Saturday, August 17, 2013

Plaid Shirts. Revisited.

Last year, we had the Autumn Shirt Collection.  I parted with a lot of plaid shirts with color schemes that reminded me of fall foilage.  (And also, my elementary school bus driver and the Brawny paper towel man but only in the best, most authentic and fashionable way possible...)  This time around I've got a set of plaid shirts dominated by bright, saturated colors:

Looking at all the blocks of colors and pattern lines makes me think of digital color grids...or a kaleidoscope!  Interestingly, two of the shirts (and one plaid skirt) are vintage Liz Claiborne!  Oh, yeah, and I threw in a colorful patchwork shirt, too...

Back in March, I saw a post on Tomboy Style about pairing winter-y tartan plaids and white jeans together for a fool-proof spring outfit.  I think it's a great look, and, by that logic (light-colored jeans + winter plaid = ideal spring outfit), I think the inverse also works: summer plaid + dark-wash denim = ideal fall outfit.  These plaids'll look great with denim shorts now and later they'll brighten up high-rise skinny jeans and even look preppy-chic underneath a blazer.  Never mind that these aren't summer plaids, per se, it's the rest of your outfit that makes them work in any season.  Alexa gets it:

Alexa Chung forever.  Now and Later candy...not so much.  Photos from

Of course, some of these plaids aren't as transitional and are probably better suited for summer.  This sleeveless number from Liz Claiborne (below, left) has an over-sized madras-like pattern and is a gauzy material.  I'd describe it as 'eighties mom-style goes on a long car ride' ...I can't really pinpoint my reference for this, it's not exactly Ellen from National Lampoon's Vacation but, as always, I do mean my references in the best possible way because these are all items I've personally chosen and love!  Does it remind you of anything, or anyone?  The short-sleeve plaid on the right is presently in my personal collection and it feels strictly summer, too, and reminds me of the eighties.  And also, summer getaways, especially when knotted in the front Dirty Dancing-style: just add denim shorts (double-cuffed) and Keds:

And here's another still of Baby from the same blog post where I got the above image, wearing a plaid shirt.

Related sidenote: Has anyone seen Sleepaway Camp?!  It's an eighties horror movie I'd never heard of until I caught the (surprising!) ending of it on television a few weeks ago.  Normally, I hate watching a movie mid-way but I couldn't resist this one.  All I have to say is: Wow.  And, despite how it turned out, I still feel like I missed out by never getting to go to sleepaway camp.  Probably because of all the other, non-scary movies that made sleepaway camp seem AMAZING.  Like, what if I somehow had a long-lost twin I never knew about?!

This next plaid feature isn't as bright as the previous ones, but it's an all-time favorite in my personal collection.  It is from the eighties (1980 to be exact) and was part of a special collaboration between Levi's and the Olympics.  It's paper-thin perfection and it's over-sized, almost tunic length on me.  I've replaced buttons on it and mended a few tears.  And it's still going strong.  It reminds me of art class in elementary school where students would wear random, donated, (mostly men's) button-down shirts as smocks when painting or otherwise getting messy.  To think I was exposed to hobo-chic and thriftiness in elementary school!  Who knew?!  Are schoolchildren still doing this?!

Going for the Olympic this beautifully worn-in 33 year-old plaid shirt.

Earlier in this post I suggested wearing plaid shirts underneath a blazer, but what about wearing a plaid blazer?  Can it be done?  Without looking liking a used car salesman or taking hobo-chic too literally?  And not looking too preppy or too punk-y?  I haven't found the right plaid blazer that balances that.  Last year, Zara had this blackwatch plaid suit that looked amazing and I have a plaid skirt suit I bought for the skirt.  I love the skirt with a plain tee or a chambray and ballet flats or sandals.  The brand is Country Suburbans and I like to keep it from looking country-club-casual... I would never wear it with the matching blazer:

I haven't quite figured out a look that I love involving this blazer.  It has a great fit but I don't feel like myself in it because it hasn't been easy to style to my taste.  How would you style it?  It may be headed to the shop!  Also coming to the etsy shop: a plaid dress and a pair of plaid shorts!  Plaid everywhere! Cue dramatic cliffhanger: Could plaids be the new florals?!  Hmmm... 

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