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It’s one of the most classic and recognizable prints of our age. The geometric shapes, mostly in black and white, woven together, create an almost checker board effect. While people see this print in their everyday lives, from brand logos to decorative pieces in our houses — and we can guarantee you have this print in an article of clothing or two — some people still have no idea what it is called.
This timeless print, which has been around since the 19th century, is named Houndstooth for its broken and jagged abstract four-pointed shapes. This textile originated in Scotland in the 1800s and was worn by shepherds as an outer wool garment. Houndstooth was first called Shepard Check or Dogstooth, and smaller scale versions are known as Puppytooth, but its reemergence over the decades has dubbed the pattern once and for all as Houndstooth.
The print has a long history. First worn by shepherds, who were considered lower-class at the time, the print was picked up and worn by the upper class by the 30s. Thirty years later, Houndstooth really began to gain popularity with the masses since fashion houses from low end to high end, such as Anne Klein and Dior, began to incorporate the print into their collections. In the 90s to now, it has been picked up again as a fashion staple, but the print is constantly being reinterpreted and played with.
Lately, fashion has really been experimenting with this classic print to modernize and fit it into today’s lifestyle. The iconic black and white color pattern has been switched up and every color under the sun has been incorporated into the print. Fashion brands have also played with the print’s scale and have been using it on more delicate fabrics such as silks. Once again, Houndstooth has made it into this year’s trend forecast, especially in men’s fashion. From Houndstooth printed tweed to coats and accessories, the widely used textile has trickled down to men’s underwear, where it holds a coveted spot for us.
Malebasics has incorporated the print into their Geometric collection by using the most classic black and white print, but with a rich contrast of red to help the print really pop. New York City based brand Charles Owo has also used the most classic version of the print in two pairs of underwear, but has kept to the print’s original aesthetic by adding black trimmings and waistbands. As part of MeUndies special edition monthly prints, Houdstooth made an appearance a few months back, but on the smaller scale — or what used to be called Puppystooth.
Calvin Klein, a brand who fused this print into many of their collections in the past, also has a pair of men’s underwear with this trending style; but, they have blurred the white part of the Houndstooth for a dramatic and artsy effect. Ken Wroy is one brand that has toyed around with the color by updating it with a very modern color palette of purples, blues, and a burst of yellow. Croota has not only altered the color schemes, but they have also scaled down the print as well.
Do you have a favorite pair of Houndstooth inspired underwear? Let us know by commenting below or tweeting @underwearexpert.
Photo Credit: Calvin Klein, Charles Owo, Croota, Ken Wory, Malebasics, MeUndies.