Patterns: Mad For Glen Plaid

(all text in burgundy is clickable)

Imparali Glen Plaid Suit x Men's Style ProCustom 3 Piece Glen Suit by Imparali Custom Tailors (available online) – Vintage Suit Knit tie – Custom French Cuff Shirt by Enzo Custom Clothiers

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).

Style Tips

  • 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

Glen Plaid Suit by Imparali Custom Tailor x Men's Style ProCustom Glen Plaid Waist Coat & Trousers by Imparali Custom Tailors

Glen Plaid Custom Suit by Imparali Custom Tailors x Men's Style ProCustom Spread Collar Shirt by Ratio Clothing – “The Judge” Wool Tie by The Knottery

Imparali Custom tailors Glen Plaid Suit x Men's Style ProSilver Watch by Timex – Vintage Cordovan Leather Briefcase

Blazer & Trousers

Glen Plaid Imparali Custom tailor suit x Men's Style ProCustom Glen Plaid Suit by Imparali Custom Tailors

Glen Plaid Imparali Custom tailor suit x Men's Style Pro“The Jury” Tie by The KnotteryCustom Pink Gingham Shirt by J.HilburnLapel Circle by Vivarati

Glen Plaid Custom Suit by Imparali Custom tailor x Men's Style ProWatch by Alias Kim

Glen Plaid Custom Suit by Imparali Custom tailor x Men's Style ProCooper Brogues by Fin’s For Him

Full Three Piece

Custom Glen Plaid Suit By Imparali Custom tailors x Men's Style ProCustom Three Piece Suit by Imparali Custom Tailors – Black Tassel Loafers by Johnston & Murphy

Custom Glen Plaid Suit By Imparali Custom tailors x Men's Style ProCustom French Cuff Shirt by Enzo Custom Clothiers – Vintage Silk Knit Tie

Custom Glen Plaid Suit By Imparali Custom tailors x Men's Style ProSilver Dial Watch With Mesh Strap by Timex

Visit to check out more suits and other custom pieces.





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Categories: Mixing Pattern, Plaid, Suits

Author:Sabir M. Peele

Founder & Creative Director of menswear style & lifestyle blog Sabir serves as an independent brand consulting working with brands like GQ, AskMen, Indochino & Z Zegna (among others). Selected as #GQFall Best Dressed in 2013 & one of Esquire Magazine Best Dressed Real Men in America in 2010. Follow @MensStylePro on Instagram/Facebook/Twitter. Email with your inquiries.

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17 Comments on “Patterns: Mad For Glen Plaid”

  1. William
    February 18, 2013 at 1:24 AM #

    I’m liking the suit man. Since you’re about the same height as me the partial to no break in my pant leg actually make my legs look longer and I get to show a little sock and I love it

    • February 18, 2013 at 1:32 AM #

      Hey William,

      I’m happy to hear that you are digging this suit. The partial to no break isn’t for everyone, but, it’s ideal for me (plus just my personal preference). Standing at 5’9, I’m not short, but, I am surely not tall, so I fall in that weird height window.



      • William
        February 18, 2013 at 10:59 AM #

        It tends to work for me too

  2. February 18, 2013 at 11:09 AM #

    This brief was nicely done. Thanks for the motivation for today… my day anyway.


    • February 18, 2013 at 1:46 PM #

      Thanks for dropping by. I’m happy you enjoyed this piece.



  3. February 19, 2013 at 12:13 AM #

    Another great post. I’m a corporate legal professional so I know about the boring suit options, However, I try to push the envelope where I can. Thanks for the inspiration.

    The picture with the drink and jacket over the shoulder, CLASSIC!


    Rob, III

    • February 20, 2013 at 5:15 PM #

      Hey Rob,

      Thanks for the love. As soon one that wears suits all the time, I definitely feel you on how boring suits can be. You just have to know where and when to push the envelope and not look like you’re trying to peacock.



  4. February 20, 2013 at 2:44 AM #

    Great article, and great styling advice.

    • February 20, 2013 at 5:14 PM #

      Hi Brian,

      Thanks for dropping by. It’s nice to see that you enjoy the article and styling.



  5. J. Ross
    February 21, 2013 at 11:38 AM #

    Hey Sabir,

    I am getting married in August of this year. I have already bought an european fitted suit from Zara. I want to wear the oversized bow tie with a cutaway fitted dress shirt. Where should I get a oversized purple bowtie from? What color pocket square should I wear? And what color dress shirt would you suggest?

    Your the the fashion Guru.

    • February 22, 2013 at 12:59 PM #

      Hey J.Ross,

      I would suggest going with a white pocket square. IMO, wedding should be pretty formal, so leave the flowering pocket squares at home on this one. Tom Ford has a bunch of oversized suede bowties.



  6. J. Ross
    February 21, 2013 at 11:39 AM #

    I forgot to let you that my suit is Charcoal grey

  7. February 25, 2013 at 3:43 AM #

    Great post! That is a gorgeous suit. I own a Glen Plaid suit and it always seems to garner compliments. Glad I found this post because I hadn’t heard of Alias Kim before, I checked out their website and they make some really nice watches for affordable prices…might have to grab one from there.


  8. Jose M.
    February 26, 2013 at 12:36 AM #


    This is more a question of tailoring rather than the suit itself although i’m digging the suit (just recently bought one myself but in darker gray). With regards to the sleeves, do you taper your sleeves or slim the sleeves when buying off the rack suits? I’m running into this issue of to slim/taper or not to slim/taper my new suit sleeves and i’m torn. my tailor has said it’s not necessary but i think that’s more her personal taste versus mine. Your thoughts would help greatly! Thanks.

    • February 28, 2013 at 2:52 PM #

      Hi Jose,

      Honestly, I’ve never had sleeves tapered. When going off the rack it’s a bit of try on things until you get the best fit. Sleeve tapering can be done, but, is a difficult process. Once of the great things about getting custom pieces is that you can get those measurements done as well.



  9. Mxolisi
    March 6, 2013 at 7:02 AM #


    I must say the fabric and the wuit as a whole look good. One thing though, do you really think a scoop neck waist coat cut so high works within the 3piece context? Something is a little off for me with regards to the waist coat buttoning so high. That’s too many buttons for that kind of waist coat as well. Just the waist coat and trousers works perfectly, however, when you add the jacket, all kinds of overload occur. I’m not trying to say the look is bad, just my two cents.

  10. March 6, 2013 at 10:50 PM #

    Great Suit Sabir!

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