Style Answers: Can Buffalo Plaid Be Dressed Up?


Getting dressed in the morning sounds easy enough. But even the most stylistically inclined among us sometimes find ourselves staring at our closets post-coffee with more questions than answers. So instead of suppressing those questions we asked them aloud (or, you know, typed them out) and presented them to our resident men’s stylist, Katie Weber, who has imparted her sartorial wisdom herewith. And for that we are ever grateful.

We’ll let her take it from here.

Q: V-neck vs. crewneck sweater. What’s the difference (besides the obvious)? Are they interchangeable? Is one better for a certain occasion? 

Katie: Generally, the crew is known to be more casual, while the v-neck is more traditional.
Thanks to its versatility and timelessness the crew is on the upswing. Every man should have this as a staple in their wardrobe. In fact, casual outfitting in general is on the rise and a crewneck sweater fits the bill. I encourage men to layer their crewneck sweaters with a button-up or under a blazer.
I think the v-neck belongs in a more formal setting or just on a more traditional fella. If you’re attending an upscale event or simply need to “smarten” up your look, this is the right direction. The v-neck works best with a button-up dress shirt and tie. Add a blazer and you have a dapper gentleman on your hands.

Q: Can flannel, particularly the buffalo plaid, be worn dressed up? For example, could I add a tie? A blazer?

Katie: Absolutely. However, I will say that this look belongs on a man that has a fashion forward side. I love the idea of a wool-based herringbone suit (or any traditional patterned suit), paired with a buffalo check flannel and solid-colored knit tie.
For the office: Try versioning the buffalo plaid shirt with a deep wash denim, dark blazer and urban lace-up boot.  Lose the tie and open your top button to give yourself an effortless day look.
For a holiday party: Pull out a timeless suit and pair it with buffalo check flannel, knit or wool tie, and complete the look with a wingtip shoe. Don’t forget your bandana pocket square and you’re ready to rock around the Christmas tree… or menorah, or Festivus pole, or whatever denominational symbol of holiday celebration you so choose.

Q: How can I wear a yellow shirt so that I don’t look like Dwight Schrute or an insurance salesman?

Katie: Yellow is notoriously difficult to wear, pair and accessorize, even by menswear’s most daring. I recommend always outfitting a yellow shirt with neutral color choices – white, pale grey, charcoal and my favorite choice, navy.
Keep the pairing options on the casual side, i.e. a chino to reduce the chances of looking too stuffy. If pairing with a tie or blazer, keep it light and fun. A yellow button-down shirt typically offers a more preppy vibe.