Plaid shirts have earned their place as a wardrobe staple for women. With their timeless and versatile styling, these casual button-ups can be incorporated into so many looks. Dress them up for work or events, dress them down for weekends – the options are endless!
When shopping for that perfect plaid shirt to add to your closet, there are a few key factors to consider. Opt for soft, breathable fabrics that won’t feel stiff or scratchy against your skin. Look for flattering silhouettes that complement your body type. Choose versatile color palettes and prints that pair well with your existing closet.
To help make your search easier, we’ve rounded up the top 5 best-selling and most beloved plaid shirts for women to wear this season. Keep reading to discover what makes each shirt special along with tips for how to wear them. Let’s get started!
1. Madewell Jean’s Plaid Utility Shirt
Madewell is known for their casual, laidback aesthetic. Their Jean’s Plaid Utility Shirt encapsulates that vibe. Crafted from soft and lightweight cotton poplin, this shirt comes in a classic blue, black, and red buffalo check plaid print.
The relaxed fit drapes comfortably over the figure without clinging too tightly. Meanwhile, the foldover collar and button front give it a crisp, polished look. Small details like the button cuffs and front patch pockets make this shirt versatile for dressier or everyday occasions.
- Soft, breathable cotton fabric
- Relaxed, non-clingy fit through the hips
- Classic buffalo plaid pattern works year-round
- Runs large, consider sizing down
- Limited color options
Ideal for: Weekends, office wear, layering under blazers
Madewell’s Utility Plaid Shirt pairs perfectly with your favorite jeans, shorts, or leggings for an effortless weekend outfit. Dress it up for the office by tucking it into trousers or a skirt and topping it with a blazer.
2. J.Crew Perfect Lightweight Shirt in Gingham
J.Crew’s perfect lightweight shirt features an easy, relaxed fit through the body along with a signature polished look. Crafted from a soft cotton and Tencel lyocell blend, this fabric has a smooth, lightweight drape that feels soft against the skin.
The gingham print comes in both classic and bold colorways like pretty pastels and rich jewel tones. So you can choose a pattern that flatters your complexion. Details like the spread collar and rounded hem give it a feminine vibe.
- Lightweight, smooth fabric has nice drape
- Variety of gingham colors/patterns
- Relaxed fit, roomy through hips and bust
- Runs small, order up a size
- Fabric prone to wrinkling
- Dry clean only
Ideal for: Date nights, workwear, events
J.Crew’s gingham lightweight shirt can be dressed up with tailored pants and heels for events. On weekends, pair it with your favorite denim for brunch or lunch dates. The fun gingham print and vibrant colors make even the most basic jeans and tee outfit pop.
3. Old Navy Classic Plaid Poplin Shirt
Old Navy is known for their budget-friendly basics. Case in point: their classic plaid poplin shirt. Available in a spectrum of sizes from XS-4X, this shirt features an easy button-front design crafted from a lightweight cotton poplin.
The relaxed fit drapes loosely over curves without pulling or gaping, even in larger sizes. Choose from a range of classic plaid prints in versatile color combos like black and white, navy and green, or red and blue.
- Budget-friendly price point
- Extended size range
- Relaxed, easy fit
- Machine washable
- Fabric prone to shrinking
- Boxy fit, shapeless silhouette
- Thinner cotton gets sheer
Ideal for: Casual everyday wear, weekend layering
Thanks to the looser fit and casual vibe, Old Navy’s plaid poplin pairs well with leggings, jeans, joggers, and shorts for running errands or relaxing. Layer it over tanks and tees on cooler days. The classic plaid prints make this shirt function as a neutral solid.
4. LL Bean Stretch Plaid Shirt
LL Bean’s stretch cotton plaid shirt combines the best elements of comfort and polish. Made from a cotton blend with added spandex, this fabric offers comfortable stretch and recovery. The shirt skims the body for a flattering slim fit.
A variety of classic plaid prints come in both vibrant and neutral hues to suit any taste. Meanwhile, details like the spread collar and curved hem give it a feminine edge. This shirt also comes in both long and short sleeve versions.
- Stretch fabric moves with you
- Variety of plaids and colors
- Flattering slim cut tailored for women
- Wrinkle-resistant fabric
- Limited size range
- Runs large in the shoulders and sleeves
Ideal for: Weekends, wearing open over tanks, layering under cardigans
This LL Bean plaid looks equally great dressed down with jeans for a casual weekend look as it does dressed up with slacks for work. The stretch fabric and slimmer cut gives you a put-together look without sacrificing comfort.
5. Lands’ End Plus Size Rugged Plaid Flannel Shirt
When cooler weather arrives, few shirts are as comfy and cozy as a flannel. Lands’ End designed this rugged plaid flannel specifically with plus size women in mind. Available in sizes 14-26, this shirt features a relaxed, roomy fit through the bust and hips.
The soft cotton fabric comes in classic buffalo plaid prints as well as bolder color-blocked options. Details like the rounded shirttail hem offer a flattering edge. Meanwhile, the spread collar frames the face beautifully.
