Plaid. It’s my favorite color! Just about any pattern will do. Plaid is part of my heritage. If your bloodlines are traced back to the UK or Emerald Isle, plaid is your culture.
I just cannot help it–plaid makes me happy. It makes me comfortable. I just love plaid! And will never stop wearing it!
As a student, I wore a plaid jumper and as I advanced into the upper grades, wore a plaid skirt with a blazer. A white shirt, knee socks and loafers completed the uniform. And to this day, my sense of style is based on the uniform I wore for so many years to Catholic school.
Back in my day the uniform shirt was a crisp white blouse with a Peter Pan collar! This is basically the look that shaped my style.
Growing up, there was always a plaid wool blanket in the car or stashed away in a closet to come out and give me comfort as I sat on an easy chair reading during the coldest of days. Our home is presently festooned with plaid ribbon draped upon the banisters as we get ready to welcome the most wonderful time of the year!
I kid you not. This was my baby blanket. Yes. This blanket has been with me my entire life! Plaid and I go way back!
I’m surprised the label survived this long!
Oh…and there’s just something so enticing and attractive about a man in a plaid kilt. Dontcha think?
THE Sean Connery! In a kilt. What a man!!!! I’m sorry but he is smokin’ hot in this kilt. This is man candy for the mature woman!
But—sometimes Plaid can go bad.
Plaid gone VERY bad! This is an atrocious look!
There is sometimes a thin line between looking great and looking clownish. Especially for the mature woman.
We do not want to look like clowns when we are donning our plaid attire!
And as much as I love Edina Monsoon, she is a fashion victim in this Burberry get up. At least lose the hat darling!
Sometimes less is better and with plaid, that rule is solid for me. Look, I know and I realize that we can wear what we want. We can wear the short skirts. We can wear the heels. But—there’s a way to keep it classic, timeless, tasteful, and age-appropriate.
We CAN rock the plaid kilt shirt–the short ones! And we can rock them with heels. But to give a long and lean look–stick to tights and shoes of the same color.
As much as I would still love to wear knee socks with my short kilt skirts. It just won’t work anymore. It isn’t a sophisticated look–and has a tendency to give off the appearance that you are trying too hard to recapture youth!
So—come along with me as I show you some looks that just may make you “Mad About Plaid!”
Look Number One: Plaid gone casual. This yellow and black plaid kilt is from Sport Kilt, where the motto is “A Man in a Kilt Is a Man and a Half”. Well, a woman in a kilt is twice the woman! Anyway, for an absolutely casual, I’m-going-to-run-errands, look, This yellow and black plaid kilt is paired with a textured heavier turtleneck, black tights and loafers.
Now–I know I said that shoes and tights being the same color create a nice long line–exceptions to the rules for me are boots and loafers. The cordovan color looks great with any color tight and its just a casual look.
Even with the Weejuns loafers, it is an absolute age-appropriate look!
Look one. Plaid gone casual. A turtleneck and Bass Weejuns give this a easy vibe!
Look Number Two. Same Skirt. Different sweater, some pearls and heels give this a more sophisticated office or date look.
Same skirt. This time with a more fitted sweater. The sweater is a Tippi sweater from J. Crew. Heels give this a sophisticated look and make the legs appear a lot longer. Black Mary Jane heels from Paul Green (these are the ones I picked up for a heavy discount at Nordstrom Rack). BTW, I’m wearing a bobbed wig today. I’m training the part to go to the left–what a challenge. Wig is BS609 from Brown Sugar. The pearls give a classic look to an already classic look!
For yet another look that ties in, black over-the-knee boots also look great with a shorter plaid skirt!
What NOT To Do. When you do wear plaid, don’t try to fight a dominant brighter color with that same colored top. The yellow top in the photo below is a great top–but it doesn’t work with the yellow plaid. Too much yellow. Plaid looks best when everything else is toned down!
Ummm. No. The yellow top just doesn’t work with this skirt. It breaks the line up and cuts the body in half. Stick with the black.
Look Number Four. Stick to a uniform look. Ugh. First of all, I want you to know that I went to FOUR stores yesterday to look for GREEN tights to go with this outfit. Macy’s, Nordstrom, Marshalls and Walmart. Not one store had green tights in their inventory. So pretend that I’m wearing green tights in this photo.
Here’s a kilt with a lot of colors interwoven. The red stands out–but green, black and navy are also in the mix. This is where a bit of color looks great. A navy blazer worn over a forest green lightweight sweater gives this a polished look. Green tights would be the finishing touch–or a fake tan. (Geez, I really need to tan my legs! Again, pearls worn with a darker sweater just bring more light to the face.
Look Number Five. The plaid pants.
