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Red Plaid Pants Outfits for Fall + DIY Paper Beads

Today I am sharing two OOTD drawn from the 7 color fall/winter capsule wardrobe based on this black floral top and associated color palette.

Fall/Winter Wardrobe Capsule Color Palette
Fall/Winter Wardrobe Capsule Color Palette

My outfits today feature these red plaid pants in the Effortless Stretch Pant style that I added to my closet back in December 2022; using my Kohls Cash, they were only $4.80. One of my motivations for buying them was that I wanted to replace my solid red ankle pants from JCP, which had served me well since February 2017 but were both starting to show wear and were a bit too small for my current size (and since they have zero stretch, there wasn't much leeway). I had considered holding out for another solid pair of red pants instead, but the combination of this style/size being one of my favorites right now and the low price, I decided to go with the plaid and see how versatile they would be. Answer: more versatile than I thought! See how they look with a low key cheetah print mix here and in a more dramatic navy-and-red floral print mix here.

Out with the solid red with the plaid ones

For capsule OOTD #7, I am back to pieces from the warm temps part of our wardrobe, circled in light green below.

Wardrobe capsule
Capsule OOTD #7 items added in light green

I am basically in print mix heaven where these pants are concerned. They are such a simple plaid...a red background with thin black lines and even thinner white ones...that they function like a solid but provide more visual interest. It was a no-brainer for me to wear the plaid pants with the floral top that inspired this capsule. That made a cute outfit on its own, but for the early fall weather, I added the lightweight olive cardigan to layer over it (sleeves rolled for structure). While red + green can start the Christmas holiday alarms jangling, I think that olive green is such an iconic fall color that it helps mitigate the Christmas associations of this color combo.

Plus size outfit idea for women over 40
Capsule OOTD #7: 10/5/23

I stuck with a fairly simple layered necklace consisting of a red floral statement necklace above the (not always easy to work with) keyhole neckline of the top and a dark green knotted two-strand glass bead necklace below it. The little seed bead spacer beads between the larger green beads include both white and red so the necklace coordinates surprisingly well with the outfit.

Plus size outfit idea for women over 40

For my shoe selection, I went with the simple "match your bottom piece" method, which I think is an especially fun look when working in accent colors like red.

Plus size outfit idea for women over 40

I wore cute little black cat charm earrings I purchased on deep discount from Christopher & Banks (who had sold them as Halloween jewelry, but I love cats 365 days a year, 366 in leap years, so I consider them year-round appropriate) and my trusty faded black braided t-shirt Alice band. In this photo, you can really see how much olive green I have in my eye color, which makes wearing this color near my face pretty easy.

Plus size outfit idea for women over 40

My daily bracelet stack is based on a paper bead bracelet set I made to coordinate with this top, pulling out from the print the black, red, and beige as the primary color palette. Since I already had made a set in black, red, and beige with gold, I used silver as my metal choice for this set. Most of the glass bead bracelets in this all-DIY stack are familiar from previous outfits, but I think the one with red striped beads may be new to you. I had seen a bead mix on Amazon with 6mm striped acrylic beads in various colors, and I thought they would make nice simple beaded bracelets to wear with my various paper bead bracelet sets. I like how the white stripes on the red beads echo the striped look on the paper beads but are a different shape, texture, and material.

DIY paper bead bracelet stack

The top bracelet with the rose charm was made using this cover from The Economist with a beautiful red background and black detail. As is my usual practice when dealing with thicker paper, I used a marker to cover the white core at the edge of the strips, this time in silver. I like how the darker red/maroon color at the bottom of the page shows up in some of the beads, bringing some added depth.

DIY Paper Beads

The bottom bracelet started, as so many of them do lately, from a full-page drawing in an alumni magazine. The desired beige, black, and red colors are there as well as some other pretty bright colors that I thought would accent the beads nicely (and that fit the colors of the inspiration floral top pretty well). And I liked the combination of figurative and geometric elements to design of the page, which I thought would make interesting beads. I used black marker to cover the paper core on this one, which adds wonderful bold black stripes to the finished beads.

