The Most Popular Plaid: A Ranking of Timeless Patterns

Choose the plaid you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Feb 9, 2024 06:24
Step right up and make your voice heard in the ultimate showdown of pattern prowess - "What is the most popular plaid?"! Here at StrawPoll, we've crafted a vibrant and diverse lineup of the world's most beloved plaids, and we need your help to crown the reigning champ. From the classic tartans of Scotland to the contemporary checks of modern fashion, we've got them all. Cast your vote, champion your cherished checkered choice, and if you think we've missed any iconic plaid pattern, go ahead and suggest it to amp up this already exhilarating ranking. So, put on your flannel thinking caps and let the plaid parade begin!

What Is the Most Popular Plaid?

  1. 1
    Tartan is the most popular plaid, made of wool and traditionally associated with Scottish clans. It is widely used in clothing, accessories, and home decor.
    Tartan plaid is a distinct type of plaid pattern that originated in Scotland. It is characterized by a criss-cross design of horizontal and vertical bands of various colors, typically in vibrant hues. The pattern is commonly associated with Scottish clans and is used to represent specific family tartans. Tartan plaid is widely recognized as a symbol of Scottish heritage and is often used in traditional Scottish clothing, such as kilts and other accessories.
    • Color Palette: Tartan plaid consists of multiple colors woven together in a criss-cross pattern. The specific colors used in a tartan plaid represent the individual family or clan associated with it.
    • Design Structure: Tartan plaid features a repeating pattern of horizontal and vertical bands that intersect at right angles. The pattern is created by weaving different colored threads together.
    • Variety: There are thousands of different tartan plaid patterns, each associated with a specific Scottish clan or family. Some tartans are also designated for specific organizations, regions, or events.
    • Tradition: Tartan plaid has deep historical and cultural significance in Scotland. It is often worn to represent one's Scottish heritage during special occasions and events, such as weddings, festivals, and clan gatherings.
    • Symbolism: Different colors and patterns within tartan plaid can have symbolic meanings, such as representing specific virtues, territories, or historical events associated with the clan or family it represents.
  2. 2
    Also known as check plaid, buffalo plaid is a bold red and black plaid pattern that originated in North America. It is popular in outdoor clothing and decor.
    Buffalo plaid is a type of plaid pattern that features large, evenly-sized checks in two colors, usually red and black. The pattern is distinguished by its bold and timeless design, making it a popular choice for various fashion and home decor items.
    • Pattern Type: Checkered
    • Colors: Red and Black, though variations in color are possible
    • Size of Checks: Large and evenly-sized checks
    • Design: Bold and timeless
    • Origin: North America, specifically associated with the lumberjack and outdoor culture
  3. 3
    Houndstooth is a classic plaid pattern that originated in Scotland. It is characterized by a broken check pattern, usually in black and white. It is popular in men's and women's clothing.
    Houndstooth plaid is a classic pattern characterized by a duotone textile design of broken checks or abstract four-pointed shapes. It often resembles the teeth of a dog or a hound, hence the name 'Houndstooth'.
    • Colors: Typically two colors, one for the checks and another for the background
    • Check Size: Varies, but usually medium-sized checks
    • Pattern Repeat: Regular and evenly spaced
    • Shape: Four-pointed shapes, often resembling canine teeth
    • Weave Type: Twill weave
  4. 4
    Blackwatch is a dark green and navy plaid pattern that originated in Scotland. It is often used in clothing and accessories.
    Blackwatch plaid is a traditional Scottish tartan that is highly recognizable for its dark green, navy blue, and black pattern. It features a repeating design of thin, horizontal lines intersected by thick, vertical lines, creating a checkered-like appearance. The pattern is characterized by mostly dark hues, with the prominent dark green dominating the overall look. Blackwatch plaid is widely regarded as a classic and timeless design.
    • Main Colors: Dark green, navy blue, and black
    • Pattern: Checkered-style with thin horizontal lines and thick vertical lines
    • Dominant Color: Dark green
    • Origin: Scotland
    • Traditional Use: Scottish military uniforms
  5. 5
    Madras plaid
    Milliped · CC BY-SA 3.0
    Madras is a brightly colored plaid pattern that originated in India. It is popular in summer clothing and accessories.
    Madras plaid is a traditional fabric pattern known for its vibrant and colorful design. It is characterized by a mix of bold and multicolored stripes, usually in a checkered or tartan pattern. Madras plaid is often associated with a casual and summery look, and it has been popularized as a textile choice for warm weather clothing.
    • Color: Vibrant and multicolored
    • Pattern: Checkered or tartan
    • Material: Cotton or cotton blend
    • Origin: Madras (Chennai), India
    • Usage: Summer and casual clothing
  6. 6
    Glen plaid
    Garik 11 · CC BY-SA 3.0
    Glen plaid, also known as Prince of Wales check, is a classic plaid pattern that originated in Scotland. It is characterized by a small, woven check pattern in muted colors. It is popular in men's suits and jackets.
    Glen plaid, also known as Prince of Wales check, is a classic pattern in menswear characterized by a subtle houndstooth check overlaid with large, unevenly spaced checks. It is named after the Glenurquhart Valley in Scotland and is often associated with traditional British style.
    • Pattern Type: Checkered
    • Check Size: Large, unevenly spaced checks
    • Background Color: Usually muted and neutral tones
    • Check Color: Contrasting colors to the background
    • Weave: Twill weave
  7. 7
    Gingham is a small, checked plaid pattern that originated in Southeast Asia. It is often used in clothing and home decor.
    Gingham plaid is a type of plaid fabric characterized by a checkered pattern with evenly spaced, horizontal and vertical stripes. The stripes are typically of the same width and color, creating a regular and balanced appearance.
    • Pattern: Checkered
    • Stripe Width: Evenly spaced and uniform
    • Colors: Typically two colors, usually a light and a dark shade of the same hue
    • Stripe Orientation: Horizontal and vertical
    • Balance: Symmetrical pattern
  8. 8
    Windowpane is a large, square plaid pattern that resembles the pattern of a windowpane. It is often used in men's suits and jackets.
    The Windowpane plaid is a classic and timeless pattern known for its simple yet sophisticated design. It consists of thin vertical and horizontal lines that intersect to create small squares resembling windowpanes.
    • Color: Usually features a neutral base color, such as beige, gray, or navy, with contrasting lines in a darker shade.
    • Line Thickness: The lines in the Windowpane plaid are generally thin and evenly spaced.
    • Square Size: The squares created by the intersecting lines are typically large and well-defined.
    • Versatility: Windowpane plaid can be incorporated into various garments, including suits, blazers, skirts, and dresses.
    • Formality: This plaid pattern is considered less formal than pinstripes but more formal than larger check patterns.
  9. 9
    Tattersall plaid
    Walshga · Public domain
    Tattersall is a classic plaid pattern characterized by thin, alternating stripes of different colors. It is often used in men's shirts.
    Tattersall plaid is a classic checkered pattern characterized by thin, evenly spaced lines of alternating colors crossing each other at right angles. It is known for its clean, organized appearance and is often associated with traditional British style.
    • Color Scheme: Typically two or three colors, often with a neutral base color like white or beige.
    • Line Thickness: Thin lines that are usually evenly spaced.
    • Check Size: Varies, but often smaller checks compared to some other plaid patterns.
    • Pattern Structure: Vertical and horizontal lines intersect to form even-sized checks.
    • Common Colors: Classic combinations include navy blue and white, black and white, or brown and white.
  10. 10

