Our Best Tips For Styling Plaid Pants

There's no better way to spice up your outfit and your wardrobe than by adding a pair of plaid pants. From a preppy plaid to a classic tartan, this is one pattern that will never go out of style. Plaid can immediately dress up an outfit or give you those street-style vibes you've been looking for.

Many of us have become accustomed to wearing solid neutral colors, or at least minimal patterns, so it can be overwhelming trying to introduce plaid pants into your wardrobe initially. A brightly colored pair of plaid pants can seem like a lot at first, but when styled correctly this is a look that can convey several different moods and aesthetics.

Whether you're looking for something classic and formal or playful and edgy, there's no limit to how you can wear plaid pants, if you know what you're looking for. We're here to give you a wide range of options and our best tips for styling plaid pants so you can add a bit of color and pattern to your wardrobe.

Choose solid accent colors

Whether you choose a bold and bright pattern or a more subdued plaid for your pants, pairing it with a solid color shirt in a neutral color is a quick and easy way to create an eye-catching outfit. This allows your pants to stand out and doesn't make them compete with your shirt for attention. Add accessories and shoes in similar tones for a complete look. 

Go monochrome

We love a monochrome outfit and contrary to popular opinion, you don't have to forsake patterns to dress in monochrome hues. Use your favorite plaid pants as the starting point of your outfit, and add coordinating pieces in similar colors and shades for a gorgeous and rich look that will immediately turn heads. This trick makes getting dressed so much easier, especially if you struggle with what to wear. 

Add leather

Plaid shouldn't make you think of something only preppy schoolgirls wear. You can create a cool and edgy outfit by wearing leather with your plaid. A leather jacket or blazer paired with a pair of tailored plaid pants and a cropped bustier create the perfect outfit for a night on the town. While plaid can certainly give off preppy vibes, it can also be chic and edgy. 

Know that less is more

You can embrace the plaid trend without wearing the pattern in bright or bold colors. If understated is more your style when it comes to dressing, choose a plaid in a smaller pattern and a more neutral color for a clean and classic look. This makes it easier to coordinate with other items in your closet without having to buy new pieces. The more you grow accustomed to wearing patterns the more you can experiment with color. 

Mix your patterns

There are no rules when it comes to mixing and matching plaids and patterns but there are some guidelines that can help you put together an outfit. Try wearing pieces in complementary shades and colors to ensure your combination of patterns complement each other rather than clash. Don't be afraid to experiment because your fashion choices can be a big way to express yourself.

Pair with denim

Denim jackets are so functional because they can be worn with almost anything, including your favorite pair of plaid pants. Throw on an oversized denim jacket with plaid pants for a casual fit, or pair a fitted jean jacket with plaid capris for a cute outfit that is ideal for anything from a day at the office to date night.

Add some layers

Layering your outfits is not only fashionable but functional too. This is a great way to style your plaid pants especially if you're between seasons. Adding a cute, crew neck sweater over a crisp white button-up is giving that preppy look we love. The best part is you can take the sweater off and have a completely different outfit if you get warm or need to transition from a daytime look to something more nighttime ready. 

Combine plaid with plaid

Mixing plaid with plaid is a great way to play with this pattern, but if you're not sure where to start, opt for coordinating pieces, like a suit. This way you're guaranteed that your separates will go well together and you can opt for neutral or monochromatic accents. Once you get more comfortable you can experiment with mixing different plaids.

Get graphic

Plaid pants don't have to be so serious! Have fun with your wardrobe choice and opt to wear a fun graphic tee with your plaid pants. This is a cute and casual way to wear a bright color. Worn with a more tailored shirt, these green plaid pants would look great for the office, but paired with this graphic tee this is the perfect outfit for a more casual outing or event. 

Embrace fall vibes

Just because you're wearing plaid pants doesn't mean they have to be the focal point of your outfit. We love how the plaid pants in this look are simply there to act as a pop of color in this otherwise neutral look. The knee-high boots take center stage and the oversized shirt creates a great balance of patterns and solids.

Make a statement

Create a stunning outfit ideal for work or play with a chic, tailored blazer. We love how a great-fitting blazer can elevate any outfit, but adding in some color and pattern with a pair of plaid pants adds just enough contrast to not make this look so serious. Looking for the perfect accent for this boss babe look? Try a great pair of heels, maybe even in a bright color.

Get romantic

Plaid can be preppy, edgy, or romantic, depending on how you style it. Create this gorgeous look by wearing a pair of wide-leg pleated plaid pants with a flowing, white blouse for a touch of romance. We often see plaid pants worn with more form-fitting or tailored items, but they look so beautiful when paired with something a bit looser in fit and with more texture than a basic tee or turtleneck.

Add that pop of color

Brighten up that basic black or neutral plaid by pairing it with a vibrant hue. Nothing makes a statement more than a bright-colored top and matching socks, and we love how the plaid pattern creates the perfect balance for these statement pieces. If you like your clothes to have a lot of personality but want to stay away from mixing and matching patterns, adding a pop of color is a great solution.

Mix with leather and lace

We've already seen how pairing a leather jacket with plaid pants can create a cool, edgy evening outfit, but we love how this look can become more mainstream when you add a delicate, lace top underneath. The lace adds just the right touch of femininity to complement the leather, while the plaid bottoms give you more personality than simple solid-colored pants.

Choose simple sophistication

If you're looking for a simple and sophisticated outfit, look no further. A black turtleneck is anything but basic when paired with a well-fitting, slim-cut pair of plaid pants in a complementary shade. A gorgeous black handbag and black pumps complete this look that can be worn for any number of occasions.

Make them high-waisted and pleated

A simple, solid-colored blouse dresses up this pair of high-waisted, pleated plaid pants. This very on-trend style of pants looks great when worn slightly loose and should ideally be worn with a more form-fitting top. We love how this shirt has some volume in the sleeves but doesn't look too oversized. This is a look that can be worn both during the workday and after office hours.

Get cozy

If you love balance in your wardrobe, try wearing your plaid pencil pants with an oversized cardigan. Not only will you look cool and stylish, but you'll be comfortable too. We often see plaid pants in a more form-fitting silhouette, since patterns can be overwhelming, so pairing this with a solid-colored oversized cardigan is a great way to balance your outfit.

Go for the classic look

We love a classic turtleneck so it's no surprise this is one of our favorite looks. Once again, we have a great pair of skinny-fit plaid pants that look so chic when paired with a classic black turtleneck. This look works especially well since black is just an accent color in the pants, giving a nice contrast to this outfit.

Grab your 'going out' top

If you have that 'going out' top hanging in your closet and are unsure how to style it, grab those plaid pants you've wanted to wear and make an outfit out of them! This off-the-shoulder black shirt pairs beautifully with red plaid pants and creates a sleek look that works for a nice dinner or an evening out on the town.

Oversize it

If you're into street style then an oversized pair of plaid pants is a must-have for your closet. Wear them with an oversized shirt or cardigan for a cool, effortless look. You can get creative with your color choices here as well, opting for a brighter plaid with a neutral top.