November 5, 2014

All About Plaid Shirts: How To Wear, Where to Shop, And Which Ones Caught My Eye (Better Get Comfortable)

madewell-mixed-plaid-shirt-scarf-1

I was in the market for a new plaid shirt.  I have a couple, but between all of the washing and the drying and the new boobs, my old standbys were feeling a little snug.  So I’ve been doing a little research, you know, mad for plaid and all that.  I found some seriously great options at ALL price points.  But first, Pinterest.

 

Plaid Shirt Inspiration

There is literally nothing new in fashion ever, so I won’t try to claim that this is the first time I’m seeing these styling tricks (heck – we’ve covered most of these in years past)….BUT.  Even if you have seen these tips before, it’s always nice to get a refresher.  Collecting pin-inspiration also helps to focus my evil twin, the Shopping Enabler.

BWAH HA HAHAHA.

plaid shirt inspiration-01

 (photo credits:  no idea, no idea, no idea, Sincerely Jules, no idea, no idea.)  Well, I tried. #blamepinterest

But let’s not forget my very favorite plaid shirt styling trick:  mix ‘em.  (Remember?  We actually first talked about piling on the plaids in 2012.  2012!!  Wow.)

madewell-mixed-plaid-shirt-scarf-1-2

wearing:

shirtMadewell oversized boyshirt (size S)

scarf: Madewell nightglen plaid scarf

necklaceStella & Dot Rebel Pendant necklace

hatAnthropologie beanie

jeansRag and Bone skinny jeans.

 

 

My Fav Places To Shop For Plaid Shirts (in no particular order)

Because plaids are so personal (I mean really, it’s like perfume don’t you think?), I think a little browsing is required.  Here’s what I’d start the search:

1.  J.Crew

J.Crew only comes out with a handful of plaid shirts (for women) every year, but as a result, the plaids tend to be pretty spot-on.  You don’t have to worry about strange color combinations or hard-to-wear plaids.  They tend to nail it.  The softness level varies with the shirt.

Fit notes:  I find that these shirts – considering that they are often flannel which to me implies comfort – fit small.  My too-snug shirts?  Both are from J.Crew (size 2).  Currently, I’m much happier with a size 6 in the J.Crew plaid, to get that Olsen-twin oversized thing going on.  (However, if I wanted to tuck the shirts in, I’d probably stick to a size 4.)  Also, if you have long, goony arms (and I do – I have tall girl arms), you might need to go up a size to get enough length in the arms.

 

2.  Madewell

I have a love-hate relationship with Madewell plaid shirts.  On the upside, the plaids are seriously cool, and they’ll often carry more than one style of shirt, with I appreciate.  (Obviously, I bought one.)  In addition to multiple shirt styles, they also offer multiple weights of plaid shirts:  some are super-thick flannel, some are thiner, etc.  The downside, however….

Fit Notes:  Madewell is super stingy with length.  Length of arms, length of shirt.  Their stuff is so fabulous that this is REALLY annoying.  I will always size up in order to get enough arm length….but when the shirts start with XXS, is it really sizing up if I wear a Small?  Ugh.  Vanity sizing confusion abounds. (And Madewell?  You know that plaid flannel shirt you made with 3/4 length sleeves?  NEVER DO THAT AGAIN.)  I hate being forced to roll the sleeves.  It’s like a J.Crew/Madewell religion that they keep pushing.

 

3. Lucky Brand

Lucky only carries a couple of plaid shirts, but if you are looking for something with crazy-fabulous drape, Lucky’s your brand.  Their plaid shirts are made of viscose rather than cotton, so they drape like a silk shirt (yet are machine washable).  Warning:  they’ll wrinkle like cray-cray if you let them sit for too long in the dryer.

Fit Notes:  These shirts fit pretty true to size.  For example, the XS fit me, but I wanted a *touch* more length in the arms.  The Medium looked like the Olsen twin, the Small seemed to be a good compromise.

 

4. Uniqlo

At my rough count, Uniqlo has approximately 2348970 different plaid flannel shirts to choose from.  Some are fabulous plaids, some are not.  (My fav is this one.)

Fit Notes:  FINALLY!!  Long arms!!  Long length!!  Thank you Uniqlo!!  (Inexplicably, these shirts are the cheapest.)  The only downside?  The shirt is pretty fitted.  If you like to tuck in your plaid, this is your shirt.  If you want to show off curves, this might be your shirt.  If you are an Olsen twin wanna be [S raises hand] this isn’t your brand.  I love the price and the arm length, but I want a slouchier fit.

