Runway to Real Way: Keep It In Check. Fall’s Best Plaids

October 17, 2011 • Magazine, Runway To Real Way

Fall is bursting out all over and with it, fall fashion is in full swing. And while a fall color palette typically runs the gamut from jewel tones to neutrals, there are plenty of prints that we can pull out when getting dressed for those brisk, chilly days. One of the patterns most synonymous with fall that can last you straight through the holidays is plaid. Sure images of Scottie dogs, kilts and school uniforms may flash unpleasantly through your minds, but today’s plaids take an edgier take on the previously preppy squares. Recent designer runways showed the print in a way that extended beyond the timeless versions of Burberry and Ralph Lauren, resulting in modern pieces that took plaid, literally, out of the “box”.

There’s nothing sweeter and sassier than a little plaid skirt. And while it may have to be standard attire at all girls schools, the grown up versions can be much more fun. The only thing to remember is finding an adult appropriate version and not one that could make you look late for class (or as a many a man’s fantasy).  Choose options that hit just above the knee, as they can be worn for work or play, and feel free to take some risks with the color and style. Libertine’s fall runways brimmed with bold, graphic plaids that looked almost spray-painted on, yet were cut into wearable silhouettes. And even more versatile option come compliments of Nanette Lepore, whose lace appliqué skirt could be played either naughty or nice.

Plaid can also be vamped up when paired with an unorthodox shape and bright colors. Oscar de la Renta sent gorgeous checks down the runway in subtle neon shades and pin-tucked ruffles for a modern day power dress (no nods to Mrs. Claus there!) Milly’s everyday version boasts a latticework of chunky, vibrant squares that, when paired with ribbed tights and a loose-fitting cardigan, is the epitome of both flirty and fresh.

What’s a more modern piece these days than a perfectly tailored jacket? And plaid has a long-standing relationship with jackets, from university professors to Sherlock Holmes. The sexier womenswear version tips the hat to the more masculine styles of the past without seeming stuffy or bulky. Thom Browne’s fall runway was a playground of over stimulating plaid, checks and squares running rampant over and around each other. But pulling the pieces apart each one was a sophisticated staple, especially the black and white plaid blazer. The wool riding jacket by Smythe offers up a similar style with more of an edgy equestrian vibe. The longer, waistcoat hem and chevron plaid toe the line between funky and refined.

And finally, who can resist splashing around fall puddles with a little perky plaid on your feet? From Wellies to Hunters, a fall footwear fetish is a rubber boot that can keep our precious piggies dry and warm. This season, resist the urge for the commonplace green black or brown and infuse a little fun into your galoshes with some snazzy, you guessed it, plaid. Vivienne Westwood Red Label showed some stellar plaid boots that may have been a little demure for her label, but are perfectly wearable for everyday life. Or to put even more pep in your step, reach for Burberry’s (we just couldn’t get away with not including them) sleek rubber boots in a sleek wash of purple. If you think no one’s looking at your feet on even the drabbest of days, guess again!

Don’t let the humdrum pictures of plaid from the past prevent you from trying out one of the season’s perkiest prints. Whatever color, shape or style of checks you choose from, dress them up your way and you won’t be a “square” for fall fashion!

1. Edgy Plaid Skirt
Runway: Libertine Fall 2011 RTW
Real Way: Nanette Lepore ‘Sin Zin’ Lace Appliqué Skirt, $298

2. Funky Plaid Dress
Runway: Oscar de la Renta Fall 2011 RTW
Real Way: Milly Madras Plaid Silk Halter Dress, now $268.99

3. Modern Plaid Jacket
Runway: Thom Browne Fall 2011 RTW
Real Way: Smythe Wool Riding Jacket, $695

4. Plaid Rubber Boots
Runway: Vivienne Westwood Red Lab Fall 2011 RTW
Real Way: Burberry Check Print Rain Boot, $225

—Alia Rajput

Image Layout: Amy Newling

Runway Photos: NY Mag

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One Response to Runway to Real Way: Keep It In Check. Fall’s Best Plaids

  1. Alisia says:

    Love the pizazz of the edgy plaid skirt and suit!

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