    Burberry plaid

    Thomas Burberry
    Also known as Nova Check, Burberry plaid is a beige, black, and red plaid pattern that originated in England. It is often used in the brand's clothing and accessories.
    The Burberry plaid, also known as the Burberry check or Nova check, is a distinctive tartan pattern that has become the signature print of the British luxury brand Burberry. It features a simple and timeless design with crisscrossing straight lines in camel, black, red, and white on a beige background. The pattern has gained international recognition and is commonly associated with Burberry's iconic fashion items, including their trench coats and accessories.
    • Colors: Beige, camel, black, red, and white
    • Pattern: Crisscrossing straight lines
    • Design: Simple and timeless
    • Primary Use: Used as a decorative pattern on various Burberry products
    • Association: Commonly associated with Burberry's fashion items

Missing your favorite plaid?


Ranking factors for popular plaid

  1. Color combinations
    The popularity of a plaid pattern is largely influenced by the color combinations used. Some colors are more appealing and trendy, while others may not be as prevalent. The choice of colors should be attractive and complementary, fitting the intended purpose or audience.
  2. Design complexity
    Simple plaid patterns are often more popular than overly complicated ones. It should be easy to understand and appreciate the design without feeling overwhelmed by excessive details.
  3. Versatility
    A popular plaid pattern should be adaptable to various contexts, such as clothing, home decor, or accessories. Versatile plaids have widespread appeal and can be used in numerous ways, making them more popular.
  4. Cultural significance
    Plaid patterns with historical or cultural relevance are often more popular, as they carry meaning and emotional weight. For example, Scottish tartans have specific significance for various clans, leading to their enduring popularity.
  5. Trendiness and fashion
    Plaid patterns that are currently trendy or have been featured in recent fashion collections tend to have higher popularity. Fashion trends play a significant role in determining the popularity of patterns, as designers and consumers alike gravitate towards what is in style.
  6. Brand association
    Plaids that are affiliated with well-known brands often gain popularity due to the credibility and marketing efforts of those brands. For example, the Burberry plaid is widely recognized and popular due to its association with the luxury fashion company.
  7. Seasonality
    Some plaid patterns are more popular during specific seasons, like warm-toned plaids for autumn and winter or pastel plaids for spring and summer. The appropriateness of the plaid pattern for its intended season can affect its popularity.
  8. Timelessness
    Popular plaid patterns often have a timeless quality, meaning they have persisted in popularity over time or are considered classic designs. These patterns are not overly influenced by short-lived trends and continue to be appreciated for their aesthetic appeal.
  9. Influencers' endorsements
    When celebrities or influential individuals wear or promote a specific plaid pattern, it can lead to a surge in the pattern's popularity. Influencers can have a significant impact on fashion trends and public opinion.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular plaid. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or plaid is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 161 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each plaid once every 24 hours. The rank of each plaid is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.


More information on most popular plaid

Plaid, a pattern consisting of crisscrossed horizontal and vertical lines, has been a popular fabric design for centuries. Historically, plaid has been associated with Scotland, where it was used to distinguish different clans and families. Today, plaid is a versatile pattern that can be found in a variety of colors and styles, making it a popular choice in fashion and home decor. From traditional tartan to modern buffalo check, there are countless variations of plaid to choose from. With so many options available, it can be difficult to determine which plaid is the most popular. At StrawPoll, we surveyed thousands of people to find out which plaid is the top choice among consumers.

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