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Checks, Please!

Red plaid jackets have long since transitioned from prep-school gear to hipster wear, but black plaid jackets are now enjoying a dark renaissance. Black tartan gives off a Dickensian somberness and these coats, elegant and rugged, thread their warmth and nostalgia with minor tones. They are hi-def pictures from a monochromatic landscape, subtle shades of gray suitable for a barren winter in a John Cheever novel. In September, Christopher Bailey resurrects Burberrys signature check, while Penguin blackens its toggle coat to fit a sullen Paddington Bear. This time around, its not all youthful folly. --Joshua David SteinFrom left to right: Gray and black plaid coat with hood by I.N.C., $199. Gray heritage check double-breasted chesterfield coat by Burberry Prorsum, $2,195. Plaid toggle coat by Original Penguin, $325.

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