How an Ordinary Coat Lining Became Fashion’s Most Stylish Scarf

The checkered past of Burberry’s perfect plaid

As the story goes, the invention of fashion's nattiest scarf was a complete accident. In 1967, the manager of Burberry's Paris store was arranging a group of the brand's signature trench coats in the front window. The display was a bit on the plain side (khaki is just khaki), so she decided to add some panache by turning up the coat's hem, revealing the signature black, red and camel plaid—the "house check," as it's known—of the lining. Customers responded immediately, so the store began making umbrellas that featured the check pattern—and hundreds of them sold, too. Seeing a good thing in the making, Burberry decided to put its house check pattern on cashmere scarves. And the rest is fashion history.