how to wear tartan

How to wear plaid?

The cold wind of autumn, feels kind of depressing. You just wished  your coats would remain in the closet a little while longer.

But there are ways to accept:  hanging on your couch reading a book while dring hot tea, going to the movies because outside is just rainy, chatting with friends while enjoying red wine in a bar (yes red is not for summer when it comes to me),  the come-back of soft sweaters … everything cosy actually.

And what looks cosier than plaid (or look alikes, like prince de galles) print?

I am the happy owner of two plaid printed items: a coat that I just adore, a fluid shirt and a scarf, that well, I just should not have bought, because I saw it on half girls in town. That is now a reminder of why to avoid buying fast-fashion the most I can. (This is also a reminder).

If you own some plaid items or intend to purchase some, here are my trick to find the good ones and to wear them stylishly.

I. How to choose your plaid print? 

The key word is subtility. Clumsy plaid print will always make you look cheap.

Especially if you see a large amount of it.

Therefore the fabric is important as well.

Plaid doesn’t print on polyester. Period.

II. How much plaid?

Obviously, you can either go for just an accessory or for something bigger.

Note that the plaid tends to set the focus where you wear it. So choose according to your figure.

– Plaid pants

plaid pants


tartan pants nadia aboulhosn

Nadia Aboulhosn

– Plaid shirt

Plaid shirt


Wear it like a classic shirt or as an oversize layer like in the nineties.

– Plaid blazer

plaid blazer


Always chic. A structured plaid blazer will add english sophistication to your outfits.

Now the longer a kind of manly cuts are the trendiest.

They can be mixed with chic items like cigarette pants,  more relaxed ones like jeans or sexy ones like a short skirt.

– Plaid coat

plaid coat 2


A plaid coat can become your signature style. Choose a print you love so much that you won’t get bored of it. (I Like this one for instance)

– Plaid dress

milk cocoa plaid dress

Milk cocoa

This skater shape looks really youthful and “school girl”. Which can be pretty, but only if you are very young.

If you want to wear it in a more grown up manner, go for simple straight shapes without flourish.

anthropologie plaid dress


The plaid print also has a retro feel to it. Therefore, if you do not want to look old fashioned, I rceommend you opt for modern cuts.

– Plaid scarf

The plaid scarf is the perfect accessory to add warmth and colors into your autumnal outfits.

Either around your neck

shiia m

Shiia M

Or on your shoulders

plaid scarf mango and salt

Mango and salt

III. What colors/ prints shall I wear it with?

– With one plain color

Plaid really makes a statement in your outfit.

Therefore, if you went for a major plaid item like pants, you can stick to one  colors for the rest of the outfit.

If you go for dark neutrals like black or navy, you can’t go wrong.

tartan pants

Lovely Pepa

– With several plain colors

Here again, if you stick with neutral colors, you shall remain stylish.

You can also go for a color that is  discretly contained in  the print of your tartan (for instance my tartan coat which has a hint of yellow in it and look great with my mustard sweater) or  for a color that is complementary to the ones of your print.

Style scrapbook tartan

Style scrapbook

– With jeans

Jeans and plaid print are the perfect combo for a cosy yet original look.

tartan miss cassiope

Miss Cassiope

death by elocution tartan

Death by elocution

– With other plaid prints

isabel marant print mix

Isabel Marant

– With leopard print

They both have this cosy autumnal feel, I guess that is why they look great together.

tartan and leopard


Ralph Lauren fall 2012

Ralph Lauren

Remain subtle though (^^)

You can even try snake…

tartan suit

Trop rouge

– Dots

My favorite combo? The plaid with plumetis tights. I do it all the times.

It look kind of baroque and preppy.

plaid dots


Any other print

As I explained in my “how to mix print” entry, prints mix always mix when they have the same color.

So have fun!

Print mix

Bisous from Paris where I am currently writing café with a cup of warm tea (and kind of a punk look today erm. Probably this tartan topic inspired me.)

11 Responses to “How to wear plaid?”
  1. Lili says:


    Votre article est très intéressant.

    La veste tartan camel et noir (1ère image) est très jolie. Pouvez-vous m’indiquer le site sur lequel vous l’avez trouvé ?
    Merci par avance

  2. val liesa says:

    Bonjour Alois, I am really enjoying your website! I love the skinny jean look and pencil pant look but I have trouble wearing them because they create a bulge at the pant waist and look unattractive. I am not overweight but I do have a high waist and hips…so pants tend to fall in the back which also makes my backside unattractive. I tend to wear high waist leggings and knit skirts which look good for my body, but I really want to wear jeans and black pants sometimes. What do you suggest? Merci bien, Val

    • Aloïs Guinut says:

      Bonjour Val, I suggest you go for high waisted pants. They can have a bit of stretch to flatten the belly (some jeans and pants are especially designed for this purpose). Forget low waists.
      And wear tops long enough to cover the belly area.

  3. Sandra says:

    The only thing I like about winter is pulling my favorite clothes out of storage, including my woolen and flannel plaids, and getting to wear them again!

  4. Evelyn says:

    I’m a firm lover of plaid and over the years I found it more and more hard to get beautiful plaid patterns with the right colours. The more plaid is available, the more difficult it gets…

    Here’s a hint for you to label the picture of Caroline in the pretty red plaid shirt: it’s from her website If you want to find the source of a picture, you can use Google’s reversed picture search, just upload the picture and it will find its source for you. It can help finding a lot of similar looking pictures, too. Here’s the direct link:

    • Aloïs Guinut says:

      Thanks Evelyn.
      Yes I used to use it a lot but often it just links to tons of reposts and takes me a crazy amount of time…
      But yes. I should keep doing so.

      • Evelyn says:

        Thanks for putting so much effort in this (and mentioning it, as very often it is not visible!) and mentioning the source. Not only is it respectful and the right way to act in this digital area, but also it’s a great source to find well-curated blogs!

        You are definitely right, the reversed picture search leads to a lot of re-posts. Lately, I’ve experienced the original source (or oldest one, to be precise) to be listed on top of the results. Maybe this will work out at your place too!

Leave A Comment