5 Ways Plaid is New and Different This Fall

Today kicks off my NEW Fall Series STYLE ME FABULOUS – 15 Fall Trends and How to Wear Them Well! Throughout the next few weeks, I will be digging into 15 Top Fall trends and giving you ideas on how to style them for your 40+ lifestyle.


Today I’m starting with  Plaid which you may already love, or you may find rather classic and boring. …but not for long.  I think you are going to be surprised to see the way plaid is morphing into something more modern and creative looking.

Trusty old tartans are becoming fresh, feminine, and fun. Preppy plaids and grungy flannel shirts can go to Goodwill. Today’s plaid is about modern shapes, feminine fabrics, and brighter colors. Here’s what I mean.

5 Ways Plaid is New and Different This Fall - Blue and Yellow plaid fringe jacket with jeans outfit styled by Fabulous after 40 | Deborah Boland

1.  Bright Plaids are Hot

We’re used to seeing plaid in dark, reserved shades like forest green, brown, and black. But designers are treating traditional checks and plaids more adventurously this season. The trend now is towards brightly colored plaid in lively and sometimes unusual color combinations.  For example, this fabulous plaid jacket (above)  feels lighter and sportier because of the vibrant combo of navy, baby blue, and yellow.

5 Ways Plaid is New and Different This Fall | plaid paperbag waist pants and balck jacket with white blouse, black booties and red bag styled by Deborah Boland | Fabulous After 40


2.  Plaid Pants with Wide Legs are Chic

If there is a pants of the season, it is the wide leg pant, especially ones with checks or plaid. This sophisticated pair features a paper bag waist, which I introduced you to in the summer. This style emphasizes the waist, which is a good thing because waist definition makes you look youthful. However, if you have a big tummy, these may not be the best pant for you. There is a lot of detail ….. the gathered waistline, the belt, the print, so the eye tends to land there.

If you decide to test these out, and I think you should at least try a pair on, wear them with tall booties to give you a nice long, lean line. Red accessories always make this look so classy and powerful.

5 Ways Plaid is New and Different This Fall - Red plaid ruffled blouse styled by Fabulous After 40 | Deborah Boland


3.  Feminine Plaids are Trending

Soft, silky materials and feminine styles, like plaids with ruffles or draping, are making us see plaid in a whole new light. I love this elegant burgundy red blouse with the soft wrap neckline and bow tie sleeves. It pairs so beautifully with a pair of black cropped pants. When the occasion calls for a casual-dressy look, this is a good one. It would be perfect for work too.


5 Ways Plaid is New and Different This Fall | Plaid bell sleeve dress styled by Fabulous After 40| Deborah Boland


4. Plaid Accents are Everywhere

Touches of plaid here and there are an easy way to look modern without making a big investment in a trend. For example, big, wide sleeves have been going strong for a while, but who would have guessed they’d turn up in plaid?  This simple, classic dress gets a modern update with the addition of layered plaid bell sleeves. The shoes and bag are smooth and plain, so all the attention goes to those fab sleeves


5 Ways Plaid is New and Different This Fall | Blue and white plaid leggings with white top and blue d'Orsay flats with blue bag styled by Fabulous After 40 | Deborah Boland

5.  Plaid Leggings are the New Thing

If you love your leggings and are getting sick of wearing black ones, then go out on a limb and try a stretch Ponte pair in checks, houndstooth, or plaid? This is just one of the dozens of new ways that plaid is being reinvented.

These windowpane leggings are pretty clean and simple, so easier to wear than a busy plaid pattern. Pair it with a relaxed, long white top, some feminine d’Orsay flats, and a cute bag, and you have a great look that bridges the gap between summer and fall.

Do you like the creative new ways plaid is being incorporated into fall clothing? What have you seen that was new and different? I’d love to know.

Be sure to pop by tomorrow for another Fall Trend in my style countdown series.


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2 thoughts on “5 Ways Plaid is New and Different This Fall

  1. This was a fascinating post, Deborah! Thank you for starting this series; I am excited to see what other trends you have to show us. I appreciate your showing us how to wear these things as ordinary women, not models or showhorses. Onward to fall!

  2. I LOVE plaid! So glad it is “trending.” I wear it often, but I like the new ways it is offered, especially the different types of pants. This series looks great – keep up the great work.

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