02 February 2012

The Abominable Plaid Dress Shirt, part II

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.
Seen here with a grey flannel bow tie by 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.


Anonymous said...

Paired with a knit wool tie (vintage Rooster or contemporary Lands End) or a small-figure club tie (especially bird or fishing motifs), button-down collar plaid dress shirts go well with corduroy or khaki trousers and tweed sportscoats. Finish the comfortable country-gentleman look with Clarks desert boots. University-striped button-down collar dress shirts paired with tartan ties go equally well with khakis and tweeds.

Thad said...

I have a soft spot for wild shirts (and wild ties) under sweaters. Something about them help to tone down all but the most ridiculous pieces! Love the look.

Old School said...

Excellent. Too bad that this combination wasn't used for Professor Indiana Jones.

Young Fogey said...

Lands End is getting into the plaid dress shirt business, too. While some of them are nice, some are, um... Especially incongruous are their plaid dress shirts with cutaway collars.

I know that some stylish dressers mix city and country elements, but for me, a casual plaid material done up as a dressy shirt Just Doesn't Work.