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While the humble plaid button-up may have carried grungy connotations back in the '90s, it's undoubtedly one of this season's must-have buys. Click through to see how I styled one checked shirt styled into a whopping 10 different looks—some work-appropriate, others tailor-made for the weekend.
To channel '90s-era Kate Moss—which, let's face it, is every girl's ultimate style goal—pair a simple, classic slip dress with flat (or heeled, if you'd prefer a little extra height) ankle booties. Repurpose your shirt as a belt by tying it around your waist. Since it's strap-free, a foldover clutch won't interfere with the lines of this look.
Feeling even bolder? Try the same technique, but swap in a floral dress for that simple slip. The two prints may seem overwhelming together, but as long as you keep your accessories minimal, you'll look amazing—promise!
Borrow from the boys by wearing your shirt with a pair of slightly oversized, artfully distressed jeans. Add a touch of femininity with pointy-toed heels—be sure to frame them by rolling up your cuffs!—plus a tiny crossbody bag and a statement necklace.
Layer up! Make your plaid shirt your base layer, then slip into a graphic sweatshirt, letting the plaid hem peek out beneath your pullover. To add a little movement, try a skirt with some volume on bottom, plus some sharp flats and a playful backpack.
Make your tartan sparkle! Try your plaid button-up tucked into a glittering pencil skirt and paired with open pumps and a feathery clutch. And you thought your lumberjack top wouldn't work for a night out!
Take cues from Dries van Noten and combine your shirt with a skirt in a complementary plaid. The key here is to make sure that one of the two patterns is considerably bolder than the other; for instance, our shirt definitely pops more than this skirt. Obviously, keep your accessories minimal and muted here.
Make your plaid the focal point of your whole ensemble by wearing it with skinny black denim, black moto boots and a fur (real or faux) vest in—you guessed it—black. Black beanie and bag optional.
Plaid and denim make for natural bedfellows. Pair your shirt with dark-rinse skinny jeans, then add a denim jacket in a lighter wash. The plaid in the middle serves as a buffer zone to keep the whole look from feeling too Canadian tuxedo-esque (not that we condemn denim on denim, of course). For an unexpected finish, slip on a pair of ballet flats.
Sad at the prospect of stashing your flannel once the weather warms up? Nonsense—you can still work it into your outfits! Copy pretty much every A-list model on the planet and pair your favorite graphic tee (roll those sleeves, please!) with cutoffs. As for that plaid, you have two options: either tie it around your waist or wear it open, letting it double as a light jacket. And since this look was made for the weekend, go casual in sneakers.
Button your plaid shirt up all the way, then slip into a sleeveless dress you'd normally reserve for slightly warmer weather. (Who doesn't love making her existing wardrobe work harder?) Finish things off with tights, knee-high boots and an appropriately collegiate-feeling satchel.