How to Wear Flannel Plaid

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Plaid shirt

Editor’s note: While we stand by this advice, we have an updated guide to wearing plaid in 2020 – check it out for updated looks!

Flannel plaid is a totally hot (and cozy!) look for fall and winter. There’s nothing comfier than an oversized baggy plaid shirt and boots on a cold day, but flannel plaid has a lot more to offer than just comfort!

Curious about how to integrate this statement pattern into your wardrobe? Read on! I’ll tell you how it’s done.

General Tips on Plaid

Consider the color. Since plaid shirts have been such a hit, they’re available at tons of stores in many different colors! If you want to go a super trendy route, try neons and black! If you want a more traditional look, go for more muted colors like navy, reds, and greys with white.

Try different materials. While plaid flannels are a great cool-weather staple, the print comes in many other fabrics! From light-weight, sheer cotton to thick flannel, there are many options at every price point.

Find tailored fits. Plaid shirts are notorious for looking boyish, grungy, and worst of all lumberjack-y! When choosing a plaid shirt, it’s important to pick a top that’s not too baggy so you’ll keep your girly silhouette intact! Don’t go too small though–longer and slightly oversized plaid tops are adorable, too.

Wear with neutrals. Since plaid is a pattern, it’s best to pair it with neutral solids. Plaid tops look great with jeans and leggings alike! Feel free to go crazy with your footwear, but avoid wearing cowboy boots unless you’re trying to look like a country princess!

Think about pattern and print size. Since plaid is so popular, there are lots of patterns and varied print sizes on the market. “Woven” styles that interlock a mix of colors tend to have a larger print while “western” styles generally feature smaller squares of a single color against a black background. Wovens are great if you’re feeling traditional, while westerns look hot in bright colors.

Outfit Inspiration

Outfit 1: Just a Taste

This outfit is great if you’re wary about wearing plaid. The tank top is super simple, comfortable, and laid-back-trendy way to wear the style without being over the top. Keeping the rest of your outfit uncomplicated lets this pattern really shine through without totally dominating your look. If you’re ever feeling daring, this top would be adorable with a boyfriend blazer!

How to wear flannel plaid

Product Information: Cotton Cardi by Boutique, Topshop. Plaid Tank Top, Charlotte Russe. J Brand  12″ Pencil – Torn Dark Vintage Jeans, Piperlime. Ugg Classic Short boots in Sand, Zappos.

Outfit 2: Going for It

Longer sleeves on this plaid tunic and understated leggings highlight the use of plaid in this outfit. This is a perfect outfit for a brisk fall day with the flat boots! For added warmth, throw on a tank top underneath your tunic and add a motorcycle or denim jacket and you’re good to go.

Outfit idea for how to wear plaid

Product Information: Full Tilt Plaid Flannel Top, Tillys. Silver-Wedge Boots in Camel, Piperlime. Billabong Nice Legs Leggings, Tillys. Pearl Bead and Leather Bracelet, American Eagle. Three Keys Necklace, Fossil.

Outfit 3: All About It

If you already know that you love plaid, consider investing in a sexy, easygoing shirt dress. If you saw last spring’s Confessions of a Shopaholic movie, you might remember Isla Fisher’s adorable plaid shirt dress made chic with thigh high socks and a wide belt. Such a cute outfit, no? For a more-wearable but equally alluring look, try this plaid shirt dress with a simple leather belt and flats. Chilly? Add opaque tights!

How to wear a plaid dress

Product Information: Becky Dress in Navy, Abercrombie and Fitch. Leather braided belt, J.Crew. Rhinestone peace sign ring, Juicy Couture. Cameo locket, Modcloth. Ciao Bella Pause flats, Piperlime.

How do you feel?

Do you like the look of flannel plaid? Do you wear it? If you do, share your tips about how to wear it with everyone in the comments!

23 thoughts on “How to Wear Flannel Plaid”

  1. I love this trend, but sadly when I tried on some Flannel Plaid shirts it didn’t look right on me. I don”t know whether the shirt was too big or the shirt it self was made of a weird material.
    Sad I know, but I do like the outfits you made( I just don’t agree with the Uggs lol)

  2. I’m really trying to wear this trend. I love plaid skirts and bags, but I’m having trouble wearing plaid as a top. I just feel very lumberjacky and masculine. It looks cute on a lot of girls but I’m not sure I’m one of them. I bought a blue and black plaid top that I’m trying to wear but I’m just not feeling the trend. Maybe it’s because I grew up in the country-I feel almost as if wearing plaid makes me into a bad stereotype. However, I love the outfits in this post. All are very cute but I just don’t think they are for me.

  3. Plaid clothes are all over thrift stores. I match mine as a cardigan. It’s comfy with some skinny jeans or boyfriend jeans. To make sure u don’t look like a picnic blanket, make sure it’s fitted.

