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Joe Boxer satchel / KMART


Well played, plaid. The colorful classic shows up on women in unexpected ways this spring.

“Thanks to translucent chiffons and soft pastels, designers have made it new, light and fresh,” says’s Sam Saboura. “They blew it up, shrunk it down, making it less cowboy and more urban hipster, geek chic or ladylike.”

Plaid’s checkered past goes back to leggings on a 3,000-year-old mummy in China. More recently, madras migrated to maidens via preppy L.L. Bean or edgy Vivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen.

Today, see Gant’s supersized madras shirts, Marc Jacobs’ sheer flapper frocks, Diane von Furstenberg’s crisp bermudas, Kmart’s pastel cotton satchels and Carolina Herrera’s chiffon evening gowns.

As you choose, Saboura says, “keep scale in mind. The smaller the woman, the smaller the plaid.”

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