14 Bold and Stylish Ways to Wear Plaid Pants This Season

plaid pants style

Plaid pants have been a staple in fashion for decades and continue to be a popular trend today. From classic films like “Clueless” and “The Breakfast Club” to current pop culture icons like Harry Styles, plaid pants have graced the screens and stages of some of our favorite media. But this pattern isn’t just a product of pop culture; it has a rich history rooted in Scottish tradition. Tartan plaids, the pattern most commonly associated with plaid pants, were originally used to signify clan identity and were later adopted by the British aristocracy as a symbol of high fashion.

Plaid as a fashion trend began to emerge in the 19th century when the British aristocracy, including Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, became enamored with tartan and began incorporating it into their wardrobes. This trend helped to popularize plaid as a fashion statement.

aesthetic plaid

In the United States, plaid became popular in the 20th century, particularly in the 1950s and 1960s with the rise of rock and roll fashion. Today, plaid is a versatile pattern that is popular in a variety of different fashion styles.

Plaid can be worn in both casual and formal settings, depending on the style and context. In a casual setting, you can pair plaid with flannel shirts, jackets, and pants, jeans, sneakers, and other relaxed pieces. However, in a formal setting, plaid should be paired with plain trousers, blazers, tops or shirts.

Styling Plaid Pants: Tips and Tricks for a Fashion-Forward Look

While Plaid is a versatile pattern that can be flattering on many different body types and skin tones, the key to making plaid work for you is choosing the right style, color, and size of plaid that flatters your unique features and personal style.

Larger plaids with bold colors may overwhelm petite figures, while smaller plaids or monochromatic plaid patterns can be more flattering. Similarly, certain color combinations may complement one skin tone but clash with another.

Here are a few ideas on how to style plaid pants this season.

1. A plain white tee is always a good choice with plaid pants

Plain white tee and plaid pants

A white tee and plaid pants is a great way to show your personality and style. This outfit is perfect for casual days or even dressing up for a night out. The key to pulling off this look is to keep the rest of your outfit simple. You can add a pop of color with your shoes or accessories.

For a more polished look, try pairing the white tee with a blazer or cardigan. And don’t forget the finishing touches! A statement necklace or pair of earrings will really make this outfit stand out.

2. A denim jacket goes great with plaid pants

Denim jackets are a wardrobe staple for many people because they are so versatile. They can be dressed up or down, and they look good with different styles of clothing.

One great combination is a denim jacket with plaid pants. The contrasting patterns add visual interest, while the blue jeans provide a grounding effect. This outfit is also comfortable and easy to wear, making it ideal for a casual day out.

3. A cardigan sweater also looks great with plaid pants

kid wearing a cardigan and plaid pants

A cardigan sweater is a must-have piece in any fashion-savvy woman’s wardrobe. Not only is it incredibly versatile, but it also has a timeless appeal that can be dressed up or down to suit any occasion. For a casual daytime look, pair a cardigan with your favorite plaid pants and a pair of comfortable flats.

Or, for a more polished aesthetic, try layering it over a white collared shirt and teaming it with tailored trousers and heels. However you choose to style it, there’s no doubt that a cardigan sweater looks great with plaid pants.

The key to pulling off this trend is to choose pants in a complementary color palette. If you’re wearing a green cardigan, opt for plaid pants in shades of red or blue. Then, simply add some accessories and you’re good to go!

4. A chambray shirt is another good option to wear with plaid pants

While plaid pants are often associated with more casual styles, they can also be dressed up for a more sophisticated look. One great option is to pair them with a chambray shirt.

The key is to choose a chambray shirt in a darker wash, which will create a sharper contrast with the plaid pants. For a finishing touch, add a belt and some simple jewelry. With this outfit, you’ll be ready for anything from drinks with friends to a day at the office.

5. You can also wear a black or navy tee with plaid pants

woman wearing plaid pants paired with black tee

Black and navy are both versatile colors that can be paired with a variety of other colors and patterns. Plaid is a timeless pattern that can add a touch of fun and personality to any outfit.

When pairing a black or navy tee with plaid pants, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, consider the colors in the plaid pattern. If the plaid is predominantly one color, like red or green, then it will be easy to find a tee that complements it.

formal plaid look
For a more formal look, try pairing plaid pants with black cover shoes or heels

However, if the plaid is more of an eclectic mix of colors, then it’s best to stick to a classic black or navy tee. Second, think about the silhouette of the pants. If they are fitted or tapered, then a fitted tee will create a streamlined look.

If the pants are looser and more relaxed, then a slouchy tee will be more comfortable and stylish.

6. A button-down shirt looks great with plaid pants, whether it’s formal or casual

formal plaid attire

One way to dress your plaid pants up is to pair them with a button-down shirt. This creates a more polished look that is still stylish and comfortable. The key is to choose a shirt that complements the colors in your pants.

