Houndstooth Jacket

AKA: Houndstooth check, hound’s tooth, dogstooth, shepherds tooth

How to say it: as it looks

Traditional Features: 

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  • the coat itself does not have a traditional style, although Houndstooth often appears in a traditional style blazer
  • as long as the coat is made from fabric featuring the iconic pattern, it can be called a Houndstooth coat.
  • originally made in black and white


…of the style: The houndstooth pattern was originally worn by Scottish shepherds in the 1800s when it was known as Dogstooth or Shepherds tooth. It is characterised by the repetition of abstract 4 pointed shapes, usually in black and white wool.

During the height of its popularity in the 1930s it became a symbol of wealth and was adopted by Dior in 1959; it later became a favourite the designer and was used extensively in his collections. Houndstooth had a resurgence in the 1960s, helped by designers Anne Klein and Geoffery Beene. It has also been featured in collections by Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Armani to name a few.

While still commonly used in jackets and coats, the Houndstooth pattern often adorns all kinds of fashion garments – from handbags to high heels.

…of the name: It is apparently called Houndstooth or Dogstooth because the jagged checks in the pattern look like a dogs incisor tooth.

For a more in depth history of Houndstooth, try Wikipediawikifashionredsonjafashion or get your hands on the Fairchilds Dictionary of Fashion.

Random Facts

  • The smaller version of Houndstooth is called puppy’s tooth
  • Dior loved the Houndstooth pattern so much that it adorns his first ever, and still popular, perfume – Miss Dior.

21st Century Houndstooth Coats

Big, small, trench, blazer or pumps. Houndstooth will always be a classic.

max mara rag and bone topshop zara

Top row –  Max Mara, Rag & Bone

Bottom row – Topshop, Zara

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