Not sure about plaids, when to wear plaid or not wear it. Casual Fridays? Out on a dinner date?
–Zoe, Newark, NJ
A limited amount of plaid in small grids is chic. Especially in combos of beige-brown or gray-navy. Think Burberry — where you hardly see the plaid lining of the trench coat until it is unbuttoned . A red tartan evening gown would be too much of a good thing. Try to avoid a plaid that has bright contrasting colors with a wide grid — because it will make you look larger than you are. People in show business under thirty wear bright plaids to catch the eye of the paparazzi.
Honestly, it is the tight black and white glen plaid — that looks grey from a distance — that is the plaid nobody tires of; a blouse worn with a well fitted paintsuit or as a slim fitting skirt worn with a white or black top. The best pairing with a plaid or tartan is solid black. The plaid or tartan of a well-cut slim blazer, skirt, or trousers is fine, but avoid it on billowing sleeves and puffy skirts.
Mixing plaids with florals and animal prints is hard to pull off, unless in apparel by Etro or Roberto Cavalli.
However, a pop of plaid as a bag or shoes can be festive.
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