How to style a plaid shirt without looking like a lumberjack Leave a comment


Dear Style Shrink,
I’m really into the plaid shirt trend (it is a trend, right?) but I don’t know how to wear one without looking like a lumberjack and/or cowboy. Are there any specific styles you would recommend this winter? And if there are, how should I wear it?
Ekon, Maidenhead

Full marks, Ekon. Plaid shirts are indeed big at the moment, but the good news is that the ones designers are peddling right now are less the traditional worker shirts you’re probably thinking of and more the abstracted takes on the style that have more of a thrown-together, Ray Petri-inspired, Buffalo-era appeal. Take Dsquared2, for instance, where the Brothers Caten have produced a wide array of oversized plaid shirts in primary shades. Said designs were teamed on the runway with plaid coats and body warmers in contrasting colours and the effect was surprisingly modern.

 At Burberry, meanwhile, CCO Riccardo Tisci has produced a range of patchwork plaid shirts that have a playful vibe and it’s a look that has been mirrored at Loewe, where Jonathan Anderson produces a hodgepodge plaid overshirt or two most seasons. When it comes to wearing yours this winter, team it with unexpected garments to avoid the clichéd connotations. Worker jeans in washed denim should be avoided, while darker, more raw tones will work well. Likewise, it’s always advisable to see your plaid shirt as a layer. Worn with a white T-shirt, a midnight-blue pea coat and some black jeans, for instance, it’ll be just manly enough without looking silly.

Shirt by Loewe, £595. loewe.com

Dear Style Shrink, 
I spent a lot of time working out during lockdown (I was on furlough, so there wasn’t much else to do) and I’ve now realised I committed the cardinal sin of dedicating all my efforts to my upper body while paying very little attention to my legs. As a consequence I’m finding dressing for my shape increasingly difficult, not least because I pretty much forgot how to put on clothes altogether with all that working from home. How do you recommend I dress for my new body shape?
Kyle, Chelmsford

Hi, Kyle. Your new body shape, as you refer to it, is known in menswear circles as an inverted triangle (we’re a wild bunch). Put simply, this is any body shape that features shoulders notably wider than the waist. American swimmer Michael Phelps is a good example of an inverted triangle (in fact, most professional swimmers are), as is Cristiano Ronaldo. The key when dressing your new body shape, Kyle, is to opt for straight-leg trousers (pleated styles work too, so long  as they aren’t tapered) and soft-shouldered jackets (Brunello Cucinelli is your best bet for these) to help create balance. 

You don’t want to wear anything that makes your shoulders look bigger than they already are. Wearing dark colours on top will also help with this, while paler shades on the bottom help make your legs look wider – it’s optics 101. In its simplest, working-from-home-friendly form, your ideal outfit would comprise a black sweatshirt from Frame, for instance, teamed with a pair of white straight-leg Levi’s 501s. The easiest fix, however, would be to start doing leg day. Stat.

Dear Style Shrink,
What are your thoughts on nose rings for men? When lockdown began to lift I considered getting one as a celebration of my new-found freedom. Thoughts?
AG, Brookwood

Unless your name is Zayn Malik, Lenny Kravitz or Tupac Shakur (which I can see from your initials it isn’t, AG) or, indeed, you’re the spit of any of the aforementioned men, then it’s a no from me. But you do you.

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