The Checkerboard Trend Is the Coolest Look of Autumn 2021

Over the last few years, there's one print trend I've remained entirely faithful to, almost to the point of obsession. I'm talking about gingham. I have more gingham dresses than I can count, and even my favourite bikini (oh, how I miss thee) features the wholesome cottagecore print. However, I consider it to predominately be a warm-weather print, best suited to breezy fabrications and billowing silhouettes, which means that gingham is absent from my outfit rotation right now.

Ordinarily, this would make me sad and leave me pining for the lighter days of spring, but this year, there's a fresh microtrend that loans itself better to the winter months and that has me completely distracted. I'm talking about checkerboard prints—no, they're not the same as gingham.

A checkerboard print usually consists of squares in two different colours positioned in alternating positions. As its name suggests, think of chess to checkerboards.


(Image credit: @camillecharriere)

Camille was one of the first influencers to champion the checkerboard-print trend. 

Admittedly, I haven't worn the checkerboard-print trend since I was in my teens and going through my emo phase. I adored my Vans slip-ons and wore an oversize checkerboard hoodie most days, a garment which I've since passed onto my teenage brother. But thanks to Netflix's The Queen's Gambit as well as a handful of designers, the throwback motif is well and truly back on the style agenda for 2021

Already proving a hit amongst Instagram's most-prolific dressers, I'm pleased to see the checkerboard-print trend has come a long way since my days of pyramid-stud belts slung around low-rise, supersize-leg jeans. Now, it looks the epitome of chic by way of faux fur coats, knitted co-ords, and second-skin tops, all of which will see me through until I can reunite with my gingham wares. 

Scroll below to see how those in the know are currently wearing the checkerboard-print trend; then, shop my favourite checkered pieces.



(Image credit: @hannamw)

This Stand Studio coat has now sold out, so I'll be keeping an eye out for it on rental and secondhand sites. 


(Image credit: @fiahamelijnck)

The trend has also taken a formal turn by way of this jacquard dress. 


(Image credit: @pomelokiwie)

Add an unexpected twist to the checkerboard-print trend by pairing a monochrome piece with neon hues. 


(Image credit: @chrissyford)

This Nanushka top proves how easy it is to wear this trend day-to-day. 


(Image credit: @lottaliinalove)

Wear the checkerboard-print trend from top to toe for maximum sartorial impact. 


(Image credit: @chainkyr)

The boots, the dress, the art direction—there's nothing about this shot by Chainky that I don't love. 


(Image credit: @yoyokulala)

The one that got away—Stand Studio's checkerboard-print coat. 


Next up, The 9 New-In Pieces I'm Adding to My Wish List This Week

Maxine Eggenberger
Deputy Editor

Maxine Eggenberger is Who What Wear UK’s deputy editor and has over thirteen years of experience in fashion journalism. She been creating engaging and elevated style content specifically for Who What Wear UK since 2018, covering runway reports, emerging trends, long-form features, self-styled shopping stories and columns, including her edit of the best new-in buys. She ensures the highest editorial standards are met across the site, leads the editorial team in their SEO strategy and keyword planning, works closely with the beauty team on content initiatives, represents the brand at industry events, and regularly contributes to social media, including her own Who What Wear UK TikTok franchise, French Style Fridays. Previously, Maxine appeared on ITV's This Morning in her own fashion segment and has interviewed countless celebrities—everyone from Victoria Beckham to Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o.

Prior to Who What Wear UK, Maxine’s career began when, after completing her first-ever internship at Look magazine, she was offered a position on the brand's fashion desk. She accepted, leaving university a year early in the process. Her passion and natural talent for writing and styling meant she swiftly rose through the ranks to become the title's fashion news and commercial content editor, with a stint as’s fashion and beauty writer along the way. She later served as Look’s acting Editor in Chief, overseeing both print and digital, before embarking on a successful freelance career, working with Grazia, The Pool, and Marie Claire amongst others.

Maxine is based remotely from her countryside home near Edinburgh where she spends her downtime renovating her house, walking her dogs, hosting friends and trying to master the art of making Old Fashioned cocktails.