Plaid Shirts

"Classic Fall/Winter Casual Closet Essential"


Plaid shirts may remind you of scruffy woodcutters, but they're so darn trendy¬Ö if you wear them right! This page will give you all the fashion advice and styling tips you need to look chic in a plaid top without the complete reminiscent of 90's grunge and masculinity.

Black and white plaid shirt
Courtesy of Nordstrom

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My personal style is more on the feminine side, but I love taking a break from that and dress casually with a checkered shirt. You can also find various stylish updates of the plaid shirt which you can implement into your own clothing personality - such as pink plaid prints, bibs and tunic styles.

Let me give you a peak on how you to wear plaid the chic way:

How to Look Chic in a Plaid Shirt

Select colors that flatter your complexion

It'll give you a nice, healthy glow. look for plaid print with a dominant cool or warm color scheme, depending on your best colors.

look terrible in plaids with light grays, pink and crisp white. So I always go for reds, orange and browns.

Oversized or fitted?

Plaid shirt worn by Lauren Conrad
Lauren Conrad via
Pacific Coast News Online
It depends on the feel and look you want to achieve with your outfit. And if course if it looks good on you.

The oversized boyfriend shirt is perfect for that laidback casual-cool ensemble - but if you're Petite it will more than likely look a bit too much on your short silhouette, so I suggest you to select a slim fit shirt to look your best.

You can adjust the oversized fit by tucking a part of the shirt in your bottom - or nip it at the waist with a belt. Make sure to pair it with a fitted bottom to balance out the look. Only one high-fat garment at a time, please!

I would personally wear a fitted plaid shirt to follow the contours of my waist - it looks sleeker when tucked in a skirt too! Bunches of fabric around the tummy that makes me look pregnant is the last thing I want.

    Tip: Boyfriend blazers, boyfriend tees and boyfriend jeans are popular garments, so it's not an entire boo-boo to wear men's plaid shirts if you want to create a laid-back look. They look trendy worn open with a black or white fitted tee.

    However I suggest you to wrap a skinny belt around the middle and/or add a pair of high heel boots or shoes for a juxtaposition of both the feminine and masculine!


Wear it like a girl

There are several ways to tone down the masculine look of the checkered shirt. One of them is in how you wear it and the others are using accessories.

Examples of how to soften the plaid shirt look:

    Flannel button down plaid shirt
    Flannel shirt via Urban Outfitters
  • Leave the two or three buttons on top unbuttoned for a relaxed look and to "open" up your face and show some skin.
  • Look for shirt styles with cute details for a feminine edge - such as ruffles or bib detail at the front of the shirt. A belt tie is gorgeous too! You should definitely experiment with tunic shirts, which have a longer fit and are begging for a pair of leggings to go hand in hand!
  • Add accessories into the mix. How many guys wear jewelry, headbands and scarves with their plaid shirt? ... EXACTLY.
  • Pair it with something other than jeans. Try a skirt, shorts, pants or leggings.

Cick here to learn how to accessorize a dress shirt

So if you want to look chic in plaid shirts, you need to add layers and some "bling". But since the shirt is already crowded with checkered prints, you might want to pick accessories in simple designs, such as sleek hoop earrings, leather bracelet, basic single pearl bracelet, colorless diamond stud earrings, belts without any fussy details, a clean-looking headband, etc.
    Tip: It looks cool with trendy jewelry such as a multi necklace with charms, as long as you don't spread the fuss throughout the outfit and make it look crowded everywhere. So yes, you can add more details with your check shirt!

How to flatter a heavy/wide upper body with a plaid shirt

Speaking of looking fem-chic in a plaid shirt, you might also want to figure out how to wear it to flatter your body shape. A print top tends to accentuate wide shoulders or a full bust/tummy so selecting the right style is crucial to looking your best.

If your body shape is an Inverted Triangle or Apple - or if you have a large bust and/or prominent wide shoulders - then you'd want to balance out your body figure by adding more volume around your hips to make it look more proportional.

What to pair with the shirt:

  • Jeans with fade effect around the thighs (includes skirts as well)
  • A-line skirts
  • or opt for:

  • Tunic style checkered shirt
  • A skinny belt which can be wrapped around the waist and create volume

Other ways to slim down your upper halfis to wear it open to create a trimming v-neck. Also, look for a plaid print with a dark color base to help break up your upper body.



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How to Wear a Plaid Shirt

Cool stylish feminine plaid shirt outfits


With a Skirt:

It looks hot with a black mini skirt. Or a denim skirt if you're more of a laid-back kind of gal. A new trend is the leather skirt and tucked in shirt. Top it off with sexy sheer tights or for a more casual look try black opaque tights.

With Jeans:

Dark wash and black skinny jeans are the standard bottom pieces that complement the plaid shirt look. You might also want to try jeans with lighter wash around the thighs.

    fashion tip Tip: If distressed jeans with a checkered shirt remind you of a masculine barnyard look then you can easily feminize the look with high heel boots or flat ballerina shoes and jewelry.

As a Dress:

You can find many check shirts in long tunic styles. They're perfect if you want to look feminine and cute. However you should stick to simple hosiery, like solid colored leggings and tights. If you don't like thick jeans you can also opt for lightweight denim leggings.

    Tip: Have in mind that if the tunic shirt is short (thigh length) then drop the tights because they'll reveal too much, and go for leggings which are more appropriate to pair with long tops.


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