If you’re a stripe and plaid lover, it might be hard to understand how others can be averse to wearing or even liking these forever fashionable, modern classic patterns. And yet, for some of my clients, stripes and plaids are their “poison eye” and they won’t wear them at all. 

For other clients, it’s a question of wearing either pattern in subtle ways and in small doses. Here are some visual examples of how to do just that. 

Choose Low-Contrast, Neutral and Narrow Stripes

Stripes can be overly bold, horizontal, sporty, graphic and geometric. Choosing a narrower stripe in a self-colour, or in two low-contrasting colours, tones down the boldness of the stripe and makes it look less geometric and graphic. You can also choose a vertical stripe, and wear stripes in dressier fabrications, which offsets their sporty vibe. 

Choose Low-Contrast and Neutral Plaids in Non-Shirt Silhouettes

Like stripes, plaids can be awfully bold and geometric. They can also feel overly masculine, grungy or preppy when worn as a button-down shirt. If that’s not your cup of tea, offset the boldness of the plaid by choosing a plaid patterned item in neutral and low-contrasting colours. Then choose it in an item that is not a masculine shirt. Think soft blouses and trousers, or cosy vests, jackets and coats. Or sport a plaid scarf or bag. 

Personally, I LOVE stripes and plaids. In fact, they are among my favourite patterns. I will wear them bold and bright, as well as subtle and neutral. I also like to wear bold stripes and plaids together in one outfit because I’m currently having fun with the Maximalism trend. 

Over to you. Are you stripe and plaid averse like some of my clients? Do you prefer to wear them in subtle ways and in small doses?