When you mention plaid shirts, what do you think of? If you are like most men, you think of a hardy, earthy fabric that is generally used in western wear and is a great contrast to the more sleek and trendy fabrics such as silk or satin. The versatility of this style of shirt is also one of its many advantages. It is very easy to incorporate different patterns into a simple plaid design and there are plenty of great examples for this, from cowboy boots to coats and even dresses.
Let’s take a closer look at the design. Plaid shirts are characterized by their center fold or ‘weighted’ plaid design. This design features a series of diagonal folds or ‘pivot points’, which hold the material taut as it is drawn up and down the front of the shirt. Each of the pivot points has a distinct shape – some are straight and narrow, some are wavy and curved and some have an uneven shape. Typically, the wider and longer pieces of fabric will have more pivot points, while the smaller and shorter pieces will have fewer.
Because the fabric is so wide, you can use any width of cloth and each piece will create a different pattern. For example, wide stripes or flannels will create a heavier look, while woven cotton or linen can create a softer look. Plaid shirts also tend to be a lot more durable than other styles of plaid fabric, making them a popular choice. There is also a natural feel to these shirts that cannot be duplicated with synthetic materials.
There are a number of different types of prints available for plaid shirts. Some examples include bold stripes, reds, greens, blacks, browns and creams. However, the main color usually remains the same (usually brown), and tartan is used quite sparingly. Other colors may be incorporated into the design for varying effects, including gold-colored tartans and shades of blue.
As mentioned earlier, some plaid shirts are made of heavier fabrics than others. For example, flatlock plaid shirts are made of heavy cotton or linen with a flat, coarse weave. Other plaid shirts are made of a lighter fabric such as flannel or chenille. Flannel and chenille are both soft natural fabrics, making it easy to work with. However, they are stiffer than cotton or linen, which makes them less flexible.
For a casual look, plaid shirts can be worn with jeans. They make a great transition from business attire to casual. For instance, some flatlock plaid shirts look like dress trousers with the right pair of jeans.
If you are planning to wear plaid shirts with pants, it’s a good idea to get a white shirt with white pants so that the plaid shirt can be tucked in. The white shirt should have vertical stripes, and the pants should have black details. A check shirt with an elasticized waist is also a good option to wear with your pants. This will allow you to put your plaid shirt inside out without any wrinkles.
You can also create a simple but warm outfit using plaid shirts and flannel shirts with other items. For instance, you can create a simple outfit using a flannel shirt, a pair of denim jeans, and a cardigan. Or, you can use plaid shirts and a cotton/ linen top and bottom with a patterned print of birds, flowers, or butterflies as your main color. Pair the outfit with a solid colored, button down shirt for an added, formal twist. Pair your silk scarf with a plaid shirt for the ultimate in layering.