This Classic Fall Print Is Back — Whether You Like It Or Not

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Plaid and fall go together like a cozy blanket and a good book. No matter your age, nothing seems quite so appropriate during back to school season as wearing tartan, tattersall, and houndstooth. But while it’s easy to incorporate the print in its most traditional forms (masculine blazers, schoolgirl pleats, and the like), the seasonal favorite can start to feel a bit stale if you don't branch out from the tried and true and find how to style plaid for fall 2019 in entirely fresh, new ways.

Plaids may seem predictable, but you may be surprised. Traditional black watch tartan in deep greens and blues or glen plaid in shades of burgundy, brown, and rust feel quintessentially autumnal and timeless, while brightly colored buffalo checks and black-and-white houndstooth offer a bolder, statement appeal. Minimalists, may find less busy designs in muted, neutral tones best suited to their understated aesthetic. In this case, there's no one-plaid-fits all.

When it comes to styling your plaid ensemble this season, think outside the checkered box. If you’re feeling daring, try layering multiple plaid varieties or pair a check dress or punky mini skirt with some heavy-duty combat boots. For something more sophisticated, tailored suiting separates in a classic crosshatch like Prince of Wales check or windowpane is always a polished choice. Ahead, you’ll find all the outfit inspiration you need to create a season’s worth of perfect plaid looks.

Relaxed Trousers


Checked trousers are a versatile closet essential that can go from the workplace to the weekend with just a couple styling adjustments. Wear with a blazer and button-down at the office, then swap for a comfy sweatshirt or sweater when you’re off duty.

Blazer Dress


A plaid blazer dress feels preppy and modern in equal measure. Choose a double-breasted silhouette in a snappy colorway and wear with platform leather boots to give the sophisticated dress an of-the-moment edge.

Blanket Maxi Skirt

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When autumn hits, coziness becomes peak priority. A plaid blanket-style midi or maxi skirt is the next best thing to bundling up on the couch, but looks infinitely more put-together and elegant than your usual sofa ensemble.

Plaid On Plaid


Layering plaid on plaid (plus plaid accessories) may seem like a bold move, but stick to a subdued color scheme and classic silhouettes and you’ll be surprised just how easy mixing and matching patterns can be — and how low-key the final result can look.

Statement Suiting


Colorful power suiting is already a top trend for fall, but this statement look has an even bolder impact when you add all-over graphic cross hatching to the head-to-toe bright hue.

'90s Mini

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With ‘90s nostalgia at a fever pitch in the fashion world, no talk of plaid would be complete without mention of Clueless. Cher Horowitz’s signature plaid schoolgirl skirts serves as the perennial inspiration for many a modern fashion girl’s “back-to-school” uniform.

Felted Wool & Flannel


Where you might normally throw on a boxy menswear blazer, consider an oversized checked wool jacket instead from time to time. It’s a bit more rugged than its tailored counterpart, giving the rest of your ensemble a subtle, outdoorsy appeal that feels well suited to the season.

Classic Coat

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When all else fails, never underestimate the power of a chic plaid trench or overcoat to pull your look together and make even the most haphazard ensemble feel intentional.

Cool Mididress


Classic tartan can feel soft and bohemian when rendered as a floaty, printed midi dress. And this season, the only acceptable way to wear such a frock is with some ultra-chunky, lug-sole combat boots.

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