Wayne’s World

Plaid Shirts Are a Dirty Lie

Brad Johnson
Aug 4, 2017 · 3 min read

There’s something going on with plaids.

Plaids are a wardrobe staple. Ubiquitous with “cool guys” and “chill dudes” in every film and band we grew up with, plaids are a go-to.

The problem is: plaids are bullshit.

If I close my eyes and count the plaids I actively enjoy wearing, I have two. Max. Out of fifteen.

Cool dude Jack Black in Airborne

Buying plaids is rigged

If I need a plaid to wear to a party, I’ll browse Forever 21. Then H&M. After a few more stores, I become rushed. I know I need a new pattern because my girlfriend has put up with my other shitty plaids far too long. I grab the least terrible one I can find. Congratulations to myself for owning another plaid I’ll soon come to hate.

Jack Nicholson thinking about his plaid in The Shining

Why are plaids so bad?

Who designs a plaid? Most patterns make you want to convulse, or worse: wear loose-fit jeans. Is there a Committee of Dads focus group that mandates bad plaid? Can we stop listening to them?

I have never entered a store and loved a majority of the plaids. When I find one I like, I can’t possibly afford it and realize I’m drooling at the window display of a speciality Ralph Lauren store.

Ralph Lauren

For the $495, do I get his jawline, too?

God damn it, plaids are bullshit.

Total shocker: every online store has shit plaids, too.



Reconnecting-with-my-son plaid.



BRB, on my way to bible study.

American Eagle

American Eagle

Even the model wants to take it off.



Apple picking it is, I guess.

Growing tired of that, I try another approach: curation. I browse Male Fashion Advice and Frugal Male Fashion.

They rep Target’s Merona brand pretty hard.


Does it come with a spoon to dig out my eyes?

Target knows my mom will probably buy this for me, so they want to attract her attention, not mine. So “cute” works better than “actually good.”

Fuck me.

I want to give up. Maybe I’ll just stop trying and buy a bunch of Oxford Cloth Button Downs like everybody else.

Brad Johnson

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I don’t know about this. Brooklyn. I write and direct things at www.bradjohnson.co. @jadbronson