12 Ways to Style a Checked Shirt (For Guys and Girls!)

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Whether you’re male or female there’s one wardrobe staple that never goes out of style, and that’s the checked shirt. However, it’s likely that you’re not making the most of its versatility as it’s often all too tempting to simply throw it on with your most comfortable jeans without any consideration of styling. So whether you’re a guy or a girl, here’s 6 ways to style your checked shirt to keep you looking on trend.

6 ways for guys to style a checked shirt

While the plaid shirt may have a history that belongs more in Scotland than Australia, it’s become a classic staple for all age groups and can work equally well for both casual and more formal occasions.

1. Wear your plaid shirt with denim

Perhaps the most classic way to style your plaid or checked shirt is with denim. It’s simple and it’s one of the easiest looks for any guy to pull off. Wear your shirt outside your jeans rather than tucked in, and pair with slim, light or dark denim jeans. This look is best worn with sneakers or boots, and you can add a cap if you’re going for the extra-casual look. Wearing dark denim will make the whole outfit a little more sophisticated, especially if you pair it with a darker toned plaid.

2. Wear your checked shirt with a suit

If you didn’t think that checks and plaids go with suits, it’s time to think again. Try pairing a plaid shirt with a plain navy suit. The navy serves as a great base for a range of plaids and checks and the absence of pattern means that your suit and shirt won’t clash. To ensure the look remains formal, it’s best to choose a shirt made from a thinner fabric that will keep the sleek line when tucked in. Don’t forget to finish the whole outfit off with a pair of loafers or brogues, preferably in a brown or tan colour.

3. Layer your look

Channel the grunge look by wearing your plaid shirt unbuttoned over a t-shirt or even tied around your waist. Add a leather or denim jacket and you’ve got a great casual outfit. Remember when going grunge to keep the tones dark; bright colours could make you look more like you’re wearing a school uniform.

4. Button it up

For a smart casual look button your checked shirt right up and wear over dark skinny jeans. Add a pair of loafers or deck shoes, but leave the socks at home.

5. Think about the checks.

Small, uniform checks pair well with neutral coloured chinos or trousers for a more formal look, while wider checks give a more casual feel that’s more at home with jeans.

6. Go hipster

Simply tuck your checked shirt into your jeans and add a pair of braces. Finish the look off with either loafers or a pair of lace-up leather boots and you’re set. Oh, and don’t forget the obligatory beard, of course.

6 ways for women to style a checked shirt

1. Go with a classic look

One of the easiest ways to style a checked shirt is by choosing an oversized button-up and pairing it with dark skinny jeans and some ankle boots. If you need extra warmth, pick up one of the colours from the ‘check’ and add a coat or jacket in that hue.

2. For the office

Who said checked shirts can’t work at the office? Choose a shirt in a classic pattern, tuck it into a leather midi skirt and add a pair of dark coloured court shoes or pumps. This kind of outfit moves perfectly from the office to after-work drinks.

3. Use as a layer

Many of us choose to layer our shirt either over a t-shirt or under a jumper. But how about layering a short sleeved top over your checked shirt, allowing the sleeves and the hems of the shirt to show? Keep the whole thing neutral though, you don’t want too many clashing patterns here.

4. Get edgy

Try tying your favourite check or plaid shirt around the waist of a plain coloured slip dress. Add a pair of moto boots, sling a leather jacket over your shoulders, and you’ve got yourself an edgy look that can take you from day to night.

5. Go feminine

Didn’t think that check shirts could be ladylike? Pair a light coloured check shirt with a high-waisted, mid-length skirt and a pair of pointed heels. Remember to tuck your shirt in to emphasise your waist, and roll the sleeves up for a casual vibe.

6. Add a vest

Whether you prefer the traditional puffer style vest, a knitted cardigan or a fur waistcoat, they’ll all go perfectly over your plaid shirt. Pair with some leather look pants and ankle boots for a more edgy look.

While some outfits featuring a checked shirt will work best if you keep the shirt as the star of the show, don’t be afraid to take risks and try something new. Whether you’re a man or a woman, styling your checked shirt is all about wearing what you feel comfortable in, so check out our range of checked shirts on the Oxford Shop website and let your creative juices flow!