You can stop searching for buffalo plaid because we’ve found the season’s best pieces


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Photo: Getty Images/lolostock

Flannel is the unofficial fabric of fall. And of all the ways to cozy up to the soft-woven material, buffalo plaid might be the most popular. Don’t believe me? Searches for the checked pattern surged 417 percent on Pinterest recently, and that’s a whole lot of people on the lookout for the oversized gingham print. So many, in fact, I’d guess that they can’t all be lumberjacks…or hipsters Whoever you are, people, your hunt is over because we’ve wrangled the top ways to wear buffalo plaid this season.

To start, there’s the classic flannel shirt, which really hasn’t changed much since Woolrich introduced the print in the 1850s. Everything they say about not messing with a good thing applies here—with one exception: This season, button downs benefit from strategic tailoring that’ll make it easier to French tuck or full-on stuff your shirt into your waistband without the extra bulk of a boyfriend shirt. So, do yourself a favor and buy a slim-fitted style like this one from Old Navy ($25)…then steal your actual S.O.’s for the days you don’t feel like being quite so put together.

buffalo plaid
Photo: Old Navy

Can’t bring yourself to dress like Paul Bunyon? Madewell’s got you. They’ve put a more modern twist on the checked pattern with a short-sleeve, slightly boxy courier shirt ($74). (In case you were wondering, it’s totally fine to wear it whether you’re couriering anything or not.) Plus, judging by the number of five-star reviews and people who are willing to admit to the internet that they’re “obsessed” with an article of clothing, it’s earned its status as a cozy and flattering, must-have fall staple.

Another item that falls into this category is the flannel jacket (or lumberjacket, if you will). It’s basically an ultra-thick version of a flannel shirt that can double as a coat on crisp autumn days when you want to pretend you’re about to make sweet potato s’mores around a bonfire. There’s no science to back this up, but I have it on very good authority that it’s also capable of combatting a bad case of FOMO (fear of missing orchards). In reality, it’s a great mid-weight outerwear option for those days you want to leave your leather jacket at home.

At this point, if you’re still reading this story, you’re either really into buffalo plaid or hoping there’s a less-intense way to play with the pattern. For the latter, please let me introduce you to a buffalo blarf. It’s the style equivalent of a pumpkin spice latte—we’re sure Lenny Kravitz would approve.

While you’re on the hunt for cold-weather clothing, here’s are cashmere sweaters under $100 and an encyclopedia of winter jackets styles you’ll want to check out. 

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