Pied de Poule, how to combine the most loved check print

The pied de Poule (from French: hen’s foot) is one of the most loved fabrics, especially in the winter period, representing a more innovative and fun version of the classic tartan, the most worn check print ever. A evergreen with a classic flavour and vaguely retro that however it can be declined in many different ways to give life to eclectic and decidedly innovative looks.

Pied de Poule, what it is and when it was born

While the name may sound new just look at a picture of a houndstooth head to understand immediately what it refers to. The pied de poule, also called in English houndstooth ( or with a pattern that recalls the teeth of a hunting dog) is a contrasting color embroidery fabricgenerally in black and white, where it creates a distinctive diamond pattern. A optical fantasy which gives the sensation that the motif of the fabric is in constant motion and can be recreated on any garment, even if the most popular houndstooth garments are generally coats, jackets, trousers or bags. Like tartan, too this fabric was born in Scotland, around 1800 when the pied de poule was worn by shepherds and made of wool, just to protect themselves from the cold while they led the animals to pasture. Considered a cheap fabric for several years, it was King Edward VIII to clear it for the first time in 1934, wearing a houndstooth suit that was later immortalized in a fashion magazine and demonstrating how this geometric pattern can also be suitable for royalty. From that day she started the houndstooth revival which begins to be worn by the nobles and the upper middle class, almost raising it to a status level.

But true consecration will come with Christian Dior who chose this motif for some of his most iconic suits as well as for the packaging of his best-known fragrance, Miss Dior, the first perfume launched on the market by the Maison Dior and dedicated to the designer’s sister. From that moment on, the optical fantasy was revived by various stylists establishing itself as a real trend up to the catwalks. In particular he was the stylist Ferragamo in 2011 to create innovative looks thanks to this pattern. An example? The same Lady Gaga sported a coordinated look from head to toe, by Ferragamo, with the motif maniacally reproduced on every detail of the outfit, from the glasses to the hat to the decoration on the socks. To demonstrate that this fabric definitely doesn’t go out of fashion, he thought about it Kylie Jenner who in 2021 posted a photo of herself wearing a bodycon overalls with the iconic motifs, complete with gloves and a matching headband.

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How to match the pied de poule

Although at first glance this pattern may seem difficult to combine, a little creativity is enough to achieve flawless combinations.

As this is a complex weave pattern, the best way to wear houndstooth is to choose one or at most two garments with this texture and combine them with plain colored garments or with simpler patterns.

Daring with colour

A great way to make this look gritty is to abandon the classic black and white combination and opt for a colorful houndstooth: in this case you can aim for bright colors, such as blue or shocking pinkor opt for the pastel color combo, such as light blue and green or pink and cherry red.

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Mixed with sportswear

The pied de poule embodies the typical classic and elegant style, which is why to give a boost of modernity, the best way is to combine it with sporty garmentsas leggings, sweatshirts or sneakers. For example we can show off a color block suit combined with a houndstooth coator trousers with this texture combined with a black sweatshirt and a leather jacket, for a more urban rock effect.

Making a casual outfit elegant

One of the advantages of this motif is that, being historically considered elegant, even a single garment is enough to embellish the everyday look.

A blazer in houndstooth for example, it can also be combined with jeans and a simple one white t-shirt so as to make even the most casual look more refined. Alternatively, you can opt for leggings and an oversized sweatshirt with a houndstooth blazer, perhaps with a hat with a coordinated pattern.

Classic style

For those who love vintage references and elegant outfits, it is possible to be daring with a houndstooth suit composed of jacket and trousers (or jacket and skirt) to combine with a single-color turtleneck, or, for an extra touch of extravagance, with a graphic print t-shirt or a contrasting colored sweater.

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