How to Wear a Plaid Suit

how to wear a plaid suit How to Wear a Plaid Suit
The plaid suit: a sartorial mystery for most. How could you possibly make it work? It’s so unique, seemingly inaccessible, and difficult to pull of. Well we here at EveryGuyed are saying the plaid suit is not nearly as imposing as you think.

The plaid suit is one of the more versatile patterned suits, and with some careful sartorial savvy, you can make it an indispensable part of your closet.

When Can You Wear A Plaid Suit

The plaid suit is a wonderful thing, because the right plaid suit cuts just the right impression between formal and casual. At the turn of the century, it was an essential gentleman’s piece, worn at the hunting club and manor alike. In the sixties the Mods picked it up, and ever since then, it’s been stuffy and stylish all at once.

Both casual and formal, the plaid suit can be worn almost anywhere, if you know just what you’re doing.

Picking A Plaid

When picking a plaid suit, there are a few things to consider. Your own body shape, the colors that compliment your skin-tone, and the type of style that says a little about who you are. Would a highland check work for you? Or does a subdued Prince of Wales check better suit you? Take your time and consider your options carefully.

Things To Wear With A Plaid Suit

The versatility of a plaid suit means that its level of formality is dependent on what you wear with it. With an open collared shirt, it’s a Saturday afternoon casual piece; and with a necktie and oxfords, it becomes a Monday morning business suit.


The first thing you’ll be considering is what kind of a shirt you want to wear. The simplest choice is to pick a plain, solid color shirt that compliments your suit’s plaid.
For a more complex choice, consider pairing a plaid suit with a plaid shirt. To pair a plaid shirt with a plaid suit successfully, ensure that the colors of the two don’t clash, and that the shirt’s pattern is smaller than that of the suit. Of course, if all else fails, a simple white button down shirt pairs with nearly any plaid.


With a plaid suit, the suit is the centerpiece, so stay simple and subdued with your shoes. Match them to your belt, and stick with simple lace-up oxfords. For a modern casual look, desert boots are a popular choice, and for those going for a youthful Mod look, Converse All-Stars can add an edge.


For a classic, dignified look, pick a simple tie that compliments the secondary colors in your suit, as you would for any other look. Pick a knit skinny tie for that 1950s jazz musician look, and if all else fails, a simple black works well if the suit’s check is cheerful enough.


Adding a plain pocket square can add some class to any suit, but beware of adding too many elements to your look. If you have a patterned pocket square, a plaid suit, and patterned shirt, you may overwhelm the eye.


The plaid suit has many purposes and is very versatile, but needs some careful attention.

  • Determine the type of plaid suit you want, and the look you’re going for. Are you going for a young rock star look, or classic English gentleman?
  • The plaid suit’s versatility means that the accessories help build the look, and set the tone.
  • Shirts should be matched to the suit’s plaid.
  • Shoes should be understated, and matched to the belt for a classic look. Use canvas lace-ups like All-Stars for a more youthful look.
  • Neckties should be based on your expectations. For a classic, professional look, go with simple ties. For a casual look, go tieless or use a skinny tie.
  • Stay simple with accessories, and try not to overwhelm the eye.


Got a particular plaid that you think looks good on everyone? Do you still need some advice matching shirts to suits? Use the comments box to solicit the help of the EveryGuyed community!


Xiaoli Li
Xiaoli Li is an often-missed former editor at the EveryGuyed network. He's currently working as a freelance writer, and probably yelling at a soccer game somewhere out there.
Xiaoli Li

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