Punked out in plaid

The theme of this year's Metropolitan Museum Costume Institute exhibit, "Punk: Chaos to Couture," may have been polarizing, but a shard of the statement-making punk look is defiantly sticking around for fall.

Plaid, or more specifically the criss-crossed vertical and horizontal lined pattern called tartan, is a ubiquitous print this season and no wonder. It's essentially a neutral when it comes to fall's other big trends, grunge and punk.


"Tartan plaids combined with classic silhouettes make for a refined take on rebellion, which I love," says Taylor Tomasi Hill, artistic director of online luxury retailer Moda Operandi, one of this year's sponsors of the exhibit and the Met Ball that kicked it off. With this year's punk-themed Met Ball and recent royal ceremonies, the famous print is having a major moment.

Moda Operandi believes in the plaid trend so strongly that they commissioned several high-end designers to create exclusive plaid pieces for a capsule collection available on the site.

The fall runways of 3.1 Phillip Lim, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Mulberry, Delpozo, Suno and Gucci were also teeming with the print, showcasing how versatile plaid can really be. In addition to a strong punk and layered up grunge statement from several designers, others approached the print with a nod to English equestrian or by doing it as an oversized print in primary colors for a 1980s power dressing look.

Off the runway, plenty of other brands are working plaid into their fall collections, fashioning the fabric into items as dissimilar as slip-on loafers and glamorous evening bags. Denim brand RtA went literal with the season's grunge aesthetic and created the "Cobain" jeans complete with a plaid shirt tied around and attached at the waist.

For a little inspiration on how to wear plaid or what items to buy this season, here are some suggestions.

Hudson Jeans Pistol Plaid Collin Vice Versa Skinny jean, $198 at Hudson Jeans

Current/Elliott Prep School shirt, $198 at Current Elliot

RtA Cobain Black Wax jean, $345 at Fred Segal

Moschino Tartan Plaid Jacket, $2,395 at Moda Operandi

Vivienne Westwood Turquoise Dame Corset Dress, $3,785 at Moda Operandi

Kotur Morley bag with drop in chain $695 at Kotur

Call It Spring Pincova loafer, $30.00 at Call It Spring

ASOS black and white plaid bag, $76 at ASOS

10 Crosby Derek Lam Stand Up Collar Jacket with Back Tail, $595.00 at Amazon


Chooka Esquire Plaid rain boot, $80.00 at Online shoes

Junya Watanabe Commes des Garcons dress, $999 at Farfetch

Preen by Thornton Bregazzi tartan collar, $122 at Farfetch

Dolce & Gabbana Agata bag, $2,595 at Luisa Via Roma

7 For All Mankind The Skinny jeans in Ruby Red Plaid, $198 at 7 For All Mankind Retails stores and online.

Preen Nancy Dress, $1,945 at Moda Operandi