Plaid Out? Dressing Up Winter’s Classic Patterns

It’s easy to add some pop to your wardrobe in even the dreariest of seasons, with a plaid dress shirt. We’ve taken the grunge out of our favorite patterns and made pulling them off at work a no-brainer, even if your job doesn’t involve cutting wood or playing Nirvana covers.


The only thing playful about this shirt is the pattern.

Smells Like Clean Spirit

The key to wearing plaid under a suit is making sure the pattern is the only part that’s playful. The details should be pure business. Lose the droopy pouch pockets and opt for clean lines with a spread collar. Fine stitching and mother-of-pearl buttons will go a long way in assuring nobody mistakes this one for the ratty flannel you had in the nineties. And of course, the golden rule is that you can get away with just about anything so long as the fit is spot on.

Not All Plaids Are Created Equal

In a sea of tartans and checks, steer clear of patterns that are too loud. There’s a reason you reach for a pinstripe suit and not a beetlejuice number; the same logic applies here. Go for a more refined plaid in muted hues. We’ve collaborated with Thomas Mason’s renowned mills to curate just such a collection, digging through their exquisite archives to offer a range of plaids that fit the bill.


Precise weaving and dying make Thomas Mason’s plaids sharper than anything we’ve seen.

Why do we trust Thomas Mason for our most sophisticated patterns? Thanks to precise dying techniques and incredibly fine yarns,  their intricate designs are visibly sharper than anything we’ve come across. It all adds up to a cleaner look that pairs effortlessly with smart suiting.


Stick to darker tones and you can wear just about anything.

Keep It All In Check

Once you’ve picked the right shirt, it’s simple to swap in for your staple whites and blues. The only thing to be wary of is stacking too many clashing patterns on top. Unless you’re a true pattern mixing savant, you’ll want to avoid ties with a lot going on. Similarly, skip the boldest pinstripe and chalkstripe suits. If you’re looking for some variety, change up the texture. It’s the perfect opportunity to break out a wool or knit tie. And if you’ve got a winter weight suit like a flannel, more power to you. Either way, you can’t go wrong with dark solids here.


Textures like this marled ManuelRacim tie add depth without competing for attention.

Injecting a little plaid into your work attire is one of the easiest ways to mix things up without reinventing your wardrobe. Paired with a conservative outfit, it bring a bit of toughness without sacrificing seriousness. So throw one on like you mean business, and don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty because you’ll look mighty good while you’re at it.

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