How to Wear the Plaid Print

The plaid print is one of the most enduring prints in fashion. Find out how you can stylishly wear this versatile print that is nostalgic of the 90s.

One of the ubiquitous prints that dominated the 90s is none other than the plaid print. Who could ever forget the preppy plaid co-ords worn by the characters portrayed by Alicia Silverstone and Stacey Dash in the movie Clueless and Liv Tyler’s plaid skirt in Empire Records? Most notably, the plaid print was also identified with the Grunge music scene as donned by the members of the band Nirvana, The Breeders, and Pearl Jam.

But before plaid was popularized in the modern times, it played an important role thousands of years ago. “Plaid” is not its proper appellation. Plaid owes its name to the word “tartan,” which was first used to describe the individual colors and patterns of clothes of different Scottish clans. Plaid refers to the cloaks worn for protection against the harsh Scottish winters. Plaid replaced tartan only after the print became popular with British and American textile manufacturers, who recreated fabrics that look like tartans but without any historical significance. It’s what we now have come to call as “plaid.”

The plaid is one of the most enduring textile patterns that will be forever present in any fashion period. We’ve, in fact, seen the reemergence of the plaid print on fashion runways. Celebrities and other media personalities rock their plaid print ensemble as if beckoning the 90s to come back to life.

StyleGenie gives you a run-down on how to have fun wearing this most recognizable print. Let’s bring back together the preppy nostalgia of the 90s.

1. Layovers

The plaid top can be worn as it is. But if you want to have additional dimension on your ensemble, feel free to wear your buttoned down plaid shirt under a cardigan or the plaid top as the cardigan itself. Bring out the rebel in you by wearing your plaid top with a leather jacket.

Look crisp and warm with your plaid top under a sweater or a vest with the collar and sleeves popping out for that geek chic vibe.


Show your professional side mixed with a friendly demeanor in a plaid print blazer or the plaid print under a suit.


Wear your open plaid top on a summer sundress and thigh-high socks or a tight dress with tights and boots.


The color black is probably plaid’s best friend because it can instantly make anyone look chic effortlessly. But you’ll look just as awesome in a plaid top mixed with other patterns like a cameo jacket and any graphic tee.


2. Choose Your Bottom

Plaid can be partnered with any pair of skinny jeans, slim pants, cuffed jeans, high-waist pencil cut skirts, leather skirts, skater skirts, shorts, and tights. However, you can also opt to have plaid pants paired with a camisole-like top or knits.

3. Wrap Around

Tie your plaid top around your waist with a dress, shorts, or pants plus knee-length boots, and you got yourself the perfect 90s concoction.


4. Dress to the Nines

Let’s channel in Cher Horowitz and Dionne Daven as we dress in an all plaid ensemble and be a “polaroid of perfection” to fully bring back to life all the clueless fun of the 90s.

The plaid print is a living testament to how history influences fashion. This print is a sure non-mover for the many years to come.

To score on the latest plaid prints, use my code AZA4SG for the P500 discount on your first style box. 

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