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

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

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.

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?

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Guestbook Comments

Ummmm... on May 16, 2018:

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.

Hm on May 08, 2018:

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 .

Imagr on March 13, 2018:

Third image is my fave

Susan davis on January 28, 2018:

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

Theodore Prifti on May 09, 2017:

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 on March 06, 2013:

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 ;)

anonymous on February 20, 2013:

Like the first black and white stripe and check outfit.

anonymous on February 19, 2013:

Nice lens !

darksalo on February 19, 2013:

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

webmavern on February 19, 2013:

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

ismeedee on February 19, 2013:

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

anonymous on February 19, 2013:

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 :-).

anonymous on February 19, 2013:

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

SteveKaye on February 19, 2013:

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

Sharon Berry from Michigan on February 19, 2013:

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!

anonymous on February 17, 2013:

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!

anonymous on February 17, 2013:


Susan Deppner from Arkansas USA on February 13, 2013:

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

anonymous on February 12, 2013:

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