Houndstooth Print – Always Fashionable

Last week the new Talbots catalog arrived in the mail. Julianne Moore graces the cover—wearing one of my favorite prints: houndstooth.

The jagged border of the “tooth” gives it a whimsical touch—unlike plaid or argyle, which are too geometrical.

For me the pattern looks crisp and clean but not too structured. The usual black and white (or black and cream) colors have a classic appeal.

Some of my houndstooth jackets:



My favorite coats.

Belted trench by Anne Klein.

Charcoal gray and black houndstooth belted trench by Calvin Klein.

Shawl collar houndstooth wool coat by Alfani.

Houndstooth print clothing and accessories can be worn year-round. And you can purchase it year-round, too—at retail stores, vintage/thrift/consignment shops, and on-line.

The wool/spandex side-zip “Hostess Skirt” that Julianne wears above sells for $199. ” Also from the Talbots catalog:

The wool jacket is $189. The silk top is $119.

This one-size-fits-all cape is priced at $169. When it comes to Talbots, wait for the sales.


Here’s a houndstooth short trench from JC Penneys.



Houndstooth dress available on-line. Love the contrasting color of the belt.


Several magazines lately have pictured houndstoothclad celebs:

From “InStyle” Magazine, October 2011

Lady Gaga makes a bold fashion statement in head-to-toe houndstooth attire, including houndstooth glasses.

Katy Perry in a wool Ferragamo blazer and silk skirt. Love the contrasting pink hair.


Other Hollywood ladies rocking houndstooth recently include Beyonce, wearing a Chanel-type jacket.


Claire Danes:




Gwyneth Paltrow in a houndstooth coat:


Evan Rachel Wood wearing houndstooth pumps:


Winona Ryder carrying a houndstooth purse:


Kim Kardashian wearing “It’s a great day for a divorce” houndstooth wrap dress:


Another Kardashian in a strapless houndstooth number:


Very cool 50s-style wiggle dress worn by Dita Von Teese. (You can get this exact dress custom made for about $100 by EBay seller Oriental Treasure.)


But the BEST Hollywood Leading Lady of all-time wearing houndstooth is Lauren Bacall.

Love her suit!


It’s from the 1944 movie, “To Have or Have Not,” when Ms. Bacall was 19 years old.


Looks like Humphrey Bogart liked it, too.


Ms. Bacall also wore another houndstooth suit in the 1946 movie, “The Big Sleep,” also starring her hubby, Bogie.


Ms. Bacall wore a houndstooth coat in the 1947 movie, “Dark Passage,” also starring you-know-who.


I went on a mission to duplicate Ms. Bacall’s suit. I spent over a year trying to find the right 40s-style jacket in my size.


Eureka — I finally found it! (Or as close as I could get.) I bought it on Etsy.com from an American woman living in France. The label is a European brand called Ice. The lining has a large white and gray flower drawing on the inside.


Back view:


The complete outfit, modeled by Chelsea, my bored-stiff play pal. She claims to be a size 6, but I’m suspecting she’s been dieting behind my back, as my clothes swim on her. I would have modeled the suit myself. But Chelsea takes even worse photos than I do. (Remind me again what models are good for?)

Fabric houndstooth pumps by Guess. Vintage handbag from EBay.

That’s a vintage A-line skirtby Escada and a Christian Dior beaded beret. Looks better in person. Ms. Bacall wore a black beret in some of her movie scenes.

The outfit can be changed up with different hats:



Another Dior hat from the 1950s. This one doesn’t work for me. Oh well…

Like these houndstooth colors:

Vintage Karl Lagerfeld


The colors of magenta, teal, black, and white look great together in this fabric.

Vintage Jones New York


One of my favorite outfits is a houndstooth skinny necktie worn with a herringbone tweed print blazer with lace accents. You get the menswear look plus a feminine touch. Can be worn with a pencil skirt or slacks.

Houndstooth tie by Penguin from Macy’s. Blazer from Bloomingdale’s. Anne Klein blouse from Marshall’s.


Add these shoes — herringbone print oxfords with patent leather accents and you’re good to go!

Shoes by Joan and David

These shoes are available now at Nordstroms:

Sorel waterproof duck books – “Tivoli” – $105

Open-toe fabric espadrille for $70 by TOMS — a philanthropic shoe company that donates one pair of shoes to needy kids for every pair sold.

Houndstooth boat shoes by Sperry Topsider – $60

Houndstooth print round-toe pumps with grossgrain ribbon and leather trim by Kate Spade New York – $325

Python pumps from Ferragamo: $950. Not available for sale or shipment to California. (PETA people??)


The Scottish inventors of houndstooth centuries ago were on to something. Fashion lesson for the day: Houndstooth never goes out of style.



  • Gracie said:

    Lauren Bacall is the last of the great dames of the Hollywood Golden era. Class act all the way. These other women would do well to emulate her. Enjoyed the houndstooth jackets and different hats.

    Sunday, November 6, 2011
  • Diane said:

    Wow, what a sensational collection !!!! I have always thought that Linda O. resembled Lauren Bacall. I must suggest houndstooth to her.

    Monday, November 7, 2011