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Houndstooth originated in Scotland in the 1800s[1][2], it was originally worn as an outer garment of woven wool cloth by shepherds. The pattern is still popular to this day in tweed and wool fabrics. It is a duotone pattern that is characterised by its abstract four-pointed shapes, most often in black and white. The pattern is usually used for coats and jackets, however it can also be found on dresses and skirts. In the early 1800s the pattern was used on scarves and hoop skirts.[3]

Although the first date of creation has not been recorded, the Merriam-Webster records the term was in use in 1936. When it was first created, the pattern was referred to as Shepherd's Check or Dogstooth.[4] The smaller version of this print is referred to as puppy's tooth.[5]

During the 1930s, the houndstooth pattern was adopted by the upper class as a symbol of wealth. In 1959, Christian Dior used houndstooth, which was one of their favorite design motifs to design a pointed court shoe featuring the pattern.[6]The 1960s saw the pattern revived during Ann Klein's menswear line and Geoffrey Beene combined the pattern with lace. Fashion houses like Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Emporio Armani and Moschino[7] used houndstooth during their collections in the 1990s and mid 2000s.

The pattern seems to be reinvented every 20 to 30 years, it has been recreated in a slew of bright colors.[8]

The Australian department store David Jones[9] uses the pattern as part of their branding and corporate logo.[10]



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