If your pants are mostly yellow and green, try pairing them with a pink or purple button-down. If your plaid pants are more neutral, go for a bolder color like red or orange. Whatever you choose, make sure your shirt is well-fitting and tucked in so you avoid looking sloppy.

7. A turtleneck is a great way to keep warm while still looking stylish in plaid pants

man wearing turtleneck top and plaid pants

Turtlenecks are the perfect way to dress up your look without sacrificing style or comfort. They come in a variety of colors and fabrics, so you can find one that works well with your plaid pants.

A turtleneck also provides an extra layer of warmth, which can be useful on chilly days. If you’re looking for a more formal look, consider pairing your plaid pants with a black turtleneck and dress shoes. For a more casual outfit, try a white turtleneck with sneakers or loafers.

8. A blazer is another good option for dressing up your plaid pants

Man wearing a blazer and plaid pants

While a suit is always a classic choice for dressing up your plaid pants, a blazer can also be a great option.

Choose a solid color that complements the colors in your plaid pants, and pair it with a coordinating shirt and tie. For a more casual look, leave the shirt unbuttoned at the collar and forego the tie.

As with a suit, make sure your blazer fits well in the shoulders and is not too long or short in the sleeves.

9. A tank top can be a good choice for warmer weather or for a more casual look

One option is to pair them with a tank top. This creates a contrast between the structured fabric of the pants and the soft drape of the top. The result is an outfit that is both stylish and comfortable.

Tank tops also come in a variety of colors and patterns, so you can easily find one that complements your plaid pants. For a slightly more Formal look, you could add a blazer or cardigan. This will help to balance out the volume of the pants and give the outfit a polished feel.

10. A cami looks great under a cardigan or blazer with plaid pants

A cami is a great option for dressing up your plaid pants. The camisole provides a layer of coverage that can keep you from feeling overexposed, but it’s still feminine and sexy.

Plus, the variety of colors and patterns available means that you can find a camisole to match just about any outfit. If you want to add a bit of color to your look, consider pairing your plaid pants with a brightly colored cami.

If you’re looking for something a bit more subdued, opt for a neutral-hued cami.

11. A scarf is a great accessory to add when wearing plaid pants

Man wearing a scraf, jacket and plaid pants

A cold breeze wisps through the city streets, and you find yourself wishing you had brought a scarf. You see a woman bundled up in a bright red scarf as you walk, accessorizing her outfit perfectly. You remember seeing a scarf in your closet that would go great with your plaid pants.

You hurry home, and after trying on a few different outfits, you finally settle on the perfect look. The scarf ties everything together and makes you feel stylish and put together.

12. Boots

There’s something about boots that just makes them look great with plaid pants. Maybe it’s the ruggedness of the boots, or the way they add a touch of edge to the outfit. Whatever the reason, it’s undeniable that boots and plaid pants make a great pair; whether ankle boots, knee-high boots, or even cowboy boots.

So next time you’re looking for something to wear, don’t forget to consider pairing your plaid pants with a nice pair of boots. You might be surprised at how great they look together.

13. Sneakers

Plaid paired with sneakers

Sneakers are also a good choice for footwear when wearing plaid pants. There’s something about sneakers that just goes so well with plaid pants. Maybe it’s the casualness of the sneakers that pairs well with the preppy look of the plaid, or maybe it’s the way the two patterns can play off each other. Either way, it’s a winning combination.

The key is to find the right balance between the two looks. Too much of either one can be overwhelming, but when they’re combined just right, they create a look that is both stylish and effortless.

14. Loafers

Loafers are another dressier option for footwear when wearing plaid pants. Loafers and plaid pants are a classic combination that can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. Loafers are versatile shoes that can be worn with jeans, slacks, or even a dress.

A pair of tan loafers would go well with navy blue or grey plaid pants. Alternatively, brown loafers would look great with green or red plaid pants.

Accessories to Elevate Your Plaid Outfits

Accessorizing is also key when it comes to plaid pants. A belt can help define your waist, while a scarf or statement necklace can add visual interest. Bags such as a tote, crossbody, or backpack, can be a statement piece that adds visual interest to your look. It can be paired with a simple plaid outfit to make your style stand out.

Gold or silver jewelry can add a touch of elegance to a plaid outfit. A delicate necklace or hoop earrings can be paired with a plaid shirt or dress to create a chic look. Don’t miss the chance to elevate your plaid ensemble with a pair of sunglasses. A stylish pair of sunglasses can add a touch of glamour to a plaid outfit. Choose a classic shape like aviators or wayfarers to keep the look timeless.

Don’t Forget Your Hair and Makeup!

As far as hair and makeup go, keep it simple when wearing plaid pants. A natural makeup look will complement the pattern without competing with it. And for hair, a messy bun or a sleek ponytail are both great options.

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