15 Things to Wear with Plaid Pants

Plaid pants with a t-shirt. Even if you don’t have a closet full of clothes, you can still look polished and put together. If you’re…

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Plaid pants with a t-shirt.

Even if you don’t have a closet full of clothes, you can still look polished and put together. If you’re wearing plaid pants and want to add a t-shirt to the mix, your options aren’t as limited as you might think. Plaid pants and a plain t-shirt will give off an “I’m comfortable” vibe, while adding in a few simple touches such as a belt or cufflinks can turn it into something more formal. To get you started and make any outfit with plaid pants seem effortless, here’s our guide to 15 things to wear with plaid pants.

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Plaid pants with a chambray shirt.

If you’ve got a closet full of plaid pants, a blue chambray shirt can look fantastic with them. On the other hand, if you don’t have plaid pants but want to get in on this trend immediately, it’s worth asking yourself: is a chambray shirt the gateway drug I need?

What makes this pairing so classic is the range of colors that are played off each other. The long vertical lines of both items create repetitive patterns, while the light-to-dark transitions in each color keep it from getting monotonous. These palettes don’t necessarily have to be your exact shades either—sometimes it works best when they’re just similar enough to evoke an elegant sense of harmony.

The next time you’re worried about what outfit will look right for your day, whether at work or play, think about how two simple garments like these can make all the difference!

Plaid pants with a printed short-sleeve shirt.

Wearing a patterned shirt with plaid pants seems like it wouldn’t mix well, but it can if you follow these simple rules.

What is the best way to wear this combination? First you must select a patterned shirt that is completely different from the plaid of your pants. Unlike other patterns (stripes, checks), you’ll want to make sure your shirt’s pattern isn’t too similar to what’s on your pants—even in color. After all, things that are next to each other look like they’re part of the same thing! For instance, if I were wearing blue-and-white vertically striped pants, I would not wear a blue and white horizontally striped shirt because they would look like they were one piece instead of two separate articles of clothing. Instead, I would choose something more bold in color and/or pattern than my trousers: maybe a red-and-white polka dot or a purple floral print.

But what if I want to wear plaids together? What if I really really really love plaids so much that I just want to wear them as much as possible? If you love something enough (like eating waffles), then go for it! Just make sure to stick with solid colors underneath when wearing plaids together; otherwise your clothes might look like basketball goalposts instead of fashionable fall outfits.

Plaid pants with a dark green hoodie.

If you’re like me, you love your plaid pants but hate the fact that everybody can see them. If plaid pants are your kryptonite, I’ve got good news: You can look presentable with a dark green hoodie. Pairing these two basics is one of my favorite ways to dress up my casual wardrobe and feel like I’m being extra cold.

I find it’s easiest to keep this outfit together with sneakers. You’ll need special shoes to wear with dark green hoodie––the kind that have a sole covering the top half and a textured tread on the bottom half so they don’t slide around on the floor––but many pairs of sneakers come in dark green now, so it shouldn’t be hard to find something that works for you. These particular sneakers were on sale at Zara for $39, which is super cheap overall considering they’re some of their most expensive models yet still under $100! The boots were from Forever 21, which has become one of my favourite stores because everything there is cute and affordable.

Plaid pants with a cardigan.

Dressing for the weather during winter can be difficult, especially if you’re using a cardigan as your top layer. A baggy cardigan can make you look like a child playing dress-up in your parents’ clothes, but a fitted cardigan creates an altogether different issue: how do you balance versatility with warmth? For an ensemble that can withstand the bitter cold and still look stylish, try wearing plaid pants (with a fitted sweater or shirt underneath) with a fitted cardigan. A plaid pattern on pants is ideal because it will match up perfectly with similarly patterned fabrics in sweaters. Just remember to keep things tonal when mixing patterns—if your plaid is muted, avoid anything too bright or loud on your shirt or sweater. Additionally, a simple white shirt will go great under any colored sweater and pair well with any color of pants (except black). Take advantage of this by having at least one neutral and one wild cardigan in your closet—one can be elegant while the other creates an eye-catching outfit.

Plaid pants with a blazer.

They definitely come in handy when you’re dressing for a job interview, or if you’re getting ready for a night at the theatre or restaurant. The classic pairing of a blazer with plaid pants is pretty much all you need if you want to look sharp and contemporary.

Not everything should be all about boys, though! We recommend that our readers find at least one item of clothing—whether it’s a pair of pants or a shirt—that they can wear with their favourite blazer and add some flair to their outfits. That way, they can show off their personality without conforming too much to “the rules” about what men should wear with blazers.

Plaid pants with a white button-down shirt.

Although it’s a bit of an old-school look, pairing a white button-down shirt with a pair of plaid pants has more than stood the test of time. The classic style gives off an air of sophistication and adds some polish to your outfit; its low-key nature also makes it versatile enough to be worn in almost any situation. The following options are excellent ways to adapt this look depending on where you’re headed.

Plaid pants with a black crewneck sweater.

You won’t need to spend a ton of time or money to achieve a satisfying look. You can easily pull together a solid outfit if you have a few basic pieces in your wardrobe. If you’re looking for something that’s versatile, it’s hard to go wrong with black crewneck sweaters and plaid pants.

