The plaid pattern that will always be in style; it can be country-chic, festive and fun, or elevated and professional. One way to wear plaid is as a shirt, such as a printed blouse or a classic plaid flannel shirt. We think it’s necessary to have both of these options in your closet (as well as a great plaid coat), as they’ll come in hand on a variety of occasions from concerts in the summer and pumpkin patches in the fall to holiday parties in the winter and trips to the beach in the spring. We’ll show you how to style plaid shirts in all of these ways below so you have plenty of options to turn to when you want to wear your favorite flannel or blouse. 

The Plaid Shirts to Have in Your Closet

We already hinted at it above, but there’s reason to have more than just one plaid shirt in your closet. And reason to have more than just one type of plaid shirt. In our opinion, the more the merrier! You can swap them out for different seasons, events and dress codes. For instance, a plaid button-up blouse can be worn to work or out to dinner, while a thicker flannel can be worn to keep warm on a crisp fall night or when the weather is just warm enough to ditch your winter coat for the perfect cute cold weather outfit.  

While a classic plaid flannel is a must-have in anyone’s wardrobe, the flannel has gotten a recent update that has also become essential. The shacket (shirt-jacket) is one of the best types of jackets for women and can make a great addition to any collection of outerwear for women. As its name would suggest, the shacket is a mix between a flannel shirt and a jacket; it’s slightly warmer than a flannel but not as thick as a coat, so it makes for a great lightweight layering piece, which can be worn all year long. 

We carry a variety of shirt jackets, including great plaid options that we’ll show you how to style below as well as neutral options like this sherpa shirt jacket, and this two-tone shirt jacket

So, go ahead, embrace variety and have fun styling multiple plaid shirts with these outfit suggestions. 

10 Ways to Style a Plaid Shirt

Regardless of the season or occasion, you can pull out your plaid. Follow these cute and easy outfit formulas to learn how to style a flannel shirt, plaid or otherwise. 

1. Over a Sweater Dress 

A sweater dress is one of our favorite pieces to have on hand for both fall and winter weather because it’s warm, cute, and easy. It can look even better, however, with the right accessories or an additional layer to break up the fabric and add a bit of color. This is why a sweater dress and a plaid shirt are the perfect match. A plaid shirt jacket such as this black and cream one will look great over this turtleneck sweater dress. When it’s cold out, add tights and black boots (or white boots for a look that’s even more on-trend) to complete this look.  

2. A Plaid Dress

While this isn’t truly a way to style a plaid shirt (although it certainly can be if you’re working with an oversized style), we’d be remiss not to include a plaid shirt-dress in this piece. This is an easy and fun way to incorporate everyone’s favorite print into your closet. Simply throw it on and you’re ready for anything. For a festive fete, pair it with sparkly tights, heeled boots, and stacked bracelets. For a relaxed dinner, wear it with riding boots and a draped cardigan sweater. Either way, the plaid piece will add the perfect pop of pattern to your outfit. 

Woman in plaid dress

3. With Leather Shorts and Tights

Leather isn’t only reserved for pants or jackets; leather shorts are also popular and wearing a pair is a unique way to take on the trend. They look particularly fashionable and flattering when worn with tights and tall boots. With a fitted long-sleeve-tee or sweater on top, this look is warm enough for winter, especially when you add a plaid shirt. Try wearing this plaid shirt jacket over the outfit for added warmth and style to boot. 

4. With Jeans and Ankle Boots

A casual and effortless way to wear any of your plaid shirts is with blue or black jeans and ankle booties. This tried and true combination will never go out of style, and never fail you in a pinch. Start with your favorite pair of jeans, a simple t-shirt or sweater, depending on the weather, and then add a plaid shirt or jacket like this cream and blue one. To accessorize your look, add a luxe velour hat on top. Whenever you turn to this outfit, you’ll feel cool and confident without hardly any effort.   

Woman in plaind blazer and jeans

5. Over a Sweater

If you’re just looking for a pop of pattern, let your plaid shirt peek out from underneath a crewneck sweater. These two pieces go hand in hand, especially during the fall and winter months when you want to layer up. This look can also be casual or professional. For an outfit that is office-ready, layer this cream high-low sweater or this blouson-sleeve sweater over your plaid blouse and step into a pair of trouser pants. To go the casual route, pair this combination with jeans and booties. If you’re curious how to make it even easier on yourself, consider this layered sweater, which is both pieces in one; the comfort of a sweater with the pop of a plaid shirt, without the need to wear separates.  

6. With a Denim Skirt 

Plaid and denim go together like milk & cookies; it’s a winning combination however you wear it. During the summer months, wear a denim skirt with a tank top, sandals, and your plaid shirt, which you can easily tie around your waist if it’s hot out. When fall rolls around, swap your tank top for a fitted long sleeve tee or turtleneck and your sandals for tall boots. Add your plaid shirt or shacket, such as this one, and you’ve got a foolproof outfit for any outing.  

7. Over a Tank Dress 

Plaid shirts aren’t only reserved for the fall and winter months; they can also be the perfect fabric for summer as a light layer during the spring and summer. One great way to wear a plaid shirt during the warmer months is over a basic tank dress such as this one. It will be just what you need to protect yourself from a chill and to add a little character to a classic piece. 

8. With Leggings and a Graphic Tee 

If you want to know how to style an oversized flannel, all you have to do is look to a pair of leggings. Wearing something fitted on bottom will balance the proportions of your outfit when wearing something oversized on top. You can wear the flannel buttoned-up or open, depending on the look you’re going for. When you do wear it open, opt for a graphic tee, preferably just slightly shorter than the flannel, underneath. This outfit prioritizes comfort but it’s also fashionable, on-trend, and versatile. Wear it when it’s warmer out by tying the flannel around your waist; when it’s colder out, wear boots and a beanie for a cozy, urban look.  

9. With Shorts and Sneakers 

As we’ve mentioned, plaid can be worn year-round, especially a plaid shirt or shacket, which is easy to layer on or off. During the summer months, throw it on over your shorts and tee, whether you’re headed to lunch, to the beach, or to the grocery store (that extra layer will allow you to brave the frozen aisle!). Complete the look by stepping into a pair of sneakers. This outfit is casual and fun, but still put together; For an athletic twist, opt for bike shorts and trainers underneath your shacket. 

10. With Faux Leather Leggings or Pants

Faux leather pants are the hot item this season, but they’ve been steadily popular for the past few years, so you can expect this trend to stick around. If you already have a pair in your closet, pull them on when you reach for your plaid shirt. For a nice night out, wear them with a button-up plaid blouse and heels. In a more casual, yet fun setting, wear this richly-textured brushed shirt jacket over a solid t-shirt and pull on these stretchy faux leather pants. Step into combat boots for a cool, cute, and complete look.  Which of these ways to style a plaid shirt are you the most excited to try?

Looking for more ways to style your favorite items of clothing? Check out our latest blog on How to Style Blazers for multiple ocassions!