Men’s Trend Alert: Summer Plaids

April 9th, 2008

by John Liu

Plaid became trendy again this past fall/winter, and it looks like it’s here to stay for one more season.  Here are five of the best summer plaids for men:

Engineered Garments Plaid Woven Shirt
Engineered Garments Plaid Woven Shirt | $144 at Bloomingdales (in store only)


Engineered Garments got their name from a pattern maker who claimed that the clothes were not designed but rather engineered due to the amount of detail put into each article of clothing.  Translation: these clothes are fantastically constructed.  This piece was adapted from last season’s long-sleeve version of the same shirt. 

How to wear it?  Plaids can be “intense,” so follow a simple layering tip and wear something monochromatic over it.  By physically hiding part of the shirt under, say, a black or charcoal peacoat, the shirt serves as a colorful, bold accent, and it isn’t overwhelming.

A.P.C. “Plaid Shirt” and “Plaid Belt”
A.P.C. “Plaid Shirt” and “Plaid Belt” | $140, $100 at A.P.C.


A.P.C. offers a shirt and belt with the same plaid pattern on it.  While I like them individually, I don’t like them worn together, even though the model does it.  It looks too calculated when you have an outfit that has parts that match exactly.  To complete the outfit,  I would recommend wearing brown pants like these Mason’s chinos because it picks up the peach in the plaid shirt.  The plaid shirt and the chinos combine for a great casual summer look.  Note that A.P.C. runs a tad small, but this is a summer shirt, so the fit is more classic (read: looser).  As a point of reference, I wear a 40” jacket and I buy a large in A.P.C.

Mike and Chris Hyperion Gingham Shirt
Mike and Chris Hyperion Gingham Shirt | $121 (sale) at Tobi


Part of the allure of plaid is its boldness, right?  Mike and Chris prove that you can do plaid in a subtle – but not too subtle – way.  This piece features a large gingham pattern in faded grey and white.  Style tip?  This white/washed grey is a growing trend, especially featured as a horizontally striped pattern, for both men and women.

Gant Tartan Tie
Gant Tartan Tie | $95 at ShopJake


Gant has been pushing strong in its comeback and is really rising in the ranks.  What I love about this tie is that the pattern and width makes it versatile enough to travel from the office to a night out in New York.


YMC Gingham Plimsoles
YMC Gingham Plimsoles | $89 from OakNYC


That’s right: the plaid trend has even hit shoes.  These shoes, by You Must Create, or YMC, aren’t for everyone.  But then again, plaid isn’t either.


Want more plaid inspiration?
  We’re loving these men’s and women’s plaid outfits from the Sartorialist.

Entry Filed under: Men, Shopping Guide, Trend, Trendscape, Trendscape

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Amy  |  April 9th, 2008 at 9:52 am

    I’m digging the plaid shoes, they’re really awesome… but not for my boyfriend, for me!!

  • 2. Mimi  |  April 9th, 2008 at 3:42 pm

    Oh all right… my husband likes plaid shirts like the ones shown. I haven’t been to keen on them but if they’re trendy, then I guess he’s cooler than I thought (and can dress himself just fine LOL)

  • 3. Trisha  |  April 9th, 2008 at 5:37 pm

    Definitely–John’s made me give plaid a second (and third) look!

  • 4. Dude  |  April 25th, 2008 at 3:01 pm

    I don’t know about the fold-ups on those shorts. And that first plaid shirt isn’t very nice. The white one is good

  • 5. Trisha  |  April 25th, 2008 at 11:17 pm

    The first plaid shirt takes a bit of panache to pull off–but with the right attitude, it can look quite stylish :)

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