 

5. Swell

The surf brands (Hurley, Volcom, etc) bring a seriously good plaid shirt game.  These shirts tend to have long enough arms, good slouch, and a sexier fit (you can leave a few buttons undone and the shirt slouches open nicely).

Fit Notes: In general, these brands fit pretty true-to-size.  I own a Hurley plaid shirt (size S) and the arms fit nice and long, it’s slouchy through the body, and is made of a thin, soft, cozy flannel.

 

My Fav Plaid Shirts Right Now

 

 

 

Thus concludes my dissertation on plaids.  I’m expecting Blogger U to extend an honorary degree offer any day now.   I will, of course, graciously accept.

xo,

S

ps.  Nordstrom is having a huge clearance sale, and a few of you have asked if I was planning to cover it.  Well.  There’s a ton of stuff to weed through, but I’m giving it my best shop. SHOT.  My best SHOT.   I’ve barely scratched the surface of coats and boots (that’s top on my list for tomorrow), but there are some seriously amazing deals on tees, sweaters, jeans, etc.  My picks can all be found in The Mom Edit’s (newly created) Nordstrom Clearance Sale Shop.  Keep checking back – it’ll be updated over the next few days.

15 Comments
  • ja4marti
    November 5, 2014

    I ALMOST bought a Madewell plaid shirt tonight – will probably pick it up when they go on sale. I love my JCREW ones but 1 of the 3 I own all the buttons broke. Not sure what that is all about.

    • Jenny
      November 6, 2014

      Yup! Same thing — broken buttons on my fave from J. Crew, too. Wondering if Madewell version would fair any better?

  • Kylie
    November 5, 2014

    I’m kind of loving my Lands’ End flannel. It’s more utilitarian (thick, soft, warm) and not especially drapy, but their plaids are gorgeous this year.

  • Melanie @ Nutritious Eats
    November 6, 2014

    I have been wanting a flannel! And I am obsessed with all of these. I have some thinking to do…..

  • Julia
    November 6, 2014

    I’ve been seriously drawn to plaid lately but I’ve been collecting Rails button downs. (Usually on sale!) They’re amaingly soft, fit perfectly and have some pretty rocking non-plaid style too! Umm…..HELL-O paint splattered chambray! They’re def worth checking out! **cough cough Shop Bop**

  • R Liz
    November 6, 2014

    I am 7 months pregnant and all I want is a plaid shirt! The two maternity ones I have found are terrible though, okay just needed to vent lol

  • Tracy Ann B
    November 6, 2014

    I’m a huge Rails fan but I don’t love the high prices. Thanks for giving me more options to choose from! Xo

  • J
    November 6, 2014

    Banana Republic has a great flannel shirt right now…and its 30% off. Wore it with black jeans, heels and a statement necklace yesterday, so freakin cute if I do say so myself. Who woulda thunk a flannel shirt could be dressy?! Loving the new side of BR. Slightly obsessed. :-) http://bananarepublic.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=5039&vid=1&pid=970493012

  • Heather
    November 6, 2014

    You are reading my mine, Shana! I have been on the hunt for the last week or so for a perfect flannel. Your picks are super helpful and more affordable than this one I am currently coveting, http://www.shopbop.com/kendra-long-sleeve-button-down/vp/v=1/1551921563.htm?fm=search-shopbysize. Thanks for the enabling.

  • Meg Loves Style
    November 6, 2014

    The timing of this post is perfect! I’ve been on the hunt for a plaid flannel shirt (stocking up on all things warm before another winter hits…ughhhh….) and I’m loving these options you’ve pulled together! Like reader J above, I also have my eye on the Banana Republic shirts as well. Saw them in store earlier this week and the quality seems really good. (And yes, I’m also loving the new looks that BR is putting together…it’s about time!!)

    • J
      November 6, 2014

      Meg, I’ve already washed my flannel shirt several times and its holding up great. Definitely worth it.

  • Emily
    November 7, 2014

    Can I ignore my “stop buying clothes at Target and stick with higher quality longer lasting…etc etc, blah blah” mantra and show you the following link? Target has some great plaid shirts this season! My personal favorite is the ‘Red Anthem’ but there are lots of options. Tip: size-up. These ain’t roomy!
    http://www.target.com/p/long-sleeve-flannel-shirt-mossimo-supply-co/-/A-15834525#prodSlot=medium_1_16&term=plaid+mossimo+shirt

  • Rachael
    November 7, 2014

    just sayin’ ….. <3

    http://www.toms.com/women/red-and-blue-plaid-womens-classics

    • Jen
      November 16, 2014

      Omygosh- I think I’m in love, L-U-V!!!!!!!

  • Cynthia Das
    December 11, 2014

    Love it! Love your blog! Found great plaid at Roots!

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