The casual plaid shirt, which was probably the biggest fashion trend of the ’90s, made a comeback in 2009. When I posted about casual plaid shirts then, there was not much love for the item. Too grungy, too masculine, too lumberjack, too high school, too shapeless, too sloppy, or just too much pattern. Although I LOVE tartan type plaids in wardrobe items like jackets, coats, trousers, dressy blouses, skirts and scarves, my feelings for casual plaid shirts at the time was subdued. I neither loved nor loathed the look. 

Over the last few years, my affection for tartan type plaids spilled over into casual shirts. I love lumberjack style shirts all over again, just like I did in 1993. I don’t want to wear my shirt with a lace camisole, Levis 501’s, a studded belt and Dr. Martens again. But I do want to wear it in more unexpected combinations like with sparkle, a striped pullover, a dressy clutch handbag, fancy heels, a men’s tie, a flirty skirt, metallic skinnies, leather bottoms, tailored trousers, harem pants, slouchy skinnies, or slouchy trousers. 

I did bright red flannel in a big way in the early ’90s so it was time for a change. I chose an ivory tartan from J.Crew this time round because the visual effect is softer than a dark or bright. I almost bought a light pink tartan, but stuck with ivory for now. I might add in a pastel pink plaid shirt for Spring. 

Casual plaid shirts are also available in tailored fits if oversized is not your thing. The structure will help to feel less sloppy in the look. I prefer plaid shirts boxy because the vibe is more boyish that way, which makes for an interesting juxtaposition alongside girly items like pretty clutch handbags, lipstick and metallic skinny jeans. 

You are all invited to the plaid shirt party. Have you warmed up to the item since 2009, or since the ’90s? If so, how will you wear your plaid shirt? Do any of the unexpected juxtapositions tickle your fancy?

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