Jewelry to Wear with Plaids

Plaids are popular again this fall in variations from bright Tartans to subtle suiting fabrics. More magazine demonstrates in a photo montage in its September 2010 issue that plaids are most emphatically not just for schoolgirls:

Illustration: From the September 2010 issue of More magazine, 20 examples of plaid for fall, ranging from a head-to-toe cardigan plus skirt look from Ralph Lauren to more modest doses of plaid in single garments or accessories. The one plaid motif item of jewelry pictured (#26) is a bracelet from Sequin. When necklaces are worn (#21 and 23), they are substantial.

Plaid, by its nature, is all about the intersection of straight lines. Accordingly, plaids and especially bold plaids are most suitable for individuals with very symmetrical features. Moreover, unless the plaid design is pleated, segmented or cut on the bias, plaids are generally not the best choice for a curvy figure.

The bolder the plaid, the more it dictates what accessories will best accompany the design to create a cohesive look. The September 2010 issue of Glamour magazine accomplishes this beautifully in its article “If You’re Mad for Plaid.”

Illustration: Plaid looks from the September 2010 issue of Glamour.

Glamour suggests two possible approaches for adorning a plaid ensemble with jewelry. The first, the “easy update” is to simply “add brooches”; the second option shown is to “top with something really special,” referencing a pair of sparkling crystal necklaces.

Illustration: A coat from See Thru Soul adorned with five brooches pictured in the September 2010 issue of Glamour. The brooches are from Sequin, Lydell NYC, Roberta Chiarella and Elva Fields.

Smooth, high-polished expanses of gold or silver jewelry are also excellent choices to accompany plaids. In choosing jewelry to wear with plaids, consider the following factors, which are illustrated by Glamour’s choices:

  • Volume. A small item of jewelry won’t hold its own against a bold plaid. Choose a statement piece or wear multiple pieces of jewelry, such as nested necklaces or clusters of brooches.  

  • Symmetry: Choose designs that have inherent symmetry, such as a rectangle or starburst design (as seen in the examples of brooches shown in Glamour).

  • Regular spacing within the design: Whether choosing a necklace or a brooch, the elements of the design optimally should be regular in their spacing to carry on the theme of the controlled look of the plaid the jewelry is adorning.

Illustration: Two necklaces from Poppy by Coach recommended by Glamour to accessorize plaid looks.

Adding bold jewelry lends instant chic to any ensemble that incorporates plaid.

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