Do like the celebs and try a plaid shirt around the waist!
The 1990s have only been over for 14 years, but it seems that so great was the decade we’re already eager to bring it back. Originally sported by teenage girls in the nineties, jelly shoes, crop tops and chokers have all been adopted by grown women in the noughties. And whilst there are some trends we’re happy to leave in the past (Union Jack motifs, anyone?), there are some we want to continue to wear in the future. The plaid shirt tied around the waist is back with a new modern twist.
The first time round, tying a plaid shirt around the waist was part of the grunge look; this meant completing your ensemble with Doc Martens, baggy t shirts and ripped jeans a plenty. The trend started as more of a practicality: why take off your shirt and carry it or drape it awkwardly over your bag when you could go handsfree and tie it around your waist? This was a time when it was cool to be uncool and not care about fashion. Now it’s cool to be cool (keeping up?), and the plaid shirt is solely a deliberate fashion statement. Think of it more as an accessory than an item of clothing.
Stars like Alexa Chung, Vanessa Hudgens, Selena Gomez, Khloe Kardashian and Gwen Stefani (who was in on the act the first time round!) have all been spotted looking effortlessly cool with a plaid shirt tied loosely around the waist. It’s an easy going, laid back vibe to sport wandering the sunny streets of LA. So what do you need to do to make sure the world checks out your checks?
Firstly, make sure your plaid shirt is oversized. If this means begging, borrowing or stealing from a close male family member or friend, so be it. You’ll likely look better in it anyway. Pay attention to the colour; either have it match the colours of your outfit so that it blends in and creates an interesting silhouette, or pick a particularly bold colour to make it pop.
We say ‘tied around the waist’, but what we actually mean is ‘tied around the hips’. A shirt looks much better sitting loosely around hip hugging jeans than pulled tight around the waist. After all, it’s that relaxed chic look we’re aiming for. Draping a baggy shirt over little shorts is a particularly cute idea; from the back you’ve just created your own skirt!
The beauty of the plaid shirt trend this time round is that it doesn’t have to be paired with Converse trainers and slubby colours. The modern take on the look can be very sophisticated and polished. It can be dressed up a la Beyoncé with a bright white skort, sparkling jewellery and skyscraper stilettos. To go for a really dressed up look, wrap your shirt around a body con or t shirt dress. This is where contrast prints come in to their own; a check shirt looks gorgeous over a floral dress. Alternatively, opt for a happy medium by keeping it modern and elegant with heels, but paying homage to the 90s with a relaxed beanie. Very LA off duty model.