Lumberjack Style: How to Match Plaid Shirts

This article explains what the lumberjack style is and how to combine plaid shirts for men and women.
Lumberjack Style: How to Match Plaid Shirts

Last update: 10 March, 2023

You can say that the most distinctive feature in the lumberjack style are the plaid shirts, whose prints are reminiscent of a kilt. They come in a variety of colors and there are thinner or thicker fabrics, for every season of the year.

Plaid is a garment as functional as versatile, since it offers a great diversity of possibilities to combine. And although the lumberjack style is for everyday use, for an urban or street look, you can also use it in more formal occasions and contexts.

Therefore, it should never be missing from your closet. It’s important to note that it suits both men and women of any age. In this article, we’ll tell you a little more about the lumberjack style and, in particular, how to combine plaid shirts for a great look.

What is the lumberjack style?

It’s said that the type of print of the so-called lumberjack shirts has its origin in the Scottish tartans. In this country, each of the clans had its own particular pattern with a single color predominating, although the most common ones were red and green.

According to research, between 1747 and 1782, the British Crown prohibited the use of such fabrics due to their political connotation, thinking that this would prevent rebellions and help them maintain greater control. Subsequently, some of the members of these clans decided to emigrate.

Already in North America, work attire – especially that used by lumberjacks – bad replicated the Scottish tartan pattern. The first shirts with this design began to be worn in the United States in the mid-19th century.

They were made of slightly thick cotton fabrics to protect against the cold that lumberjacks must endure when outdoors. Then, their use was popularized, being adopted by various fashions throughout the twentieth century and becoming a common garment in street style looks.

In a broad sense, the lumberjack style includes the bushy beard, the use of tattoos, and the somewhat rough, even sloppy appearance. Although the characteristic element that has been adopted as a universal sign is the aforementioned plaid shirts.

How to combine plaid shirts for a lumberjack style

The plaid shirt has long since conquered the streets. Therefore, it’s one of those garments that shouldn’t be missing from your closet. However, it’s not only part of the male attire. These are also the favorite of many women.

In general, they go well with almost everything, whether it’s a slight more formal or informal style. However, there are a few ways to get the most out of this classic. Let’s take a look at how to combine plaid shirts to show off that lumberjack style.

Plaid shirts with jeans

The combination that never fails is the combination with jeans. More than the lumberjack style, this is the denim attire, especially if the shirt has short sleeves, light fabric, and pockets on both sides.

This is perfect for a casual look. You can also choose whether to wear the shirt on the outside or inside. And no matter what jeans you choose, you’ll always look good. Best of all: it never goes out of style.

Mujer con camisa a cuadros y estilo leñador.
Women can wear this style in combination with jeans, which is a look that never fails.

With tailored pants and a suit

Although it may not seem like it, a plaid shirt can go well with tailored pants and even with a suit. Just keep in mind these recommendations:

  • The darker the suit, the better.
  • Try to wear a matching tie.
  • As for the pattern of the shirt, make sure it’s a small checkered shirt in sober or cool colors.

An open overshirt for a lumberjack style

This use was popularized by the grunge movement, whose most representative band was Nirvana. Precisely, Kurt Cobain (1967-1994), the vocalist of this group, used to appear with such attire.

It’s usually worn on the outside, unbuttoned, and with a T-shirt underneath. It can be white and with the print of your favorite band. Combine it with wide pants and tennis shoes.

Lumberjack style and tank tops

This is a variation of the previous one that’s more sporty than grunge, but just as casual. In this case, a tank top or sleeveless t-shirt is worn. This is an ideal style for the summer, it allows you to be cool and at the same time a little formal if the occasion or the place demands it.

In that case, just button up the shirt. And if you wear it open, you can show off your figure. Try to wear a single-color shirt, white or black, in the tone that best matches your plaid shirt.

Plaid shirt with Bermuda shorts or capris

Following the trend of wearing this garment as an overshirt, you can also combine it with Bermuda shorts or capri in a lighter tone, contrasting with the top. And if you want to accentuate the summer look, wear sandals or tennis shoes without socks.

With a jacket

In the rock style, a jean jacket goes well with a plaid shirt. If you want to add more layers, wear the white t-shirt underneath, the shirt buttoned halfway up, and then the jacket.

You can also opt for a leather jacket. In this case, we recommend that the plaid shirt is tighter and buttoned up to the collar.

Plaid shirts with suspenders

Whether short-sleeved or three-quarter length, suspenders are a good complement. In this case, the shirt should be tucked in.

By the way, this is a very appropriate look for little boys with a pair of shorts. It will look very cute, vintage and cool at the same time.

Lumberjack style with boots

In the purest lumberjack style, the combination of a plaid shirt with jeans goes with a pair of mountaineer boots. And in the cowboy style, of course, with matching boots. But you can also wear it with various types of sports footwear.

Hats and caps

You can choose from the following:

  • Beanies for cold days or to rap a little.
  • A baseball cap, for a more street style.
  • A wide-brimmed Stetson hat, to complete the cowboy outfit.
Camisas a cuadros de colores.
The colors of the lumberjack shirts come in several options, so that can match with anything.

A Midi or denim skirt

Although the lumberjack style is a more masculine look, plaid shirts have gained great importance in the female aesthetic, constituting one of the most sought-after options to look casual or feel comfortable. There are several options in this regard: for example, combine this garment with a midi skirt or with a denim cut a little above the knee.

The oversized look

Finally, an option that’s being used a lot for this garment is the oversize look, as a dress . You can complement it with shorts or a mini skirt – ideal to highlight the legs – and add some high boots. However, if you prefer, you can wear it with a top as an overshirt or around your waist for a sexier touch.

Lumberjack style for the whole season

The lumberjack style with a plaid shirt can be your go-to look any time of the year. You can even have several of these garments with different fabrics, cooler or warmer, as well as with a variety of colors.

As you have seen, you can choose from a variety of styles and, at the same time, give it your original touch by incorporating other elements, such as hats or jackets. And if you want to accentuate the lumberjack style, grow a beard and see how it goes!

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Brown, I. (2010). From Tartan to Tartanry: Scottish culture, history and myth. Edinburgh-Scotland, University Press.
  • Oldstone-Moore, C. (2021). The irony of hipster beards (cap. 7). Hipster Culture: Transnational and Intersectional Perspectives. New York-USA, Bloomsbury Academy.
  • Quye, A., Cheape, H., & Burnett, J. (2003). An historical and analytical study of red, pink, green and yellow colours in quality 18th-and early 19th-century scottish tartans, Dyes in History and Archeology, volume (19), pp. 1-12.
  • Woodward, S. (2009). The myth of street style. Fashion Theory, volume 13(1), pp. 83-101. DOI: 10.2752/175174109X381355.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.