How to Wear It: Jeans and a Plaid Shirt

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Denim and Plaid Outfits You Can Dress Up (Or Down)

Street style woman in jeans and plaid shirt
Jeans and plaid go together like PB&J. Christian Vierig/Getty Images

When it comes to fashion combinations that work, denim and plaid go together like peanut butter and jelly. Like many classic pairings, though, you could easily be fooled into thinking there's only one way to style denim and plaid. I'm here to challenge that notion with fresh outfit ideas for how you can wear jeans and a plaid shirt to look different every day of the week, including options for how to dress up -- and dress down -- each featured look.

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Black and White Denim and Plaid

Denim and plaid outfit ideas
Strike a fashionable pose in black, white and plaid all over. Amazon.com

Black, straight leg jeans are not only a fashionable denim style -- they're also slimming to every figure. Black jeans that closely follow your curves help to minimize your lower body and look chic when matched with a black-and-white plaid shirt.

Dress It Up: To wear this outfit to the office, add a tailored black blazer, high heels and a structured leather satchel.

Dress It Down: Wear this outfit with slip-on sneakers or ballet flats for an easy, casual weekend look.

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Coated Jeans and Khaki Plaid Shirt

Coated jeans and khaki plaid shirt
Coated jeans look smart with a Burberry plaid style shirt. Amazon.com

Coated, leather-look skinny jeans are a staple in many fashionable women's wardrobes. I love the way these sleek denim leggings make legs look longer, especially when worn with black heels. Paired with a Burberry-inspired plaid on top, this outfit can take you anywhere from work to cocktails and out on date night.

Dress It Up: Wear this outfit to work and out on the town afterward, by adding a statement necklace, polished black satchel and high heeled ankle boots.

Dress It Down: Layer a t-shirt underneath and slip into easy black sneakers, for a stylish weekend look you can wear to brunch or shopping with friends.

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04
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Blue Jeans and Blue Plaid

Skinny jeans and blue plaid shirt
Look stylish in an all-blue outfit of denim and plaid. Amazon.com

If you want to look slimmer in your jeans, one great trick is dressing in a monotone color palette. Even more slenderizing is an outfit that adds pattern up top, to pull attention upward on the body (and away from any trouble spots below). I like how a plaid shirt and jeans looks more sophisticated than you'd expect, simply by closely matching the color of the shirt to your denims. If you're curvy, consider a straight leg or bootcut jean, instead of the skinny fit pictured here, to balance your figure.

Dress It Up: Button the shirt all the way up, then layer on a glittering statement necklace, making sure it sits on top of the shirt. (This pulls more attention up toward your face. too). Tuck in the shirt, cinch your waist with a slim metallic belt and finish with heels or pointy-toed flats.

Dress It Down: Tuck the front of the shirt casually into your jeans' waistband, to define your waist. Wear with sandals or sneakers.

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Dark Wash Jeans and Plaid Sweater

Jeans and a plaid sweater
Classic red plaid and dark wash jeans outfit. Amazon.com

Who says a plaid top has to be a button-down style? Take a look at this easy, chic outfit of a red plaid sweater worn over dark wash jeans. This simple, flattering combination is a great go-to for casual weekend wear, but it can look polished for shopping or even wearing to the office on denim-friendly days, when you add grown-up layers and accessories. It would make a fashionable maternity look, too.

Dress It Up: Wear this outfit to work with a chunky gold chain necklace, navy blazer and black high heels.

Dress It Down: Wear the sweater and jeans with your favorite black flats -- simple chic doesn't get an easier than this look.

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Black and Blue Outfit With Denim and Plaid

Black jeans and blue plaid shirt outfit
Black and blue make a beautiful style combination. Amazon.com

Back in your grandmother's day, women were told to avoid wearing black and blue together. Now, that old rule seems positively outdated. Take a look at how a soft, blue plaid shirt matches with sleek black denim jeans.

Dress It Up: Add an oatmeal boyfriend blazer, round-toe high heel shoes and a chunky watch for a stylish casual Friday look.

Dress It Down: Wear the shirt tucked or untucked. Finish with chunky sneakers or black ankle boots.

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Jeans and Multiple Layers of Plaid

Boyfriend jeans with a plaid shirt and coat
Layers of plaid add style to easy boyfriend jeans. Amazon.com

Since plaid and jeans go so beautifully together why not pile on the plaid for a stylish, layered look when the temperature dips? You'll look current and stay warm in a plaid-pattern shirt topped with a plaid wool coat, over easy boyfriend denim.

Dress It Up: This look is meant to be casual -- but you can give it a more streamlined, fashionable feel by choosing slim-fitting separates. Look for boyfriend jeans that are more fitted to your shape and roll your cuffs smartly.

Dress It Down: Go for relaxed comfort in easy pieces that skim your figure, casually-rolled cuffs and menswear-inspired oxford shoes.

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Distressed Black Jeans and Grey Plaid

Distressed black jeans and a grey shirt
Black denim and a grey plaid shirt look cool with edgy accessories. Amazon.com

Fashion editors agree - ripped jeans are a denim style that's here to stay. You already know they match well with all your white t-shirts. For cool weather style, instead of the expected leather jacket, wear an open plaid button-down in muted grey tones as your top layer.

Dress It Up: This look is casual by nature but you can add edgy accessories that works for wearing to concerts. Just pile on silver jewelry, from chunky chain necklaces to multiple, stacked rings and spiky hoop earrings.

Dress It Down: Wear as-is or with a big, black scarf wrapped casually around your neck, for an easy look to wear to house parties.

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Black Jeans and a Red Plaid Shirt

Black jeans and red plaid shirt
Grunge-inspired separates are easy to dress up for a modern look. Amazon.com

If you’re a fan of the classics, here’s how to wear a grunge-inspired outfit of jeans and plaid, without looking dated. Black skinny jeans make an easy match for a classic red plaid shirt, as always. What makes this outfit feel fresh now, though, is a slimmer jean silhouette, as opposed to the baggier jeans of 20 years ago.

Dress It Up: Tuck in the shirt and add a navy blazer, diamond (real or faux) stud earrings and shiny black high heels.

Dress It Down: Wear the shirt untucked. layer on a boyfriend cardigan and finish the look with flat lug-soled shoes or boots.

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