Never Too Much Plaid? (Holiday Party)


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.



Rails shirt (xs) | Madewell skirt (xs) | similar clutch | Vince heels | lipstick (fiery)




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.



similar shirt | Madewell skirt (xs) | similar clutch | Vince heels | lipstick (fiery)



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?



similar tops | brasimilar pants | similar clutch | shoes (no plaid left) | lipstick (fiery)




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



Rails shirt (xs) | similar pants | similar clutch | shoes (no plaid left) | ringlipstick (fiery)



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.




Rails shirt (xs) | bowtiepetite flares | similar clutch |Vince heels | ringlipstick (fiery)



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.)



shirt (xs – exact color sold out) |  jeans (also in a lighter wash) | scarf (exact color sold out) |  similar clutch | ringlipstick (fiery)


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.







  1. I’m loving the shoes, pants, skirts, and scarves. But plaid button up shirts always make me feel like a lumberjack at a nirvana concert. Have you seen any plaid shirts in more feminine styles?

  2. AWESOME!…unrelated question…the free people mini dress…and the free people marquis boots..(brown)…can they be worn with some leg wear? tights?? or what? my legs will be too cold to wear them bare…?? help?..oh but i want to wear them together..:)

    • Belinda, I’ve been thinking about this one. I *think* black tights might actually work. Of course, sheer black nylons would be better, but I think there’s enough muted tones in the dress that black and brown would be fine! The only other thought is nude fishnet (NOT warm) or some sort of contrasting color (burgundy, olive, mustard) but that tends to be a bit much for my taste.

      Have you tried layering the dress over a pair of flares? It looks kind of awesome. You may want to hem it a tiny bit shorter (I will sometimes duct tape for a temp fix) or try belting it low on your hips and blousing it. Your boots would be perfect with this. (Or hey – even skinnies would work!)

      • Hello — have to poke in here with a question. Is Kate Middleton solely responsible for the return of sheer hose? It’s strange because as a teenager my grandmother would chide me for BARE LEGS! and I thought she was sooooo old-fashioned and now I don’t like bare legs and reach for hose/tights? Oh, the universe. It always brings it back.

  3. The Mom Edit is booming, no? I’d love to see a post where you pull back the veil and give us a behind the scenes look at how you manage your business. I’m sincerely happy for your success. I’ve been reading since the Ain’t No Mom Jeans years and I know that you’ve worked your ass off to get to this point. I personally have no interest in blogging but I love being inspired by entrepreneurial types.

    Does Mike still do your photography? How does he have time since he has a full time job himself? What made you decide to expand The Mom Edit to other contributors? (Please tell me it is because you had so many designers knocking on your door!) Do folks like Scotti and Cam get paid or is the primary perk free clothes? Speaking of money, is your primary compensation from designers/retailers or from folks who pay to advertise on your site? Do you do all the back-end computer programming to keep the blog going or do you hire it out? Do you try to maintain a Mon-Fri 9-5 schedule or do you work at random times? These are just a few *snort* of the questions that I’m genuinely curious about. 🙂 🙂

    Again, congratulations on your success. You’ve earned it!

    • Thank you!!! And I love this idea. I’ve been getting a few more questions along these lines, so yeah. Am happy to talk about the nuts and bolts of this blog. It’s been a….long road, actually. I’ll work something up for Jan/Feb timeframe. xo!

  4. I’m dying to know the color of maroon nail polish you have been wearing lately? ??????

    I’ve asked a couple of times On different posts hahaha I totally get that you’re super busy and can’t answer all questions…thanks if you can respond!

    • Hi Kristie….don’t mean to but in …but I can help….it is an opi gel nail polish….she mentioned it sometime last summer somewhere….it is obvious when you look at the opi selection…I don’t know the exact name

      • YES! So sorry Kristy! I wasn’t meaning to not answer, I just didn’t know the name – at the salon you just point to the one you want, you know? Anyway, I had to wait until I was back in. So yeah – it’s OPI, but the actual name is Honk If You Love OPI. xo!

        • Thank you thank you!!! Seriously…Many Thanks !!
          Love your style and blog…especially when you do posts from Marquette. ..I lived there for ten years and miss it so much!!!!

  5. First of all, I love you. You always crack me up (“[sounds of everyone falling asleep….]”)! Second of all, I’m thinking yes to a navy plaid scarf with that JCrew shirt, and last of all, I said, “Darn you, Shana!”(laughing) at the price of the b&w one you have that “goes with everything.” If course it does, it’s awesome and now I want it! Lol! Merry Christmas to you all!

    • After a pretty extensive search, I found the Rails shirt on sale at Bloomingdale’s website. 15% and in stock. Nordstrom couldn’t ship my size until January

  6. I’ve been following you guys since I was pregnant with my second 5 years ago 😉 Love it here. So, I mixed some plaids today…albeit a black & white minidress with a tan, black, white, & red scarf…played it safe, but did it! I should have taken a picture. Thanks for the inspiration.

  7. Coming back to this post to let ye all know- those plaid shoes with the strap from Amazon are on sale ($38). I just got them delivered (thanks enablers at Mom Edit!) and they are really comfy!

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