While basic, plaid work trousers have always been present in fashion for the fall, this season, we’re no longer talking about those typical tartan slacks. This year’s plaid pants trend lingers over from the spring and summer before, and offers up a little extra flair that hasn’t been seen at the country club before. At first, it was the cool girls of Instagram that subverted the prep-school style into a streetwear staple. Then, trend-setting celebrities like Emily Ratajkowski, Gigi Hadid and Kaia Gerber found a way to make even the brightest pairs look chic by tailoring them to perfection. With fall comes a complete range of plaid-printed options in varying cuts and colors, meaning you’re bound to find a fresh version of the look that suits your style specifically.
If you’re simply looking for an off-duty way to wear plaid, opt for a high-waisted, skinnier style. For now, try them with a puffed-sleeve top and a simple pair of loafers for the perfect transition outfit. Come cooler temperatures, swap in the ultimate off-duty favorite—combat boots—and a comfy, chunky sweater.
Alternatively, next time you’re out on the town, whether it be for dinner or happy hour, dare to try a kick-flair cut. A fitted variety worn with an equally snug turtleneck will make you feel surprising sexy and especially cool for forgoing the typical jeans-and-blouse uniform that you’ve likely already worn a hundred times. Add booties here, too, so you can stomp around in confidence.
Of course, there are still on-trend plaid styles that make sense for work. But rather than your usual taper-legged, low-rise trouser, try a wide leg style or a paper-bag waist for a more interesting twist. Pair with the typical office uniform—a crisp, classic button up and sleek pumps —to add extra contrast to the unusual, oversized bottoms.
Once you’ve got the silhouette down, it’s time to figure out which plaid color schemes work best for your wardrobe. Bright shades are still fair game for fall, from cobalt blues to citrus oranges to opulent pinks. Though such colors might read as intimidating at first, all they really need is a simple white tee or top to balance them out. If you dare, you might also consider wearing with a bright sweater in a matching shade.
A deeper, richer color of plaid pant, however, begs to be worn with equally moody hues. Traditional fall shades like black, camel, navy and burgundy will make for an expensive-looking ensemble. Should the option be available, a matching blazer with a printed blouse underneath will elevate your pants even more—designers like Altuzarra, 3.1 Phillip Lim, and Giambattista Valli made a strong case for the look on their Fall 2018 runways.
No matter which cut or color you’re now envisioning, it should be clear that there will be a version out there that fits your personal style. When it comes to this fall’s plaid pant trend, the options are clearly endless—so we rounded up the best ones, below.