- Designed specifically for plus sizes
- Super soft, warm cotton flannel
- True-to-size fit
- Reliable standby brand
- Limited color choices
- Fabric pills with extended wear
- Boxy silhouette
Ideal for: Casual wear, layering over tees and tanks, weekends
For effortless fall and winter style, pair this Lands’ End flannel over a t-shirt with jeans or leggings. Keep the look casual with sneakers and a beanie for a comfortable, cozy weekend ensemble.
How to Choose the Best Plaid Shirt for Your Needs
With so many plaid shirt options on the market, it can be tricky to decide which one is right for you. Here are a few helpful tips for choosing a plaid button-up that perfectly suits your style, fit, and comfort preferences:
- Consider your lifestyle. Active women on-the-go may prefer stretch fabrics with moisture-wicking properties. Frequent travelers likely want wrinkle-resistant shirts. Busy moms and professionals need machine washable care.
- Choose plaids and colors that enhance your complexion. Soft muted plaids in neutral hues tend to be universally flattering. Vibrant jewel tones or bold buffalo plaids make great statement pieces.
- Look for soft, breathable fabrics like brushed cotton flannel or lightweight cotton poplin instead of stiff scratchy shirts. Comfort is key.
- Read sizing guides carefully. Some brands like Madewell or J.Crew run small while Old Navy and Lands’ End run generously. Size up or down accordingly.
- Try different sleeve lengths and silhouettes to find your perfect fit. Cropped, rolled up, short, 3/4, or long sleeves each create distinct looks. Flowy relaxed cuts or tailored slim fits work for different body types.
Tips for Styling Your Plaid Shirt
The beauty of plaid shirts lies in their versatility. With countless ways to wear them, you can create a new look every day! Follow these tips to style your closet staple plaid:
- Add visual interest by layering over solid color tanks and tees. A white tank peeking out from an open red buffalo check shirt looks crisp.
- Roll up the sleeves and pair with jeans for an effortlessly cool weekend vibe or wear sleeves down and buttoned at the wrists for a polished work look.
- Choose your bottoms: denim, trousers, skirts, shorts all complement a plaid shirt. Go comfy with leggings and joggers or dressy with maxi skirts and heels.
- Cinch the waist by half-tucking into bottoms or tying the shirttails into a front knot. Creates a flattering silhouette.
- Wear open loose and relaxed over graphic tees for a casual streetstyle look. Or button up fully and tuck into trousers or midi skirts to dress it up.
- Add coats and layers like blazers, leather jackets, cardigans, and parkas over your plaid shirt when it’s cold out. Looks stylish while keeping you toasty.
- Accessorize with scarves, jewelry, hats, and handbags. Tie a silk scarf at the collar or pile on long necklaces to elevate the look.
Answers to Common Plaid Shirt Questions
What colors complement and work well with plaid shirts?
Solids like white, black, gray, and blue match neutrally with most plaids along with earth tones like olive, tan, and brown. Subtle stripes, polka dots, and minimalist prints also pair nicely as they don’t compete with the plaid print.
How can I dress up a casual plaid shirt to wear it for work or events?
Button it fully and tuck it smoothly into tailored trousers, pencil skirts, or dress pants. Add polished leather loafers, nice flats, or sleek tall boots. Top with a blazer or fitted jacket. Swap out everyday jewelry for elegant accessories and grab a leather tote or clutch.
What are some effortless ways to wear a plaid shirt casually?
Leave it unbuttoned and untucked over a basic tee and jeans, roll up the sleeves for a relaxed vibe. Wear with cutoffs, joggers, or leggings and casual sneakers for weekends. Tie it around the waist over tanks and dresses as a grunge-inspired layering piece.
What type of bottoms work well with a casual plaid shirt?
Denim like skinny jeans, slouchy boyfriend jeans, cutoffs, and mini skirts. Leggings, joggers, shorts, and flowy trousers like culottes work too. For skirts, try an A-line denim skirt, corduroy skirt, or tennis skirt. Maxi skirts also complement the casual oversized shirt.
How can I accessorize a plaid shirt to instantly elevate the look?
Statement necklaces and stacking bracelets add flair as do printed scarves and wide belts. Elaborate hair accessories like headbands and barrettes complement plaid shirts. Try cool hats, patterned tights, boho bags, and bold sunglasses. Heels dress up the look instantly.
Plaid Shirts: The Quintessential Closet Staple
With their endless versatility, comfort, and timeless styling, it’s easy to see why plaid button-up shirts have cemented their status as must-have wardrobe staples. They pair seamlessly with jeans, trousers, skirts, and more to create both casual and polished looks perfect for any occasion.
I hope this overview on how to shop for the best plaid shirt along with style tips provides inspiration for ways to wear this forever classic. With the right plaid, fit, and styling, you can incorporate these everyday essentials into your own signature look.
So next time you spot that perfectly oversized buffalo check at the store or a soft flannel in earthy jewel tones, take it home. Then get ready to build effortless outfits you can’t wait to wear again and again. Whether dressing it up for work or wearing it loose and relaxed on the weekend, a high-quality plaid shirt promises endless styling potential.