Stripes and Plaid Together: Fashion Do or Don't?

Updated on November 28, 2019
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Molly is an animal-lover and a fashion-enthusiast who is currently living in Israel.

How to Wear Stripes and Plaid Together
How to Wear Stripes and Plaid Together | Source

Can You Wear Stripes With Plaid?

There has always been the grand debate for as long as I can remember of whether stripes and plaids (or any patterns for that matter) can be mixed and worn together. I am going to share my opinion on the topic.

Ever since I was little, I would always want to wear stripes and patterns together, but my best friend would yell at me, along with her mother and sisters, that it was not socially acceptable to do so. Nowadays, wearing stripes and other patterns like plaid, checkers, or flannel together is not only acceptable, but it's trending.

The fashionable Whitney Port nailing the look.
The fashionable Whitney Port nailing the look.

Why You Should Give This Look a Try

In general, mixing any patterns together is tricky, but mixing is a great way to add a ton of new variety to your daily outfits! You just have to make sure you are thoughtful with your selection or else you'll have people calling you out on your potential fashion fail. Mixing two patterns will give you a chance to make your clothing more personal and individualistic. If done correctly, the plaid and stripes can look absolutely amazing together.

I personally think that this combination has always looked good, but who am I to decide? I mean, I am not the best fashion expert out there. I use to tell my friend, "You just wait, one day it will be ok to wear stripes and plaid together!" Well, that day has finally come and this fashion statement is totally trending.

A beautiful balance of stripes and plaid with a nice, vibrant pop of color.
A beautiful balance of stripes and plaid with a nice, vibrant pop of color.

Some Rules for Pairing Stripes and Patterns

Now, don't get me wrong, I do agree that not all stripes and plaids go together. You do have to pair them thoughtfully, but you'll see that they do go together and can be worn in combination. Here are some tips for nailing this look:

  1. Keep whatever other colors you are wearing to a minimum because if you add too much visual "pop," you risk looking sloppy.
  2. You can incorporate one of the patterns into your outfit simply by just adding an accessory (like a scarf or something). This will allow you to not stand out too much!
  3. One piece of the clothing (whether the stripes or the plaid) should be more vibrant and loud than the other! Because let's face it . . . everyone wants to stand out just a tad.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Cute, belted stripes with pink plaid.Common plaid with a dark and subtle striped sweater.Bold, striped pants and a flannel top.A casual look—flannel top and striped undershirt.A casual and cool vibrant flannel with a striped undershirt.Cool plaid jacket with classic black and white stripes underneath.Striped sweater with plaid skirt.
Cute, belted stripes with pink plaid.
Cute, belted stripes with pink plaid.
Common plaid with a dark and subtle striped sweater.
Common plaid with a dark and subtle striped sweater.
Bold, striped pants and a flannel top.
Bold, striped pants and a flannel top.
A casual look—flannel top and striped undershirt.
A casual look—flannel top and striped undershirt.
A casual and cool vibrant flannel with a striped undershirt.
A casual and cool vibrant flannel with a striped undershirt.
Cool plaid jacket with classic black and white stripes underneath.
Cool plaid jacket with classic black and white stripes underneath.
Striped sweater with plaid skirt.
Striped sweater with plaid skirt.

Additional Tips for Mastering This Look

Here's how to match two very different patterns together successfully:

  • Make sure the stripes and plaid are around the same size; go for big stripes with big plaid and small stripes with small plaid.
  • If you decide to wear two striped items, make sure they are different in size (thick and thin).
  • Bigger and bolder patterns are definitely going to make you look bigger, and horizontal patterns are going to give off a wider look. Vertical patterns are going to give off a taller, thinner appearance.

Share Your Thoughts and Styling Tips

What are your thoughts on this everlasting, brutal fashion debate? Share your opinion below! Is it truly a fashion no-no or is it now a fashion go?

How to Mix Prints

Questions & Answers

    Guestbook Comments

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      • profile image

        Ummmm... 

        23 months ago

        OMG I think it’s totally a fashion no no and not a fashion yes yes trust me I’m a fashionista I know what I’m talking about I knows whats in and what’s out and that is out for sure.

      • profile image

        Hm 

        23 months ago

        I don’t think stripes and plaids go together because wearing two patters makes the outfit look really unbalanced. If you wanna look fashionable, balancing each clothing item is important .

      • profile image

        Imagr 

        2 years ago

        Third image is my fave

      • profile image

        Susan davis 

        2 years ago

        I thought that plaid and stripes where horrible together but then when I found this I recognized that is is better.

      • profile image

        Theodore Prifti 

        2 years ago

        Never mix checks plaids stripes!!! That is what circus clowns do! Solid color suit. Checks or plaid or striped tie with solid color shirt is class.

      • hntrssthmpsn profile image

        hntrssthmpsn 

        7 years ago

        I like your rules for mixing stripes and plaids, but must confess that I freely and thoughtlessly mix stripes, plaids, spirals, little hearts... you name it. I guess I just count on being admired for my enthusiasm ;)

      • profile image

        anonymous 

        7 years ago

        Like the first black and white stripe and check outfit.

      • profile image

        anonymous 

        7 years ago

        Nice lens !

      • darksalo profile image

        darksalo 

        7 years ago

        Okay cool,.....Where do I add the Bedazzler accents?

      • profile image

        webmavern 

        7 years ago

        I never thought stripes and plaids would look good together, but you have shown they can!

      • ismeedee profile image

        ismeedee 

        7 years ago

        I don't think anything is a fashion no-no anymore. And stripes and plaids often look great together, why not?

      • profile image

        anonymous 

        7 years ago

        Your articles and the photographs make clear that stripes and plaids can go together, but I still can't do it. Makes me dizzy when I look at it too. Perhaps, since I've just turned 50, I'm no longer hip :-).

      • profile image

        anonymous 

        7 years ago

        I love the look of stripes and plaid when the color theme matches - great idea for interior decorating too

      • profile image

        SteveKaye 

        7 years ago

        Right now I'm wearing a plaid flannel shirt. Amazing coincidence.

      • ShariBerry profile image

        Sharon Berry 

        7 years ago from Michigan

        I've never been fond of mixing stripes and plains and hoping this is just a fad. Too many other good choices to be mixing plaids with stripes. Guess I am just old!

      • profile image

        anonymous 

        7 years ago

        I love it and I'm going out shopping now! Great photos, but that Betsey Johnson video? Who would ever where those outfits except to a costume party?! Great shoes though!

      • profile image

        anonymous 

        7 years ago

        Yes!

      • ClassyGals profile image

        Cynthia Davis 

        7 years ago from Pittsburgh

        A fashion yes, yes, as you can see from the photos. Great fashion tips!

      • SusanDeppner profile image

        Susan Deppner 

        7 years ago from Arkansas USA

        Great explanation and awesome examples of how to wear stripes and plaids together. I'm lovin' the look!

      • profile image

        anonymous 

        7 years ago

        THis is sooo cool. I am going to try to put some plaid/stripe outfits together this week!

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