How to Do Plaid in 2017

It’s fall, or so the calendar says, so things like wool suiting are coming out of the closet again. And every other season or so, menswear inspired suiting is THE thing. Like this year. We’re all supposed to be wearing our glen check plaid trousers, our hounds tooth dresses and our big, boxy jackets with, shock horror! Shoulder pads! The couture runway shows sent out all sorts of back to the 80’s looks with over-sized plaid jackets and extreme tailoring for Fall/Winter 2017.

L: Calvin Klein, C: Stella McCartney, R: Alexander Wang

L: Calvin Klein, C: Stella McCartney, R: Alexander Wang

Good news: I haven’t found that these exaggerated shapes have traveled down to the ready to wear retailers that most of us frequent.

Feminine Plaid

But why not incorporate a bit of plaid into your fall/winter wardrobe? There are the classic ways to do this, of course, but I’m liking the more whimsical ways. Because how much more fun is it to take traditional suiting checks and turn them into something most definitely feminine? Or more interesting?

Main image: Alexander Wang. Top right: a bright Smythe blazer from Nordstrom, center: StyleWe, bottom right: Free People

Main image: Alexander Wang. Top right: a bright Smythe blazer from Nordstrom, center: StyleWe, bottom right: Free People

Plaid, but perhaps not what you expected!

This Alexander Wang jacket is a bit of budget stretcher, but with these leather and pushed up sleeves, totally worth it in my opinion. It's a statement piece.

You know I crave color in the winter - this bright blue blazer turns traditional tartan on it's head.

And I just love the juxtaposition of these flowers with the traditional plaid. Fun, and inexpensive.

Or how about this one? Plaid, but somehow modern and casual with the velvet collar.

Glen Check Goes Modern

Plaid, but definitely not your dad's plaid! Trousers: Sara Battaglia at Nordstrom. Ruffled top (I LOVE this one!) at J.Crew. Shoes at J. Crew.

Plaid, but definitely not your dad's plaid! Trousers: Sara Battaglia at Nordstrom. Ruffled top (I LOVE this one!) at J.Crew. Shoes at J. Crew.

Extreme Plaid

But wait! For Fall 2017 you can find plaid pushed to even more interesting and, dare I say it, 'fun' extremes.

Top left: Victoria Beckham. Top right: Burberry. Bottom left: J. Crew. Bottom right: StyleWe

Top left: Victoria Beckham. Top right: Burberry. Bottom left: J. Crew. Bottom right: StyleWe

I found this plaid sheath dress from Victoria Beckham. Personally I think it's fabulous, but I'm not quite sure where you could wear it. Christina Hendricks as Joan Holloway in Mad Men could maybe pull this look off . . .

And in a post about plaid, you need to have a Burberry bag, because, well, Burberry and plaid kinda go together.

But how about these kitten heels! Fabulous! Unfortunately out of my budget as I can't imagine that cost per wear calculation is going to come out in favor of the shoes.

And this: I can only describe this ensemble as plaid athleisure wear. Because it could be office appropriate, but it has racing stripes AND ruffles. And how awesome is that? I can totally imagine the person who could wear this, and wear it well. Unfortunately it's not me . . .

Fall 2017 Plaid Coats

Now, I mustn't forget the plaid outerwear: this sweeping cape coat from Balenciaga is magnificent and definitely hits the plaid plus the boxy menswear trend for Fall 2017. It is of course out of the reach of most of us mere mortals, so I offer you this fun plaid coat from StyleWe. Remarkably inexpensive, yet decidedly delightful.

Left: Balenciaga, right: StyleWe

Left: Balenciaga, right: StyleWe

It seems we should all be able to get a piece of the beautiful neutral of gray plaid to add to our Fall 2017 wardrobe; there is no shortage of options. Now if I could just find a pair of plaid pants that were actually flattering and fashionable, I would absolutely treat them as a neutral. Because they are a perfect foil for the jewel tones that I like to wear during the dark winter days.