Trendy Plaids For Guys: 6 Ways to Wear Plaid Successfully

February 3, 2009 by Anna   | Filed under Ask the Guys


My friend Justin recently asked me to help him with his style because he mostly wears plaids.  Well, lucky for him, plaids are back and they're even hotter on men.  Don't make the mistake of wearing plaids like Pete Doherty would wear.  I don't know what can help a guy like him except for many many showers, a year full of intense detox, followed by braces.  Why are supermodels into this?  Or was it just Kate Moss?  And as my friend Ellen pointed out in my Plaids for Womens post, you can end up looking like a lumberjack.  I'm talking about how guys can wear plaids successfully in different ways.  So my very fashion forward gay boyfriend Trent and I went shopping and we found some great ways to pull it off.

How to wear plaid successfully in 6 different ways:

1. The Grungy Plaid Look
To pull off a grungy look without looking dirty: Get a graphic t-shirt of your favorite band and wear it underneath your plaid shirt. Layer it with a zip-up or hoodie and with fitted jeans (not too tight, I don't want to see all of the bulges, it makes me blush.)... and BAM! You're instantly grungier....and you've showered...well I'm hoping you did anyway. If you wear a big plaid pattern, it wouldn't be committing to the grungy style, so choose a small pattern.

the grunge plaid look


2. The Rocker Plaid Look
I love this hoodie with the subtle but big plaid pattern. It's paired with black jeans and a skull belt. You know, just in case anyone second guessed his plaid look, he wanted to let you know he's still a badass rocker. The results? Success. I don't think you should limit yourself with just a black tone on tone plaid. Rockers can be flamboyant (remember the 80s?) and their style stands out. So choose bold colors and fun..ahem...I mean...badass/skull/death accessories to top off this look.

the rocker plaid look


3. The Preppy Plaid Look
There are many different styles that can be considered preppy. Mostly it means that the look is well coordinated, neat and clean. Now I used this example of David Beckham in my Cardigans for Guys post, but he's just full of style and fashion yumminess that I have to use him again. His use of plaid AND the cardigan! Fashion trend use overload, but in a good way! Hmmm...Victoria must dress him. If he dresses himself, I'd have to wonder if he's batting for the other team. Either way, he's just hotness.

david beckham wearing plaid


4. The Urban Plaid Look
I love the urban look. It's clean, casual, yet preppy and it's about swagga. You must pull this look off with confidence -- almost to the point of obnoxious arrogance. Usher is a style icon and he's always so sharp and trendy. To successfully pull off an urban look, you should go for slightly baggier jeans, a white undershirt and an unbuttoned plaid shirt to top it off. It's all about the accessories and the bling for this style. Which is probably why I love it so much. Get a flashy necklace, belt and some cool kicks to finish off the look. Oh yea..and the sunglasses...don't forget those...especially at night....then you have to walk around like "no pictures please"...even if no one is there. Trust me, people will only think you're crazy if you don't commit. Oh yea and try to have an entourage. It's definitely more credible when you have an entourage.

usher wearing plaid


5. The Euro Plaid Look
I want the Fashion for Nerds readers to consider this look when trying to figure out your own style. I only say this because I think European men are just more comfortable in their skin and usually embrace the nerd look that works. In this picture, we have a classic euro style. From the trench coat to the sweater vest, with the plaid underneath, I'm liking how this worked out. It's kind of nerdy, but you can see with all the layering involved, it looks like this guy knows what he's doing. Well, except the hair...I'm not really digging that.

The Euro Plaid Look


6. The Outdoorsy / Abercrombie Plaid Look
My friend and I saw this at Zara and I was instantly drawn. The hoodie over the plaid is a thin material and it dresses up the look. The jacket gives a more casual feel, so it took me through an emotional rollercoaster. In the end, it was a good balance of texture, pattern and style to complete a successful outdoorsy look.

the outdoorsy abercrombie plaid look

So there you have it. Justin and his wife can now go shopping for different ways to make use of his plaids. I hope my suggestions give you different ideas to switch up your wardrobe too.


4 Responses to “Trendy Plaids For Guys: 6 Ways to Wear Plaid Successfully”
  1. Audrey says:

    Great post! I’m passing this info along to all my guys friends. Now if only all men dressed like David Beckham…

  2. I enjoyed the post very much, however I feel like the classical plaid and the origin has been lost in the hype. I am Scots-Irish and so the old fashion plaid that I remember my Grandfather wearing is my favorite. You know the kind the Andre 3000 wore in the “Hey Yeah” video. ( for the unbelievers!

  3. Trent says:

    Um, i love being your fashion forward trendy gay boyfriend btw! excellent post! plaid is back! nooget! what?

  4. mik says:

    fail! especially “preppy plaid” just looks like a bum. long sleeve buttoned up plaid with rolled up sleeves to 3/4 unbuttoned top 1 or 2 buttons = win

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!