I have covered a gamut of patterns when it comes to dress shirts – ginghams (my personal favorite), stripes and checks amongst others. Some of you noticed that plaids was conspicuously missing and asked me about it – so today, I’ve decided to write about it – albeit with a twist. The plaid pattern is known as the tartan in the UK and is most commonly used in Scotland by highlanders. Another thing about plaids is that it is often, mistakenly, called flannel – which is actually a fabric rather than a pattern.
Instead of my usual style of describing different types of plaid patterns and then coming up with infographics, I’m going to talk about 3 different ways to wear the plaid pattern.
Plaid Suit Jacket
A plaid suit jacket is probably not something many would consider for formal wear – but if you want to go for a retro formal look, a subtle or a darker colored plaid pattern would look really good. Just ask the cast from Mad Men (see image below) where the cast is dressed in different plaid patterned jackets – tartan, tatersall and buffalo (left to right) – and looking great in them. The main thing to take note of when wearing a plaid suit jacket is pattern layering with no clashing patterns – use a solid colored dress shirt and khaki chinos or black pants. Personally, I prefer wearing a plaid jacket on casual occasions and normally over jeans, rather than formally – just because it helps me to pull off a rugged look.
This is a recurring theme when wearing plaids, because it is considered such a loud pattern. That being said – full plaid suits do exist. In fact, I’ve seen men pull off a 3-piece plaid suit, so if you’re a guy who likes to stand out, I say go for it!
Plaid Dress Shirt
The plaid dress shirt is perfect for casual wear or even business casual (see image below left). In fact, as I mentioned in the previous section – wear a more subdued color pattern, and it can be great for work as well (image below right). The one thing to note is the color combination used for the tie and the pants. Solid colors for the tie – which can be one of the less prominent color within the plaid pattern – and the pants to ensure you look sharp rather than a wince-inducing clash of patterns.
Come summertime, you not only look at brighter color combinations to dress in – but your wardrobe also expands to include shorts as an option for those few warmer months. Think about plaid shorts with a solid light cotton shirt or t-shirt as an alternative to your boring, run-of-the-mill solid colored shorts with patterned shirt combination! You can wear them with your slippers to the beach or just your slip-on shoes and you’ll be ready to go out and enjoy the summer.
Besides the 3 ways listed above of wearing the plaid pattern, during winter – you can also consider making use of a plaid patterned scarf and add some variation with wearing your scarf in different ways. So there you have it – ways to pull off the plaid pattern in different seasons and for different occasions!
Did I miss something out? What would you like to read about? Let me know in the comments!