From left, Tahari's houndstooth jacket, Mondo Guerra's Jackie O.-inspired houndstooth "Project Runway" design and houndstooth accessories from Juicy Couture. Photos: Macys.com, Lifetime, Saks.com


This chilly winter weather, with snow blanketing the ground and temps that barely dare to rise above freezing, is the perfect time to pull out your classic, menswear-inspired pieces.

And whether you opt for a pattern that's big, bright and bold or small, soft and stark, houndstooth is one trend that's worth repeating.

"I guess you can say houndstooth is one of those timeless, recognizable patterns," designer Mondo Guerra tells StyleList. "In the past, we have seen this intriguing pattern mostly in woven fabrics, such as wool, but now, with its popularity, we are seeing it as a print. These days, we see new versions of houndstooth popping up everywhere -- large and bold, small and understated, from the classic black-and-white to pink-and-purple."

The "Project Runway" Season 8 runner-up and fan favorite used houndstooth in his winning modern Jackie Kennedy look.

Mixing masculine with feminine has been a runway trend in recent seasons, and it's in the forecast for spring, Colleen Sherin, fashion director for Saks Fifth Avenue, tells StyleList. And houndstooth fits right in to that idea.

"Traditionally, it's a menswear fabrication or pattern, but designers have played with it," she says. "It's something that really has become a classic, but what keeps it fresh and looking new each season is the ability to play with the scale, to recolor it and to offer it in unexpected silhouettes -- to show it in not just your classic houndstooth three-piece suit. There are so many other ways that you can wear it."

We asked our experts, Guerra and Sherin, for their top houndstooth-wearing tips for looking hot when it's cold.

Style it: "Try pairing it with a lime or purple fitted turtleneck," Guerra says. "If you are a fashion-risk taker and want to be noticed, try pairing your houndstooth piece with a flowing paisley-printed blouse with punches of color. Keep proportion in mind when mixing prints. Wear large houndstooth with small paisley or vice versa."

"You could do a houndstooth trench coat and then wear it with a pair of jeans," Sherin suggests. "Or, you could have a houndstooth-patterned silk blouse to make it a bit more feminine. Or, you can go really menswear and have a slim trouser and a blazer in a houndstooth pattern."

Size it: "I like it more overblown for outerwear," Sherin says. "Play with the scale and you can even have fun with it and combine two houndstooth pieces -- maybe it's a coat that's in an overblown houndstooth and pair it with a pencil skirt in a tinier houndstooth. Play with the scale and the proportion."

Work it: "Houndstooth says you're confident, classic, smart, yet modern and chic," Guerra says. "And most of all, fun! Hold on to that houndstooth, whether it's vintage or just off the rack. You'll never find yourself without options."