If you’re like me, you tend to do a little research before you embark on a seasonal wardrobe overhaul. In researching this season’s trends, I came across tons of cute work wear pieces in what I would call plaid but when I started to actually look for the pieces on the store’s websites, I noticed that I needed to search for “check” not “plaid” to find them. So, what’s the deal? Is it checkered? Is it plaid? Is it the same thing? Have I been calling this well-known pattern by the wrong name all this time?
After falling down a bit of a “google-hole”, here’s what I now know. Traditionally “plaid” refers to a type of garment that Scottish people used to wear either wrapped around their shoulders or belted at their waist, however, nowadays it refers to a pattern and not the garment (which was covered in a “tartan” pattern – yup, another word to add to the list).
Technically a “check pattern” consists of horizontal and vertical bands in two alternating colours whereas a “plaid” is made up of more colours (although not always). In either case, the width of the bands may vary and doesn’t necessarily have to be uniform, although it’s more likely to be uniform in checkered patterns. Confused yet? I am!
What I do know with absolute certainty is, that whether you call it checkered or plaid (don’t even get me started on gingham!) it’s a must-have this fall. So grab yourself something covered in horizontal and vertical bands and up your 9 to 5 style.
Here are some of my favourite plaid (or check) pieces, all available at Coquitlam Centre.
Straight Leg Plaid Pants
These straight leg pants feature a comfort waistband (i.e. won't dig in to you while you're sitting at your desk all day). Pair them with oxfords, a fitted blouse and on oversized cardigan for a trendy yet professional look.
Available at Reitmans $49.90*
Hello Professor! Just kidding but this fitter blazer definitely has some collegiate vibes going on. Pair with pleated trousers and an oversized t-shirt or with matching pants and a high-necked blouse.
Available at H&M $39.99*
Plaid Pencil Skirt
This high-waisted pencil skirt is great alternative to basic black. It's still a great neutral but it adds a little something extra. Pair with classic pumps and a silk blouse or a turtleneck sweater and a wide belt.
Available at Le Chateau $59.95*
Lord & Taylor Bell Sleeve Blouse
Ok, so even I know this one is checkered not plaid but just look at those sleeves! Pair with a pencil skirt and booties for a edgy office ensemble or with denim for a polished daytime look.
Available at Hudson's Bay $69*
Wilfred Allant Pant
These high-waisted, pleated, cashmere pants are so comfortable - you'll forget you're actually on your way to work. Tuck in a fitted sweater and add a pair of boots et voilà office ready!
Available at Aritzia $145*
*Prices quoted are regular prices, before taxes. Price and availability are subject to change. Please see stores for details.