Plaid fabrics can work well for stylish women, as an outfit accent or as the main event. It is not necessary to sacrifice style and look like a lumberjack or a ranch hand just because you love plaids and want to use them in your wardrobe. Plaid fabrics need not be limited to the big grid, bright or saturated color plaids common to cotton flannel shirts worn by men to chop wood! Nor does a plaid have to be one of the workaday tartans used for Catholic school uniforms. And while plaids with deep reds and greens, such as the Royal Stewart Tartan, are popular during the holiday season, plaid can be worn year round.
Plaid is a wide umbrella that includes more feminine colors, more subtle pattern, and more feminine and dressier textures. Here are some specific ideas for using plaid effectively in your wardrobe.
Wear an updated kilt with a solid-colored turtleneck or cowlneck sweater. A solid-colored boiled wool jacket would also complement the kilt. An updated kilt is probably a few inches above the knee and often looks great with coordinating tights.
Wear a lovely soft silk scarf or cashmere scarf in a plaid pattern as an accent piece. My daughter brought me a long, narrow textured plaid silk scarf as a gift from Scotland and I can’t wait to wear it as an accent piece with a deep green or blue dress.
Wear a suit made of traditional menswear glen plaid in a feminine cut. Try a ruffled or lace-trimmed blouse in a neutral ivory to further soften the look.
Wear a plaid blouse to liven up a solid colored suit. A shirt-style blouse with men’s collar could work or a sleeveless shell.
Wear a sheath-style body-skimming dress with a V-neck or scoop neck in a shimmery plaid fabric. Team it with a feminine blazer, dressy cardigan or jacket in a coordinating solid fabric.
Wear a plaid wool blazer (colors not too splashy). Complete the outfit with a dressy turtleneck and solid wool gabardine slacks.
As you look for plaid fabrics to add to your wardrobe, consider plaids in such colors as teal, aqua, mauve, violet, and soft yellow. These colors will accentuate the feminine. Also consider, especially for large expanses of plaid, two-colored plaids such as beige and chocolate brown, black and white, or navy and powder blue. However, even plaids in the boldest primary color combinations can be incorporated into stylish outfits if used in moderation. Choose the right plaid is like choosing the best mens leather card holder. You have to choose the style and design that would suit your personality. It is always better to choose both style and comfort when buying these items.
Looks to avoid include: plaid micro-skirts that conjure up visions of school uniforms with the waistband folded over many times; buffalo plaid checks that are inevitably lumberjackish, and garments (other than sleepwear) that are both plaid and cotton flannel.