DIY Paper Beads
Design a paper bead bracelet set

Capsule OOTD #8 also draws on the warm temps part of our capsule with items circled in light purple.

Capsule wardrobe
Capsule OOTD #8 items added in light purple

Blue denim jeans and a blue denim/chambray shirt will always have their place in a capsule wardrobe of mine, and I thought this was a good opportunity to show how easy it is to add this "ultimate neutral" to an outfit based on red and black. For this work look, I front-tucked the denim shirt so that it layered well under the structured blazer. It's a basic button up shirt + pants + blazer outfit formula, but I find this version with the denim shirt to be more colorful, more relaxed, and overall just "more me" than the same outfit with a white button up shirt would be.

Plus size outfit idea for women over 40
Capsule OOTD #8: 10/9/23

I confess that I could not help wearing my polka dot blazer (which isn't in the capsule) for the low-key print mix it offered with the plaid pants, though of course the solid black textured tuxedo jacket would also work. I was very happy to pull out this small silk square scarf for a jaunty tie around the neck. (Fold the scarf on the diagonal; roll it up; wrap around the neck and tie with a square knot; done.) Once the cold part of fall starts, I will be upgrading to warmer scarves, but this little one is just right for early fall, and it works beautifully in this capsule with the red, black, white, and blue colors.

Plus size outfit idea for women over 40

My red, white, and blue world's easiest DIY hoop earrings are another obvious choice for this outfit and this capsule. I made these to wear for the Fourth of July in 2021, but I happily wear them year-round.

Plus size outfit idea for women over 40

My all-DIY daily bracelet stack started with a paper bead bracelet set inspired by my white rainbow striped linen top. I then supplemented that with the black, dark red, and blue beaded bracelets to repeat the colors from my outfit. I finished off my stack with my new rainbow striped acrylic bead bracelet (made from more of the Amazon bead mix I mentioned above). This stack is very colorful and very fun (I've got both a cat charm and an Alice charm in this one!).

DIY bracelet stack

When selecting paper for this rainbow-inspired bracelet set, I kept my eye out for pages with a lot of different rainbow colors in the design, and I wanted the pages to be on fairly heavy paper to make substantial beads. Although seeking out pages with significant amounts of white as well would make sense to coordinate with the white-based top, I had already made a bracelet set like that (which you will see later). For this set, I wanted a lot of color with darker neutrals like brown and/or black to give the beads greater depth.

The top bracelet with the Alice charm originated from this colorful full-page drawing in an alumni magazine with a wonderful variety of rich rainbow colors and the dark neutrals I was looking for. I covered the white paper core with gold marker and rolled the strips into 7 nicely coordinating but different-looking beads. I like how the various colors at the bottom of the page turned into different colored centers on the beads when they were rolled.

DIY paper bead bracelet set

The bottom bracelet was also made from alumni magazine paper, this time a photograph of a woman in a very boldly printed dress. Although there is a lot of white on this page at both sides, I cut my strips from the center, which resulted in colorful beads interspersed with a bit of white and black. I find the lime green on the beads a particularly delicious color.

DIY paper beads
DIY paper beads page to bead examples

Because I anticipated removing the blazer over the course of the day (which I did), I also took a photograph of my outfit with that layer removed. I thought the rolled sleeves and partial tuck of the shirt gave it a bit of a relaxed flair...if that's not a contradiction in terms. I like to play around in that range where the outfit looks styled but not too neat or polished.

Plus size outfit idea for women over 40

Here is our accessory capsule so far...still dominated by black and red but we're seeing some beige, olive, and bright blue as well. We are up to 8 bracelet sets, 8 earring pairs, 10 necklaces, 3 scarves, and 5 pairs of shoes.

Accessory capsule to date
Accessory capsule to date

Do you like to wear plaid in pants or other clothing? How about in accessories? Do you have a favorite kind/color of plaid? Would you wear red + olive? Would you wear polka dots + plaid?

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