Let’s start with the basics: the black crewneck sweater. This is an item that should be part of your everyday wardrobe—you should always have one on hand to use as an underlayer when needed, or as a standalone piece. If you’re going for warmth, this is the perfect choice, but even if you’re not concerned about keeping warm, it sits nicely on its own as well. It can also be dressed up with some basic accessories (a pocket square and maybe some dress pants) for more formal settings–but if you prefer your look laid-back and casual, that works too! The versatility of black crewneck sweaters makes them ideal companions for any kind of season and any kind of setting (indoor or outdoor). They allow your other clothing choices to shine through while also ensuring that they’ll complement each other well enough to keep things pleasingly cohesive.

Plaid pants with a colored button-down shirt.

Plaid pants are a great go-to for both business dressing and casual outings. You can wear them with a polo shirt or collared button-down shirt, but it’s important to note that different shirts complement plaid pants in different ways. For example, a buttoned-up look might be best. On the other hand, you could also pull off a v-neck or crew neck tee if you’re looking for something more relaxed. Just remember that although anything goes when you’re wearing plaid pants, sometimes there is such thing as overdoing it. If your outfit seems too mismatched or sloppy, take a minute to reevaluate before heading out the door in your new plaid getup.

Plaid pants with a crew neck sweatshirt.

Plaid pants are a good choice for men’s casual wear, especially during the fall and winter months. They’re warm without being bulky, giving you plenty of freedom of movement at the same time. However, they can be difficult to dress up because they lack color and pattern. This is why it’s important to add elements such as a crew neck sweatshirt or black jeans that break up the pattern in order to make your outfit feel less summery. This way, you don’t have to wait until it gets cold outside again before you can wear your plaid pants again!

You could also wear a black sweatshirt with red plaid pants if you want to go for something more striking. The high contrast between the two colors will make your outfit pop, so make sure that you’re wearing something else with neutral tones on top (like an undershirt) so that it doesn’t overwhelm your ensemble.

Other plaid-pants-and-sweatshirt combos worth trying include grey sweatpants and a grey sweatshirt (this one might be best for fall), or navy sweatpants and a navy sweatshirt (if you want something slightly more formal).

Plaid pants with a solid polo shirt.

Plaid pants can be hard to work with, but if you follow these simple steps, you can manage to match them with lots of different pieces in your wardrobe. We recommend wearing a solid polo shirt and then accessorizing with one or more of the following:

What color adds some contrast? What color is most similar to the plaid? What other colors are in the plaid pattern? Do I want my outfit to be more muted or colorful? Does this color (in my pants) go well with any part of my shirt/jacket/belt/shoes?

How often do I want to wear this outfit?

Plaid pants with a long sleeve graphic tee.

The possibilities with plaid (as well as the confusion) are plentiful. It can be worn in many different ways, but there is a right and wrong way to go about it. I’m going to tell you how to wear your plaid pants and what not to do with them so that you’ll look like an expert in no time!

What you should avoid wearing: skinny jeans, socks, shoes other than boat shoes or boots.

Avoid these no matter what. If you do really want skinny jeans and a pair of boat shoes, it’s okay if your plaid is faded or thin—just don’t wear socks or any other type of shoe. No one likes those kinds of socks anyways. Oh yeah, don’t put the plaid on your head either.

What you should wear: Any bottom that isn’t skinny jeans; graphic tees; solid colored sweaters and button-up shirts; white t-shirts with a dress shirt on top; layered vests/jackets; shorts (make sure they’re still long enough for the traditional purposes shorts serve); hats/snapbacks/beanies/other caps (if they fit right).

This is honestly just dressing in normal clothes that normal people dress in—so don’t overthink it too much! You can even break the rules somewhat if done right by adding some personality into it with accessories!

Plaid pants with a v-neck sweater.

If you’re reading this, it’s safe to assume that you’re a fan of plaid and also want to be fashionable. Who wouldn’t want to do both at the same time? It wasn’t obvious to me, however, how exactly I could make it work until last weekend when I was at the mall and saw two guys with the perfect look. A V-neck sweater in a dark color with a well-fitted piece of plaid on top: great contrast between the two parts, but they worked together really well!

  • #1. A simple V-neck sweater will ground your outfit down and give you an air of sophistication. Plaid pants can get loud sometimes, but a nice neutral sweater for your top half keeps everything balanced by providing another point of visual interest (you). If you wear something too busy or distracting on top—say a graphic t-shirt—your outfit won’t cohere as easily or have as much depth in its colors and patterns. The dominant piece is certainly going to be your pants, so keep them strong by having only a moderate amount of distraction on top.
  • #2. This goes without saying, but don’t wear any patterned clothes if they interfere with the printed ones! Plaids are pretty bold already without adding in another pattern from your shirt or socks.
  • #3 A light color works better than dark for the top part because it contrasts more sharply with the pants’ bold lines.
  • #4 A leather jacket is good for winter when paired with tights.
  • #5 A scarf is useful if you’re wearing jeans: just drape it over your shoulders like an old school pirate captain.
  • #6 A plain belt works better than one that has its own print
  • #7 It’s important to add texture—such as these cool cufflinks from Etsy or even just some cool rings—to break up all that solid color

These ideas will help you choose what to wear and what not to wear when you have on plaid pants

The plaid trend has been around a while, but it’s not too late for you to join in. Just remember that the key to wearing plaid pants well is knowing what to pair them with!

Here are easy ways you can wear your favorite look:

  • A chambray shirt and jeans
  • Graphic T-shirt and jeans
  • Chambray shirt on top of a t-shirt
  • Chinos pants with a button-down shirt tucked in
  • Printed short sleeve shirts with chinos pants

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