We loooove our plaid, over here on TME. Plaid shirts, plaid PJs, plaid pants, plaid scarves, plaid shoes – we’ve covered it all. But is there such a thing as too much plaid? Mixed plaids have been surfacing every winter for years (the very first time I covered this trend, Pax was a baby, just to give you an idea) but is it truly as easy as just….throwing them together? I wanted to play around with different strategies for mixing the plaids you already own. Haphazardly. Devil-May-Care. And then, because it is the holiday season, after all….accessorizing with feathers and glitter because at this point, we already have one foot on the path to crazytown.
Vogue would call it, ‘more is more’. Let’s go with that.
The one rule I did follow is that the plaids I mixed must have at least one color in common. That lends this little exercise some semblance of reality. So. The kids were stuck in front of a movie, the Scotch was poured, and Mike and I had a little date night/photo-sesh in the studio. (His favorite. #hahano)
Plaid Skirts – Mix It a Little
Plaid skirt, meet plaid shirt. They both have black in common so….yes. It works. I further grounded this look with black heels and sheer black nylons. I think the sheer black is the more modern choice, but if it’s freezing, I’ll still be reaching for my thick black tights.
Plaid Skirts – Mix It A Lot
Last time I was in a Madewell store, there was a display showing this buffalo check skirt paired with a matching buffalo check plaid shirt. The buffalo plaids were identical in every way – same exact checks, same tone of red, etc. But I already had a buffalo check shirt at home….can we call it close enough?
I say YES. It’s slightly off, but I like that. And the vibe of this outfit is almost that of a dress. Again, I grounded it with sheer black nylons and black, pointy-toe heels.
Plaid Pants The Tame
What can one always pair plaid pants with? I KNOW! A black shirt!!![sounds of everyone falling asleep….]
This is fine. It works. But let’s be a little more daring, shall we? And by “little” I mean shoes. Small adjustment, but better, no?
Now THIS is Mixed Plaid (pants)
Ok, here we go. I mixed the plaid pants with a plaid shirt AND plaid shoes. It hangs together because they have two colors in common: black and white.
I do, however, recognize that the vibe is ever-so-slightly Eccentric-Aunt-Mildred-Wore-Her-Pajamas-To-The-Party.
My best Eccentric Aunt Mildred Wink
Plaid Shirt + BowTie
Longtime readers will recognize this look. This year, I updated it with white flares (just for something totally unexpected), and went with a really subtle plaid bowtie. I like how the bowtie is light against the darker shirt.
Pretty baubles and lipstick keep the look feminine.
Plaid Shirt + Scarf
The easiest of the bunch. And as long as they have at least one color in common, everything seems to work out OK.
Truth be told, something is off with this outfit. The shoes are too campy – this would have been so much better with my black pointy-toe heels or stiletto ankle boots, and the fab high-waist of these jeans is almost hidden by the volume of the shirt/scarf. Flares would balance the volume so much better, or even dark wash skinnies for length. (If I had a silky plaid tee, this look would also have been much better. Something slimmer to show off the high waist.)
Ah, well. It was at the end of the night, and I’ll blame the Scotch.
Shop My Favorite Plaids
If plaid puts you into a shopping frenzy….well. You are not alone. I was tempted to push us all over the edge by including adorable plaid pajamas, but I refrained. Here are a few of my favorite plaid pieces right now. I’ve included styling notes on how I’d mix each one – and these are the plaids I find easiest to mix.