Ok, we’ll admit it, suits can get boring. With the hoards of young professionals donning their navy, grey and black two-piece suits, there comes a point when everyone starts to look exactly the same. Of course, we’ll applaud the effort to “suit up”, but we think you can up your style acumen by going Glen Plaid with your next suit purchase.
Glen Plaid refers to the woven checked pattern, typically large and small checks in black and white. This pattern is named for the Glenurquhart valley in Scotland where it was first used in the 19th century (wiki). If you’ve perused any menswear magazine, or you’ve kept up with brands like Michael Bastian and Ralph Lauren, you seen an added color like red, orange, purple or bold blue in addition to the black and white color scheme in their glen plaid suit options.
Typically, glen plaid is a subtle pattern, however; depending on the brand, the pattern is sometimes enlarged for a more dramatic and bold effect. Depending on your personal style preference, you can place yourself on either end of the Glen Plaid Boldness Spectrum (or GPBS, which is not an actual scale). Below are some style tips on styling your Glen Plaid suit, and images for inspiration. The three-piece custom suit featured in this post is by Imparali Custom Tailors (with locations in NY & Texas).
- Shirts: if this is your first venture into plaid suiting, stick with solid shirts. Don’t be afraid to mix up the look with patterned ties. Pin dots and solid knit or woven ties complement this pattern best.
- Shirts: if you would consider yourself a seasoned veteran, some gingham shirts and plaid shirts (with large or smaller patterns than the suit) will work well.
- Shoes: if you suit is purely black & white, you should stick with black shoes. If your Glen Plaid has a third color (think red, blue, purple or orange), this will give you more options in terms of shoe colors to pair with it. If that is the case, definitely mix in a pair of chestnut-brown kicks.
- Mixing It Up: Break Up This Suit!! Glen plaid pants with a blue blazer (or the inverse). The blazer from this suit works perfect with white chinos & denim (it’s almost summer).
- Keep It Versatile: if you’re going custom, choose buttons that will not isolate your choice of shoes or other accessories (see the grey buttons on this suit).
- Know your place: This pattern is not the most conservative, so be sure to know where you’re planning to wear it or what position you hold at your place of work.
Waist Coat & Trousers
Custom Glen Plaid Waist Coat & Trousers by Imparali Custom Tailors
Custom Spread Collar Shirt by Ratio Clothing – “The Judge” Wool Tie by The Knottery
Silver Watch by Timex - Vintage Cordovan Leather Briefcase
Blazer & Trousers
Cooper Brogues by Fin’s For Him
Full Three Piece
Custom French Cuff Shirt by Enzo Custom Clothiers - Vintage Silk Knit Tie
Silver Dial Watch With Mesh Strap by Timex
Written, featuring & styled by Sabir M. Peele. Photography by Marina T. Peele @CantWinkLefty