Plaid Pieces

What do Catholic school girls, nineties grunge bands, and the Burberry fashion house all have in common? Their zeal for plaid, of course! We are presently sharing their checkered-pattern fervor, due, in no small part, to the substantial celebrity and runway support. Flip through the latest Us Weekly, turn on Gossip Girl, or peruse (specifically Wunderkind, D&G, and Isabel Marant) and you will see what we mean-pretty people galore are wearing cross-hatched fabrics. To ensure that our readers observe this trend in the chicest manner possible, we assembled a handful of style pros wearing checked pieces in wonderful ways. Familiarise yourself with the subtle or moderate approach each lady took when incorporating plaid into their looks, therefore avoiding an outfit that would induce dizzy spells (too much of a plaid thing is a bad thing). If our personal partiality for this tartan movement has yet to fully pique your interest, we bid you to read on for an in-depth overview on various strategies for mixing plaid into your own ensembles!

Chief among our favourite moments in plaid pop history is the yellow tartan pleated mini and blazer combo that Alicia Silverstone wears in the opening sequence of Clueless. (Beckerman's Charlotte Plaid Tux Jacket($341) bears a strikingly close resemblance to Silverstone's.) However, a dizzingly lemon getup may be a little too ambitious of an outfit to wear for anyone who isn't Cher Horowitz. Instead, take cues from the likes of Mischa Barton, who wore a CH-inspired outfit to Bungalow 8 in London last month. Barton tucked a body-conscious top into a full black and white boxed skirt before cinching a black patent belt at her waist. She further polished the look with over-the-knee tights and patent booties. You can also look to Coco Sumner for ideas on how to wear plaid. We adore how she mixed a vintage tartan scarf with her striped Whyred Top, Dolce & Gabbana denim shorts, and an oversized Barbour Ladies' International Jacket ($419, 800.338.3474) for the BT Home Hub House Party in London this past summer (look closely to note the plaid cuffs!). When worn in conjunction with her Nicholas Kirkwood Flip Satin Sandals from Spring 08, the scarf perfectly spruces up Sumner's look. Kate Moss also showed support of plaid (and Balmain) in a pair of Christophe Decarnin's statement-making Red Checkered Zip Jeans ($2540) that she wore to a country pub in London last month. Miss Moss maintained a black palette for the rest of her ensemble with a Topshop Blazer ($80), Marc Jacobs' Blake Bagicon($995), and a pair of vintage leather boots that she was given during a photoshoot.

Of course these ladies aren't the only ones who are mad for plaid; we've still got more inspiration for how to wear this notable print. For example, the masterminds in the Gossip Girl costume department (who consistently leave us drooling over their keen styling techniques) recently dressed Taylor Momsen in a saucy pair of Topshop Plaid Shorts (sadly sold out, but try Buy Johnson's Millicent Shorts($220) as a substitute). The team played up the short shorts with a pair of black tights, a 3 Button Stripe Tank ($98) designed by Erin Kleinberg, and a pair of J Shoes' Empire Boots ($250) in black for an unexpectedly cool look that we plan on imitating! Speaking of outfits we want to emulate, we intentionally placed Georgia Jagger as our centrepiece for today's story, because she recently showed up to an event looking beyond divine. Specifically, Jagger attended the 30 Days of Fashion Gala in London dressed in a vintage dress, cinched with with a thick grommet belt, and an amazing vintage Vivienne Westwood blazer. The finishing touches to her nightwear came from American Apparel's Nylon Leggings ($36), a pair of Christian Louboutin's No Prive Pumps ($765), and a stylish Topshop Bowler Hat ($40).

The plaid pieces that are currently on the market are truly innovative and more plentiful than ever before, so of course we scouted out some of our favourites for you. If you want to emulate Mischa Barton's subtle nod to Clueless, check out Robert Rodriguez's Plaid Skirt($341) as a starting point, or you may be more set on the look Kate Moss established, in which case we recommend Topshop's Check Skinny Trousers ($70), as they have an uncanny likeness to her Balmain pair!. A budget-friendly approach to Georgia Jagger's outfit should definitely include Sonja's Plaid Blazer ($59) from Delia's, in fact, we are trying to restrain from buying it for ourselves. Other cross-hatched garments we adore include Alloy's Plaid Swing Jacket ($50) and Built by Wendy's Flannel Trapeze Top ($155), because both will prove to be fun and sophisticated alternatives to your typical outerwear options. Last, but certainly not least, contemplate adding Elizabeth & James' Green Plaid Shirt ($245) and Gap's Cascading Ruffle Plaid Shirt ($48) into your closets. Not only are we besotted with the simplicity of the Elizabeth & James top and the ruffles on the Gap blouse, but we think each one is ideal for those of you wanting to observe this trend in a muted fashion.-Jessica Amento

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