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How to Wear Plaid

Plaid is a type of checkered print, with intersecting, perfectly perpendicular lines dividing the material into various squares and rectangles. This effect can be achieved with just two colors (or two shades of the same color), or with multiple colors for a more complicated appearance. Plaid may also be called tartan, although tartan more accurately refers to the woolen material as well as the print. Plaid is more associated with practicality than style, but you can use it to make a fashion statement.

No print clashing

plaid1Some prints work well with other prints to create a fashion-forward look. Plaid is not one of them. Plaid rides solo. Plaid does not even get along with other plaid patterns. Whether you are wearing a full plaid shirt or just have a small plaid accessory, it needs to be the only patterned item of your outfit.

Dark in winter, light in summer

It is customary to vary the shades of your plaid shirt with the seasons. Dark, warm colors on a woolen shirt make for the perfect winter look. During summer, go with a light-colored cotton plaid print. Light colored plaid is also a perfect opportunity to wear white slacks.

Keep it neat

Wear an oversized, wrinkly plaid shirt and you run the risk of looking like you are wearing a pajama shirt. At the very least, you will look like you have thrown on the first shirt you could find on your floor. When wearing plaid, you need to make it obvious that you are doing so in the most fashionable possible way. Your entire outfit needs to be stylish and neat. You may want to introduce some accessories, such as jewelry or a beanie, for an indie-cool look. Your shirt should be reasonably well fitted, and always perfectly ironed. Because of the straight lines making up the pattern, it is all too obvious when your shirt is even slightly wrinkled.

No blue jeans

Indigo blue jeans paired with a plaid shirt is such a dated look. It makes you look like a mechanic. There is nothing wrong with that if you are legitimately a mechanic, but it does not make a fashion statement. Black jeans, particularly with a red plaid shirt, is a very punk/grunge look, which can be a good thing depending on your aesthetic. Grey jeans are the perfect pants choice for a plaid shirt, although dark blue works as well.

Make it Burberry

Plaid has quite a working class vibe, but is famously used as the signature print of luxury designer Burberry. For the most sophisticated plaid look, go for a Burberry piece. Their scarves feature their characteristic tan, red, white and dark grey plaid print, and are an accessible designer investment. Burberry also makes men’s shirts in their trademark plaid, as well as plaid shirts in other color palettes. Burberry’s plaid shirts are quite fitted, making them the perfect second skin if you are on the slimmer side. Their shirts look much neater than the typical plaid shirt, although they are suited to casual wear only.

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About Natasha Abrahams Natasha Abrahams is a writer and journalism student from Melbourne, Australia. When she is not busy with being a principal writer on Weekendnotes or skipping lectures, she can be found emptying her wallet at the nearest shopping centre. You can read more from Natasha at: http://mensstyleandfashion.com/

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