Checks and Balances: How to Mix Plaid with Other Prints

mix plaid
Source: matalasi_, scotti_rachael, & __.___daphne___.__ via Instagram

Looking for a winter wardrobe refresh, but nervous about mixing and matching new pieces?

We’re showing you how to mix plaid with other prints for seriously chic style.

1. Plaid + Stripes

Source: littleblackpencilskirt via Instagram

Plaid and stripes go together like PB&J –and it’s one of the easiest styling combinations to master when you’re new to mixing prints.

The safest approach? Always balance a plaid print with slim, subtle stripes.

Plaid is fairly bold on its own, even when it’s comprised of neutral hues. Thin stripes add visual interest without competing with the main event.

2. Plaid + Florals

Source: miss.emmyb via Instagram

Plaid will always have a bit of a menswear theme going on, which is why mixing it with a floral print is such a pretty approach.

All you need is a single common hue, no matter how small.

Another helpful tip? Try to go for plaids and florals with a similar depth of color. (Dark brown plaid looks good with similarly dark petals, while lighter checks look polished paired with softer floral designs.)

You’ll create visual harmony between two loud pieces, and you’ll also benefit from a monochromatic (and slimming) presentation.

3. Plaid + Leopard

Source: maddinspired via Instagram

As far as I’m concerned, leopard goes with anything (and yes, that includes plaid prints).

Both of these patterns are seriously eye-catching, so it’s not very easy to balance them with one another.

This is one of those rare occasions when wearing two dynamic prints together actually works, so feel free to pair two equally sized (and equally vibrant) styles.

The only thing you may want to watch is the size of the print and how it looks on your body type.

Tall ladies can pull off bigger prints, while petite ladies are better served by smaller alternatives.

4. Plaid + Abstract Prints

Source: __.___daphne___.__ via Instagram

Want to play matchmaker, but worried about ending up with a fashion mismatch?

Start with little details. An abstract print scarf (or any printed scarf, for that matter) can instantly elevate the look of plaid.

Just stick to the same color palette, and keep the rest of the outfit relatively simple.

5. Plaid + Polka Dots

Source: seaairuh & butterfly_doriestyle via Instagram

Polka dots are having a serious moment, and they look positively perfect with their plaid counterparts.

Not only is this pairing feminine and preppy, but it’s also incredibly festive.

Red plaid and black and white stripes are a holiday dream team.

6. Plaid + Plaid

Source: theannabelled via Instagram

Plaid is so versatile that it even looks exceptionally good next to other plaid prints.

Definitely keep things in proportion if you do decide to mix your checks — checks and balances, right? — so pair little prints with big ones and vice versa.

Also, keep in mind that this clever combination goes a long way.

You’re safer if you mix plaid in small doses rather than going all-out with a plaid top and plaid pants (although it can certainly be done… if you dare).

How do you mix plaid with other prints? Share your favorite styling tips in the comments section below!

Lesley Sheridan is a high-maintenance fashion, beauty and lifestyle writer who thinks she’s low-maintenance. (Yes, she stole that line from When Harry Met Sally.) In addition to writing for The Local Lifestyle, her work regularly appears on Zenni Optical and Slickdeals. Make her day by sending her a tweet.

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    1. Haha aww, I think it’s a fun look! But that’s the beauty of fashion — everyone gets to make their own rules! 🙂

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