Ever wondered how literally everyone around you has a piece of tartan, plaid or check “something”? That’s because during some stage in our lives, we stumble upon an item - be it a coat, hat, scarf or shoes- that features the typical lined colour combination that we consider super-trendy. An old aesthetic thread pulled throughout history in its progression, here are six reasons why this print or woven visual will never go out of style.
#1: It can be applied to all types of clothes or accessories and still be appealing
Do you ever look at an item in a store and wonder about the designer's state of mind or creative processes? We think it’s safe to say that when it comes to plaid, practically any item can look appealing in some way. From shoes and bags to a hair beret, plaid certainly ticks all the boxes when it comes to appeal across product categories.
Tip to rock plaid everything: Try experimenting with different scales of the plaid print and keep it within the same colour scheme to avoid looking too mismatched. Should you wish to include multiple plaid colourways, try items that have a single colour continuation throughout even if it is subtle.
#2: It Comes in Multiple Colours
Straying far away from the traditional colour variation of plaid, the fashion world has once again put a spin on the traditional and created this iconic print in a variation of colour combinations. Multi-coloured plaid is a popular aesthetic - because no one has ever told the fashion industry what to do- and can look fashion-forward if styled correctly.
Tip for wearing a plaid print with more than three colours in it: Try making a single plaid item the hero of your ensemble. Pair it with monotone separates that go with the colours, but be sure that you stick to a concise colour story to avoid any similarity to that of a circus outfit.
#3: It's Flattering
Whilst other prints can virtually jeopardise your physical appearance, plaid remains timeless and can suit anyone. You wouldn’t have industry majors like Burberry selling out their poised plaid trench coats if the print was unflattering in some form. If you think that plaid works for you, then let it work with you.
Tip for ensuring that plaid will always be flattering for you: Work with your proportions and stick to minimal, yet impactful adjustments, for example: the waist belt. Also keep your wardrobe in mind at all times when purchasing new items, plaid is supposed to have that timeless factor so make sure that you invest in an item that you will wear again.
#4: Seasonal Versatility
The most important note to make here is textiles and texture. Flannel shirts are woven in a specific way, ensuring that the plaid effect comes alive. Flannel shirts are very warm and will probably be worn in winter due to its natural thickness and weight. However, let’s say you take a plaid cotton shirt: you will find that it is much cooler purely due to the light, crisp texture of the cotton. Therefore seasonal versatility depends on the weight of the fabric in clothing. In accessories however, other factors like colour play a huge role in its versatility.
Tip for ensuring seasonal versatility: Keep track of your texture pairings and invest in plaid printed or decorated accessories (bags, jewellery and shoes) that suit all seasons.
#5 Vintage is the new “new”
Beg, borrow or steal, plaid has been a speck on our fashion radars for decades and we don’t see it leaving any time soon. With the concept of vintage or ‘era- specific’ taking centre-stage on the A/W 2019 runways, you have to ask yourself whether there is a real difference between plaid from the '80s and plaid from 2019… our answer? No one will ever know the difference.
Tip for embracing vintage: Try having fun with the ideals of old and new. In with the old plaid skirt and in with a new white button-down because it all works together. The key in embracing vintage is to ensure that it's styled with a modern flair. Just because it’s taken off the back of an '80s icon, doesn’t mean that you have to dress like one.
#6 It makes the ideal foundation for a print-clash look
While print clashing is making its way up the trend popularity ladder, we have to admit that it’s not as easy as it looks. The bold lines and structure of a plaid print allows for it to be the perfect base for further experimentation. Imagine the juxtaposition between a pastel-infused floral print with a monochromatic plaid print. Nothing bold, but nothing overly subtle or unnoticeable either.
Tip for print clashing with plaid: First select the adventurous print and then pair it with a suitable plaid. In this case, the plaid acts as your ‘solid’, coloured item and your printed item is the complex piece that needs critical selection and matching.