After some initial trepidation, I find that the Abominable Plaid Dress Shirt is fast become a favorite wardrobe curve ball. Like any curve ball, it works best if kept in reserve and used by surprise, but I find myself opting for it far more often than I expected.
Miss Ellie LaVeer, and a favorite big fat shawl collar cardigan, the look is relatively subdues for what it is. I like to think of it as the spirit of the over-the-top look of a Polo ad, turned down to a reasonable (and actually wearable) volume. Below, pleated grey flannels and cordovan wing tips.
It all lies in finding the right plaid and the right cut. This shirt is in Dress Gordon tartan, which features navy,gold, white and hunter green, a palette of colors that works easily with many classic wardrobe staples. This shirt is also a properly sized USA made Brooks Brothers, with a classic unlined rolling button down collar, a cut that evokes the old school, even if the combination doesn't.
The plaid dress shirt may be more than a bit difficult, but it need not be abominable.