How Can You Select the Right Type of Tartan Plaid for a Winter Business Casual Ensemble?

April 4, 2024

With winter around the corner, the quest for the perfect business casual ensemble has begun. As the frosty weather approaches, you are looking for a stylish yet warm wardrobe that can grace any occasion. Have you ever considered the timeless elegance of tartan plaid?

Tartan, in its variety of colours and patterns, is a staple in winter fashion. With its roots in the Scottish highlands, tartan plaid has distinguished itself as a classic fabric that adds a touch of sophistication to any outfit. Whether opting for a tartan plaid shirt, jacket, or suit, the options are endless.

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Navigating the world of tartan plaid, however, can be a daunting task. This article will guide you through the process of choosing the perfect tartan plaid for your winter business casual ensemble.

Identify the Right Tartan Plaid Pattern

Patterns play a vital role in the overall aesthetic of a tartan plaid piece. Tartan plaid patterns have an array of colour combinations and stripe arrangements, each with a distinct look and feel.

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The traditional tartan pattern is characterized by horizontal and vertical stripes that cross each other to form different sized squares and rectangles. These patterns are reminiscent of the Scottish clans that they were originally associated with. However, modern tartan plaid patterns have evolved to include more abstract and geometric designs.

If you’re looking for a classic, understated look, opt for a tartan plaid with minimal, evenly spaced stripes. If you want to make a bold statement, go for a tartan with large, irregular squares and an abundance of colours.

Remember, the key is to choose a pattern that complements the rest of your outfit. A tartan plaid with a bold pattern might work well with a simple white shirt, while a subtler pattern might look great with a colourful blouse.

Select the Appropriate Tartan Plaid Colours

The colour of your tartan plaid is as important as the pattern. Tartan plaid comes in a variety of colours, from the classic red and black to the modern blue and white.

When selecting the colour, think about the other clothes in your wardrobe. Choose a colour that will complement the clothes you already have. If your wardrobe is full of neutral colours like black, white, and grey, a tartan plaid in a vibrant colour can add a pop of colour to your outfit.

Don’t forget to take into consideration your own personal colouring. Certain colours look better on certain skin tones and hair colours. For example, if you have a warm skin tone, opt for tartans in shades of red, orange, and yellow. If you have a cool skin tone, go for tartans in shades of blue, pink, and purple.

Choose the Right Tartan Plaid Fabric

Tartan plaid can be made from a variety of fabrics. Traditionally, tartan plaid was made from wool, but today you can find tartan plaid in fabrics like cotton, flannel, and silk.

For a winter business casual ensemble, consider choosing a tartan plaid made from a warm fabric like wool or flannel. These fabrics will keep you warm in the cold winter months, while still looking stylish.

When choosing the fabric, it’s also important to consider the care instructions. Some fabrics, like wool and silk, require special care and may need to be dry cleaned. Others, like cotton and flannel, can be machine washed.

Incorporate Tartan Plaid into Your Outfit

You’ve chosen your tartan plaid, now it’s time to incorporate it into your outfit. There are many ways to wear tartan plaid.

If you’re new to tartan plaid, a shirt is a great starting point. Pair a tartan plaid shirt with a pair of black trousers and a white blazer for a chic, business casual look.

For a more daring look, consider a tartan plaid jacket. A tartan plaid jacket can be a statement piece in your outfit. Pair it with a simple black dress for a sophisticated look, or with a pair of jeans for a more casual look.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you could even opt for a tartan plaid suit. A tartan plaid suit is a bold choice, but it can look incredibly stylish when paired with the right accessories.

Remember, the key is to balance your outfit. If you’re wearing a tartan plaid piece, keep the rest of your outfit simple and let the tartan plaid shine.

Accessorize your Tartan Plaid Outfit

Your attire is never complete without the right accessories to enhance it. Adding items such as a pocket square, a high-quality wrist watch or a classic leather belt can elevate your look to new heights.

A pocket square is a small piece of fabric that fits into the breast pocket of a suit, blazer, or jacket. In a business casual ensemble, a pocket square can add a touch of elegance and sophistication. For a tartan plaid outfit, consider a pocket square in a solid colour that complements the colours of the tartan pattern. A navy blue or burgundy pocket square could be a great match for a red and black tartan plaid.

Wearing a flannel shirt under a double-breasted jacket can also enhance your personal style. The flannel fabric adds texture and warmth, ideal for winter. Furthermore, the double-breasted design offers an extra level of sophistication.

Remember to keep the dress code in mind when accessorizing. In a business casual setting, it’s important to strike a balance between formal and casual. Stick to classic, understated accessories to avoid looking too flashy or overly casual.

Creating Diverse Looks with Tartan Plaid

Tartan plaid is a versatile fabric that can be incorporated into various outfits. With diverse plaid patterns and colours, it offers endless possibilities to create unique and stylish ensembles.

Consider having several pieces of tartan plaid clothing in your wardrobe. For instance, owning a few plaid shirts in different tartan patterns and colours can provide you with numerous options to mix and match with your existing clothes.

Another way to diversify your look is by playing with textures. Pairing a tartan plaid fabric with a smooth navy blue cotton trouser can create a pleasing contrast.

Lastly, don’t shy away from festive attire. Tartan patterns and check patterns inherently carry a festive charm, perfect for holiday business events or dinners. A tartan outfit paired with suitable accessories like a Fort Belvedere pocket square can make you the center of attention while still adhering to the business casual dress code.


Selecting the right type of tartan plaid for a winter business casual ensemble can require a bit of thought and exploration. But once you’ve got the hang of it, you’ll find it’s an excellent way to add style and warmth to your winter wardrobe.

Remember, the key is to choose a pattern, colour, and fabric that complements your personal style and the rest of your clothes. Don’t forget to accessorize wisely and consider diversifying your outfits with different tartan patterns and plaid clothing.

With these tips, you’re ready to embrace the winter season with your stylish and comfy tartan plaid business casual outfits.