Trend Report: Plaid-Clashing

Written by: Monica Pierce

With maximalism coming into full swing as a common theme for fashion this Fall, it’s time to break away from the restrictive ideas of minimalist fashion, and explore the new season’s style trends without boundaries. A trend that has been emerging from this maximal evolution is the clashing of a classic fall print: plaid. 

The print has been worn throughout history, dating back 3,000 years to the Scottish origin of plaid, technically known as “tartan”. Traditionally, different colors and patterns were used to identify Scottish clans. While today, we don’t hold much of a symbolic perception of plaid; we know it as one of the most recognizable prints, coming in wide variations. With so many different options for plaid, it creates versatility and individualism for whoever wears it. 

Fashion Week street style

A great take on this trend is coordinating combinations with color in mind rather than print. 

While plaid can be worn in alternative weights year-round, it’s a staple print for Fall and Winter. As soon as the cold weather hits, everyone is reaching for their favorite flannels to keep them warm. Plaid is no stranger to cold weather wardrobes; what keeps this print feeling fresh and unique is styling it in new ways. One noticeable trend among street style during every large city’s fashion week: an abundance of plaid. Many designers were also taking the hint for Fall/Winter designs with combining plaid prints. 

Rokh F/W 2019 MM6 Pre-Fall 2019, Coach Fall 2019
These interpretations opted for a neutral palette.
Christopher John Roger S/S 2020

But,  you can have fun with it. 

Plaid having such a long history doesn’t mean it has to feel old. For the bold, combining plaid-clashing with bright motifs creates an air of playfulness to the classic print. Another option is playing with different plaid silhouettes, such as Rokh’s F/W 2019 gingham unitard. The cape trend of Fall can also be a fun way to mix your tartans. Even sleek minimalist designer, Lemaire, has a take on the plaid-on-plaid look. 

Rokh F/W 2019, Lanvin F/W 2019, Lemaire Fall 2018

You can also play with silhouettes. These designers combined different plaid capes.    

The best trends are ones that don’t make you have to rethink your whole Fall wardrobe. Keeping in mind the importance of living a more sustainable lifestyle, reconsider buying a new piece by wearing the plaid items you already own. Reinvent plaid this season. Pair it in a way you have never before.