Same green sweater. Same plaid. But this time. PANTS! Ankle length pants give an updated look to plaid pants and heels give a longer look to the legs. Fit is key here. The pants are a slim cut but fit the curves. They are also lined so they aren’t itchy. This is a great mature look. It is sophisticated and classic. This is a perfect office look but also a more upscale and dressier casual look and the plaid works without looking clownish or like a costume!
Look Number Six. The plaid blazer
This photo was taken last winter with my old phone. But I have to tell you–I received a ridiculous amount of compliments whenever I wore this–and from strangers no less! I think it is simply because plaid blazers are not very common. Add to that, I paired the blazer with distressed straight jeans (horrors–they aren’t skinny jeans!) and loafers. Shocking that I have this plaid in a blazer, and pants, and a skirt. But, I wear each item separately!
What NOT To Do. Don’t overdo the plaid with one outfit. The look on the left–it just looks silly. The plaid blazer with the plaid skirt is just overkill. It’s different with solids–solid colors give off a suiting look. With plaid and prints it borders on the clownish and fashion victim look.
Plaid with plaid. No. Just no. It needs to be broken up a bit!
Look Number Seven. A pop of color!
First of all, thank God I tried these on. I gained weight because these are a bit tight around the bum. What a time of year to start watching points!! Anyway, Since black is the dominant color in these pants, a red sweater brings a bit of brightness–which is fun for the Holiday season. A light buttery yellow sweater or black would work just as well, if not better!
Look Number Eight. More pants!
Black Watch Plaid. One of the most popular and more understated plaids around. And also the most classic look. This is a safe bet to go with if you are a bit hesitant about wearing plaid. The dark colors in the plaid blend so well together. Again–length is key. This pair hits at the ankle and looks neat and clean. Worn with navy heels and a navy sweater, it’s a timeless, elegant and serious look. Green or black shoes and tops look just as good as the navy. This is one of my favorite plaids.
Look Number Nine. The plaid pencil skirt.
Where a kilt is fun and kicky–the pencil skirt is more serious. It brings forth a no-nonsense look to office attire and is that look when you want to attend a country club luncheon. (Hey, don’t look at me–I don’t get invites)
Navy shoes, navy tights and a navy sweater give this a no-nonsense and a tasteful and stylized look. Personally, if my legs were tanned, I would forego the tights–even in winter. But–that’s just me!
This hits all the notes for how to wear plaid for the mature woman. I love this look–even with the tights!
I was getting tired. Being your own photographer is quite challenging–especially when you aren’t that good at it!
Look Number Ten. Another festive look!
You know when you just can’t get the photo quite right? I thought perhaps I could get a decent shot if I laid down on the floor. I didn’t.
Instead, I opted for just sitting down. This skirt–Glen plaid, is the simplest plaid ever. But, with a bright red sweater, it says “Holiday Time!” And the great thing about Glen plaid is that the only colors are black and white–and some of the pattern is so closely knit that it looks gray. Really–any bright color would look great with this skirt!
Look Number Eleven. The plaid shirt.
Who doesn’t love a plaid shirt. Usually worn with jeans, the plaid shirt is one item of clothing that we’ve all had since childhood. Now it’s grown up. Pairing plaids with different textures and patterns is both tricky and difficult. Here, with a tweed skirt, the shirt works. A black sweater to tie it in with black tights and boots gives this a fun and flirty look. And YES–mature women CAN wear short skirts. This is proof. In fact, I liked this look so much that I wore it out to run errands earlier this afternoon!
I’m Obsessive About– Tights and shoes matching. I’m not one to be incredibly “matchy-matchy”. However, when it comes to wearing skirts in the winter–especially short skirts, the tights have to match the shoes. It makes the legs appear longer and gives a lean look-I can’t stress this enough. I’m a HUGE fan of bare legs, but they need to be tanned. And if you cannot get those legs tanned during the colder months, the tights work wonders.
No Plaid Overkill. Save the plaid scarfs for when you are wearing solids. Seriously. Or stick to the same plaid as the skirt or pants. Mismatched plaids do not look good!
Keeping it toasty and tasteful. I wear plaid scarfs with solids.
He’s got the right idea!!!
Seriously. It is. This plaid Lady Jacket that I bought last winter at a great discount from J. Crew is one of my favorites. And it is a great jacket for the mature woman who can’t afford the famous designer Chanel jacket. Dressed up or down. Doesn’t matter!
OMG. This plaid jacket is such a fun one. And very age appropriate!
Look what I found this afternoon! GREEN TIGHTS!! At Primark. I went back to the mall on a mission. My goal was to go to every store until I could find green tights! I’m so happy!
The green tights from Primark. Four bucks a pair. Life is good!
So yeah. With a few pointers and tips, you certainly can wear plaid while remaining classic, elegant, fun and tasteful. And mature women wear it best!
How could I write about plaid and not include these guys–who are now in the mature bracket! Bay City Rollers!
Plaid gone bad. Way bad! But I still love the song….