Do’s and Don’ts to Look Perfect in Plaid

There’s no question what the hottest trend in prints is this season. Piles of plaid were spotted on the runways for Fall/Winter. Many designers presented an exaggerated version of the movement by mixing loud plaids and supersizing the print on outerwear.

These looks are innovative, but they’re not always so wearable off the runway. So how do you translate these larger-than-life plaids into a more refined look for women 40, 50, and beyond?

Here are a few Do’s and Dont for Wearing Plaid:

how to wear plaid

1. Don’t Wear Baggy

This season, teens are doing plaid in a way reminiscent of the 90’s grunge era: baggy and frumpy “chic.” While this look works for the younger crowd,  professional women over 40 should opt for a more sophisticated version of the plaid trend.

Stay away from big and baggy! Instead, try tailored menswear pieces such as structured suits for a more refined look. Checks, herringbone, and houndstooth are all popular at the moment.


How to wear a plaid scarf

2. Don’t Wear Old Colors

Traditional plaids come in DARK old-world color combos such as dark red, forest green, and navy blue can give off a prim and proper “kilt-ish” vibe (or worse – lumberjack!). These days those color combinations can look pretty drab and dated. Try to turn the dial to now by choosing a scarf that cranks up the color even just a notch.

For example, a scarf in traditional fall colors uses teal instead of forest green but is turned up a notch. Fringe scarves are an excellent layering piece and a great way to liven up a plain sweater.

Navy plaid coat

3. Do Think About Scale

Scale is important. Smaller-scale plaids will work best for more petite women, and larger-scale prints will look best on taller and larger women. Plaid is a definite attention grabber, so make sure you are directing that attention to all the right places by wearing plaid on the parts of your body you want to highlight.

4. Do Try Mixing Plaid Up

Mixing a casual plaid piece with a dressier classic can yield interesting results. For instance, a classic plaid shirt will look chic and modern when paired with a solid black pencil skirt. Plaid also looks stylish when worn, broken up with exciting fabrics like leather. For example, look for a plaid jacket with leather piping.

5. Do Try a Diagonal Plaid

Diagonal lines have an incredibly slimming effect, and this makes diagonal plaid your new best friend this fall! Create an optical illusion by wearing angled plaid prints that draw the eye inward, emphasizing the narrowest part of your figure. This trick works exceptionally well for garments worn on tops such as jackets and curve-hugging dresses.


Plaid Tweed Pencil Skirt


One of the great things about plaid is its versatility. Plaid can easily translate from classic to casual with the proper styling. You can put a fresh twist on this traditional print by experimenting with new colors and accessory combinations. So if you’re feeling bold this Fall/Winter season, don’t be shy; give plaid a try!



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