Every autumn, we fall more and more in love with plaid. From the muted tones of the 1970s to the neons of the ‘80s to the traditional grunge in the ‘90s and more fitted silhouettes of the early aughts (think: Clueless in all its fashion-forward glory), the trend has been re-imagined 101 ways, making it feel fresh and new with each passing year. This year, we’re going back to our retro roots, tapping back to the colorful plaid clothing of the ‘90s (and then ‘00s) with a little more tailored flair. Designers like Michael Kors, Versace, and Balenciaga filled their runways with the trends for fall 2018, and we quite literally can’t figure out which pieces to start with — we simply want them all.
Michael Kors opted for bright yellows and reds, in classic silhouettes like ankle-crop trousers and cropped button-front jackets; Versace kicked it up a notch by mixing and matching colors, with high-waisted pleated skirts and blazers to match; and Balenciaga chose oversized silhouettes, like large-shouldered coats with nipped-in waists and oversized hips. Shopbop’s Fashion Director Caroline Maguire says, “I loved Balenciaga’s plaid coat paired with neon boots, Versace’s ’90s Cher Horwitz-esque look, Isa Arfen’s plaid dress over denim, and all of Dries Van Noten’s matching sets!”
Though this fall will be rife with head-to-toe plaid looks in a variety of colors, Maguire suggests one of the most classic wardrobe essentials as a gateway into the trend. “I think we’ll see a lot of people introducing plaid into their wardrobes with a classic tailored blazer,” she says. Adding, “It’s the perfect piece to throw on with a casual jean and a T-shirt, or dress up a LBD for an evening look.” That said, for those ready to take it to the next level, “you can also make a statement with mixing two classic plaid pieces together. A tartan skirt with a black watch button down — now that’s a statement!”
Stylist Rachael Wang is also a huge fan of the classic-yet-bold fall trend, sighting favorite pieces in those timeless wardrobe staples that turn what you thought you knew about plaid on its head. She specifically shares, “I loved the traditional plaid at Fendi, especially the plastic-coated coat dress.” In her own wardrobe, Wang is excited to infuse the trend into a borrowed-from-the-boys vibe. She tells TZR, “I love traditional menswear plaids for myself in boxy oversized suits,” adding, “I plan to pair suiting and plaid pants with cowboy boots.” (Spoiler: That’s the footwear trend that’s about to blow up just about as much as colorful plaids.)
For those looking for a way to dip their toe in the trend without going over-the-top, Wang suggests a similar look to Maguire, sharing, “A great plaid blazer is so easy to wear with jeans and a tee or button-down. Pair a classic pump and you’re ready for almost anything.”
From Maguire’s favorite Tibi two-tone trousers to Isa Arfen’s statement top and more, these are the colorful plaid pieces we’re shopping this fall.