His stoner character sported the now-iconic Vans slip-on in a checkerboard print, which trendy youth had previously been DIY-ing with permanent markers. And, this spring, it’s made a comeback.

If you found yourself well-adjusted in the herd of cheetahs and zebras, the checkerboard trend won’t be too big of a jump. For the less bold but curious, think of it as a big brother to Gingham. It’s easy to dip your toes into a pair of the Vans slip-on, the floodgates of which have been wide open since Ridgemont High. Or replace your plaids and Hawaiian shirts with a checkered variant. Splash it on a pair of shorts or go full-grunge with a mohair cardigan. Whichever way you approach it, it’ll be a checkmate.

Classic Slip-On by Vans $55

Checkerboard Shell coach Jacket by Stüssy $120

Bobby Checkerboard Short Sleeve Button-Up Bowling Shirt by John Varvatos $148

Checkerboard Mohair-Blend Cardigan by Needles $425 $213

Volley Tie-Dyed Checkerboard Nylon Drawstring Shorts by Vans $45

Gel-Kiril Sneaker by ASICS x Kiko Kostadinov $220

Checkerboard-panel Cashmere Sweater by The Elder Statesman $875 $525

Teba Yellow by Reception $216

Checkerboard Jacquard Distressed Sweater by Rhude $1,198

Black & Off-White Wool Checkerboard Zip-Up Sweater by Gucci $1,850

Checkered Rugby by Rowing Blazers $195

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