How To Mix Plaids: 5 Simple Tips

| WEARING | Coat and pants c/o Banana Republic, Al Bazar shirt and tie, Uniqlo cardigan, Oliver Peoples sunglasses (similar HERE), J.Crew belt, Timex watch, Wingtips c/o Allen Edmonds (McAllister) | PHOTOGRAPHY | by Rob McIver Photo

Mixing plaids can be an intimidating prospect. But mastering the art can take your personal style to a whole new level. To get you started, here are five simple tips on how to mix plaids.

How To Mix Plaids - He Spoke Style

Keep it subtle. We generally think of plaids as big and bold, which can lead to a reluctance to wear more than one at a time, if any at all! Choosing pieces with a more subtle pattern, makes mixing them much easier.

Stick to a common color. Plaids in the same color family work best together. Be careful not to match too exactly, which can look forced. Instead, aim for slight color variations.

Anchor with a neutral. There’s going to be enough going on when you’re wearing two or three plaids at the same time. Keep it grounded by wearing one piece in a solid color. Keep it in the same color family, like I’ve done here with the trousers, as a no-nonsense option, or throw in a contrasting color if you’re feeling more adventurous.

How To Mix Plaids - He Spoke Style

Size matters. If you’re mixing three different plaids, make one the dominant pattern. This doesn’t necessarily mean bolder, but rather make one bigger. Fit smaller patterns into the mix.

Change directions. Add further interest by pairing horizontal and diagonal patterns. Mixing plaids of different orientations draws the eye in different directions and can even give the illusion that you’re not mixing them at all.

How To Mix Plaids - He Spoke Style

Thanks for reading.

Stylishly Yours,

He Spoke Style

Chime In

  • Ben Heath

    Hi Brian,

    This is a really informative post. The outfit looks great, especially the subtle differences in shades! Plaid can be a difficult texture to incorporate if you have lots of it but this all works so well.

    Ben |

    • Brian Sacawa

      Thanks for the comment, Ben! Have a great day.

  • Benjamin Ricci

    I generally would be reluctant to try this, but that particular combination works. And works well. Rob McIvers did a nice job with the photos on this, too.

    • Brian Sacawa

      Cheers, Benjamin. Thanks for the comment and the support.

  • Nick

    Hey Brian
    Would you recommend sticking to the same rules when matching other patterns, like plaids with polkadots or stripes ? Or even mixing some more bold patterns in it ?
    Top article as always and great photos from Rob, you guys keep bringing super content to the blog.

    • Brian Sacawa

      My number one rule is: if it looks right, it is right. Also, if it looks wrong, then it is wrong. (Unless the “wrong” was on purpose.) Either of these scenarios depends as much on the patterns themselves as well as your personal style comfort level.

      Having said that, yes, I think that these are universal pattern-based rules.

      Thanks for the comment!

  • Ashley Rae

    I definitely want to try this as I believe it can be transferred to women’s fashion as well! Great post and great style!!

    xx, Ashley Rae
    (a fellow Baltimore blogger)

    • Brian Sacawa

      Hi, Ashley! Yes, these are gender-neutral rules!

  • Andres Poiche
    • Brian Sacawa

      Cheers, Andres.