How to Style Plaid Pants

Kastle Waserman
by Kastle Waserman

Nothing says fall wardrobe like plaid. The look of plaid gives back-to-school vibes, can carry you into all the warm fall colors, and provides a bit of texture and interest to your outfit. Plaid pants are a fun fashion choice that can make a statement when worn as the focal point of your outfit or paired with other style options.


If you’re used to wearing neutrals ad solid colors, plaid pants might feel like a bold reach outside of your comfort zone, but here are some ideas for how to style plaid pants without feeling like they’re too loud for your personal style.


Don’t have any plaid pants in your collection? Get shopping!


Straight-leg plaid pants

Punky plaid pants

Paperbag plaid pants

Academia Vibes

Plaid and preppy have always gone hand in hand. Now that the collegiate academia look is in style, plaid pants are practically a must for your wardrobe. To get this look, think Ivy League universities or English boarding schools. Give your outfit a bit of formality with a blazer over cream blouse. This studious style will have you looking polished wherever you go. Learn more about academia style in my  recent article.

Mix Prints

If you’re the type that loves to mix prints, plaid pants provide a fun separate to play with different combinations. One of my favorites is mixing plaid and floral prints. The combination of a soft, feminine print with a straight, conservative print creates a lot of visual interest. The secret to mixing prints is to stay within the same color family. Here I combine plaid pants with warm tones of brown and orange with a floral blouse with the same colors, so the outfit looks coordinated, not clashing.

Go Punk

Back when I was a teen, I was a hardcore punk rocker and tartan red plaid pants were an outfit staple of that subculture for their bright shock value (often worn with even more shocking bondage straps!) Today, red tartan pants are more accepted in the mainstream and can be a playful, bright print to add to your wardrobe. But you can still bring out a little bit of your rebellious side by pairing them with a fitted black top or a graphic tee, a tough moto jacket, combat boots and accessories with some silver studded hardware.

Statement Piece

It’s easy to let plaid pants be the focal point of your outfit and make a statement, especially if your wardrobe tends to be a more conservative collection of solids and neutrals. Pair your plaid with a solid-color top, such as a black turtleneck, as shown here. This not only makes the plaid stand out, but also the detail of these paperbag-style trousers.


Now that you know some ways to style plaid pants, will you try this look?


See more of my styling on my blog   Stiletto City and   Instagram page.


Items shown here are from my personal collection. Links are not sponsored or affiliated.

The author may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page.

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