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The Compass  /  Style  /  Learn How To Wear A Plaid Suit

Learn How To Wear A Plaid Suit

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How To Wear a Plaid Suit

Besmirched by cheesy, slap on the back, have-I-got-a-deal-for-you, used car salesmen, the plaid suit has gotten a bad rap. But flip through the pages of GQ or Esquire and you’ll find that today, men are helping the plaid suit shed the negative connotations of its checkered past by wearing plaid suits with class and style. You can be one of those men too, by following these simple principles.

Plaid Suit Pep Talk

If you learn anything from reading this it should be that you should not be afraid of wearing a plaid suit. If you’re choosing your clothes out of fear you’re doing it wrong. If you like the way a plaid looks, rock it. There’s nothing sadder than a guy whose style is stifled by fear of standing out. Well, maybe the ending of “Blue Valentine” was sadder, but there aren’t many things sadder than a guy who fades into the background because he’s afraid to wear something like a plaid suit.

Plaid Suit Pairings

Now, maybe you’re a fan of plaids but you haven’t been able to picture yourself wearing them. If you’re having trouble deciding what to wear you should sign up for emails from The Compass. Not to toot our own horn but we’re pretty good at helping men look their best in a suit. (Okay, so that was totally tooting our own horn. But we can back it up: with over 3,000 comments you at least wouldn’t be the only one to look to us for advice.)Here are three foolproof ways to make sure your plaid suit doesn’t look played out when you put it on.


Gray Plaid Suit

Simplify With Solids

Gray Plaid Suit

As you can see in this monochrome gray suit and tie, a solid white shirt keeps the focus on the plaid pattern and keeps your outfit from looking too busy.


Light Gray with Blue Check Suit

Speak with An Accent

Light Gray with Blue Check Suit

Use the accent color in the plaid suit—in this case, light blue— and play off of this color to choose a tie.


Light Gray Prince of Wales Plaid Custom Suit

Don’t Be Afraid to Mix Plaids

Light Gray Prince of Wales Plaid Custom Suit
If you’ve already mastered plaid in its subtly, don’t be afraid to mix your plaids together. Just make sure you only mix plaids that are in the same color family, but not the same exact color, and only mix plaids if their patterns are
scaled differently.


We hope we’ve armed you with the ammunition you need to make plaid suits a part of your signature style. Want more style advice like this? Subscribe to Compass emails for a regular dose of tips and tricks to help you look your best every day.

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