  4. I love oversized and cozzy shirts very much so the flannel plaids! I want to buy one but unfortnetly I couldnt find a good one yet:(
    I loved the outfits especially the first one and I liked uggs theyre pretty cute under it 🙂 nice post

  5. Very useul article, Liza! I love plaid.

    I think the top in the first outfit is a great option for the ladies who feel that plaid shirts are too masculine and “country” looking–though I totally love outfits that pay homage to grunge. I think that some kind of black boots – flat equestrian style or patent high heeled ankle boots would be a fierce match for the top for a sexy alternative to the comfy vibe.

    I have a couple of plaid shirts that aren’t quite long enough to pair with leggings, but they look totally cute with miniskirts layered over thick tights/leggings with knee high boots so that they’re more appropriate for winter.

  6. I really like your outfits but I;m not into the UGGs.
    Why?? When there are so many amazing bootis available that are cute, warm and are actually wearable on a rainy winter day?
    Loving the plaid though

  7. uggh… ugg boots? nope. Flannels also look weird on me because I have some broad shoulders/thick arms. I have a friend who loves them and pulls them off really well. I like to be a little more feminine, though.

    and uggs? nope. not for me.

  8. Love the plaid trend!

    But did Zepher say yes to those hideous UGG boots? I think not!
    I’m sure many other college fashion girls will agree with me when I say UGG boots will NEVER look cute!

  9. I appreciate that you put UGGs, I used to hate them myself, but they truly aren’t half as bad as people incessantly rant on about. They’re cute, and VERY comfy. Great for when you need to dress quickly for that morning class…

  10. I honestly just can’t get into plaid 🙁 I just don’t like it..although I do have a plaid scarf that I wear on occasion. Some girls sure can rock it though, and I love those boots in the second outfit 🙂

  11. I’m looking for red flannel with the words sexy on it. I want to make p.j.’s for my boss for Christmas. I would settle for existing red p.j.’s with sexy written on them if it is possible to find otherwise I’ll make the letters and add them. Since this is a blog I thought perhaps someone may have seen something somewhere.

    Over the years I’ve found flannel to have different weights. The thicker will of course add bulk. Plaid can be used to make hand warmers (which I think should make a comeback they are just so romantic with storage too), bandannas, clutches, with a little creativity the options are endless. Well I must be about my quest for plaid.
    Thank you

  12. I hav a slightly oversize flannel shirt that I looooove!!! I live in Seoul and it gets really cold here so I like to wear it unbuttoned over a cute dress or skirt (we rarely wear pants here) it makes more night dresses casual and daytime appropriate… I know this is unrelated but I need advice on different knee high winter riding boots!!! They are a staple and I can’t find a pair that I like within my budget 🙁 please write a post on finding the right boot!!!!

  13. I love wearing plaid shirts, and at my school it’s either plaids or polos, so alot of girls including myself. This has given me more ways I can wear plaids, Thanks! I live in Pennsylvania and it’s really cold in the winter so Ugg boots are so nice to wear in the winter especially with plaids. I do not agree that you cannot wear plaids with cowboy boots. I wear cowboy boots all the time and I wore them with a plaid skirt and alot of people thought it was cute. If your cowboy boots are colored other than brown or black then yes maybe it does look “to country” but the boots I have are brown and it works for me anyway. Thanks for the ideas. Could you please do something on how to wear polos, thats all my school will let us wear with your dress code, THanks!

  14. I really like wearing belted shirtdresses/oversized shirts, so yes! I dont have one in plaid at the moment, but I’ll see how it goes if I come across one 🙂

  15. I loved the 3 outfits u chose 🙂 ! nice taste..

    I Still don’t have plaid shirts.. trying to find the right one >.>

    Thanx for the inspiration =D !

  16. Love the trend, but…

    UGG BOOTS??????????????

    No no no no no no NO.

    So disappointed. This blog consistently hates on Ugg boots. I thought I’d found a kindred spirit…

    Breaks my heart.

  17. i have a kind of baggy plaid shirt dress and i didn’t know if i should wear it or not. i think i’ll try it now :))

  18. Ah, the UGGs debate returns!

    You guys know me well, I’m definitely not a fan of UGGs and have definitely made that clear in some previous blog posts!

    That said, writers here are totally free to feature whatever they want in their posts – I trust Liza’s taste and would never force my opinions on her or ask her to change an outfit because it’s not my personal style. Also, I didn’t think the UGGs were a big deal in this post because they’re featured as an accessory, and aren’t the point of the outfit.

    As always, the outfits featured here are just for inspiration purposes – they’re not recommendations for what you SHOULD wear yourself. It’s all about taking inspiration from looks and changing them to fit your own personal style. So if you guys hate UGGs, you could take that outfit and substitute your favorite leather boots.

    At the end of the day, I want CF to feature diverse styles from across the country. Some people love UGGs, some don’t. It’s not a right or wrong thing, and nothing to get too upset over!


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