The word plaid conjures up a few images—none of them particularly trendy. There are lumberjacks clad in plaid flannel shirts. Hipsters clad in the same. Students who wear plaid skirts, per their uniform’s restrictions. And Scots who sport plaid kilts to fancy events. (Don’t come at me. My boyfriend’s family is Scottish, and I saw more kilts at the last family wedding than some people see in entire lifetimes.)
These plaid clothes are a far cry from anything you’d find on a runway—though, this season, some designers are trying to change that.
Peruse a fall collection or two, and you’ll find that plaid is everywhere—and it’s gotten something of a makeover. Dries van Noten’s line features an array of saturated plaids, Balenciaga is bringing more yellow plaid to the table than I realized was possible, and Fendi has coated its plaids with gloss so shiny it’s hard to look away. These eye-catching elements have left the plaid resurrection feeling distinctly mod.
Plaid’s shift from autumnal comfort to Technicolor contemporary is a welcome one, and it works in perfect tandem with some of 2018’s starkest accessory trends. Tiny sunglasses. Kitschy earrings. Lucite everything. Nothing pairs better with a crisp plaid print than an equally bold accessory, and 2018 has ensured we have them in spades.
So what’s the holdup? Your fall wardrobe is just waiting for you to inject a little upgraded plaid into it. Ahead, 34 places to start—none of which will run you the cost of those designer pieces we mentioned earlier.