Plaid Patterns Are Everywhere This Fall. Here's How to Wear Them

From the runway to your closet, checks are getting around.
Photographer (from left): Catwalking/Getty Images; Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

According to the clothes that traveled down the fall/winter 2016 runways, colorful plaid patterns aren’t just for socks and blankets any more. Now they live on your new favorite fall jackets, trousers, and even shoes.

Below are a handful of the best new items on the market featuring this trend, as well as four tips on how to wear it.


Tartan nylon bomber, Burberry, $1,695,; Checked cotton-blend socks, Alexander McQueen, $70,; Felt and leather tote bag, Fendi, $1,450,; Plaid wool trousers, Etro, $635,; Stanford checked cashmere scarf, Loro Piana, $825,; Brogues with signature tartan, Brooks Brothers, $498,; Wool coat, AMI, $1,215,

Photographer: Corey Olsen for Bloomberg Pursuits; Styling: Jenny Wichman


  1. Plaid often means something, be it a Scottish clan’s tartan, a lumberjack’s checked flannel shirt, or a red-and-black buffalo plaid coat made for an outdoorsman. Because of this, it can appear costume-y if worn too far out of context. Try to match your plaid to the environment: Don’t wear a Buffalo check to a rock concert, and don’t wear a Scottish tartan to the office.
  2. If the color is muted, feel free to indulge in a larger scale of plaid such as a windowpane check. If the colors are brighter, think small: A big pattern in bold colors will just leave you looking like a peacock.
  3. Accessorize with plaid. You don’t need a full Prince of Wales check suit to make a statement. Pair a navy or gray suit with a loud, plaid scarf or even a tote bag. It will be the main focus and complete your look.
  4. Plaid, tartan, and checks are great for layering. Wear a plaid shirt under a simple, single-color jacket or blazer, or put a checked coat over a white Oxford. Try not to do plaid-on-plaid, unless you really want to get attention.
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