Styling with Plaid

When I think of plaid (and actually, I don't think of it much), I always think of school.  Maybe because I wore a school uniform during my entire childhood years, perhaps?  It's most likely because of that.  

And it also could be the same reason why I grew an aversion to plaid in my adulthood.  It's a loud print really.  Commands attention.  And wearing it day in and day out, while it did become comfortable, it definitely pigeon-holed itself in my memories as a "for school girls only" type of dress style.

But of course, whenever I have a strong aversion to a type of styling or fashion, it oddly enough inspires me to make it work.  I think because I love fashion and style so frickin' much, I believe one can like anything if it is worn a certain way.  It's a bold theory but it hasn't been wrong yet.  And that includes now.  With plaid.  

Exhibit A, ladies:

scarf: Michael Levine Fabric Store / top: The Tiny Closet Collection / skirt: Buffalo Exchange / oxfords: CMG 

I took the thing that I most identify as school-girl-plaid: a plaid skirt uniform for school.  Found it at a thrift shop and it (ugh) fit like a charm.  Though quite comfortable and roomy (as I remember them being), it was just so plaid, it wouldn't let anything else I was wearing just be.  Everything was just so upstaged by the skirt.

I finally decided to put the next big print I had right on top of it: jumbo striped oversized top.  Voila.  The plaid felt instantly more subdued.  Don't you think?

Anyway, feeling in the spirit of the schooldaze look, I felt the only appropriately ironic shoes to wear were my lil white oxfords *smile*.

Lately,  I've been really enjoying making scarves out of fabric from the fabric store.  I just pick out a cute color or print and cut 2 yards and done.  Fun scarf!  Easy and a fraction of the cost - besides, scarves tend to be so corny in the stores.  And if they're not corny, there literally hundreds of dollars.  Whatever.  I don't live in Vermont, all I need is an accent piece - not something to keep me, like, warm or something.  In this case, yellow always looks classic with navy.

And Exhibit B.  I absolutely adore this purple and blue plaid.  Yes, I know I don't particularly care plaids in general but I've always loved this one.  I bought it back in January from a fabric store to use as a scarf of course.  The colors go even better with this casual undergrad ensemble.

scarf: Michael Levine fabric store / tee: James Perse / jacket: American College / denim: All Saints / oxfords: CMG 

I had a lot of fun mixing and styling these two plaids.  I've always felt it was difficult to style plaid as it's such a statement itself.  But with some experimenting, I came out feeling triumphant - a plaid skirt or scarf can certainly be less stereotypical and more palatable with a little extra thought.  Hey, it can even be fashionable :)

Wishing you a wonderful beginning of Fall!


  1. I love the prepster look with the plaid scarf, you're absolutely radiant here, just gorgeous

  2. What a brilliant idea! It's easy to toss a certain pattern aside as useless but playing it up or down helps keep that small closet interesting.

  3. I've been craving navy/green/yellow school girl plaid since the fall began. siighh...

    yay! yay! yay!
    haven't commented in a while, so just wanted to drop in.
    site's looking great since the relaunch, you're looking great, etc etc