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How to pull off: plaid blazers Add to ...

The notion that only Ivy Leaguers can carry off plaid jackets is as well-worn as prep culture itself. In other words, they're not just for the college campus any more, as the many men's-wear designers courting collegiate cool this season have proven. Here's a lesson on suiting up for the boardroom.

1. For a timelier interpretation of prep-school chic, keep in mind that class has long been dismissed and opt for dark denim or wool trousers over khakis as a partner for plaid or check blazers.

2. Considering topsiders? Refer to the previous point and stay away from making the look too literal, especially if you work in a strict corporate environment. Stick to slick dress shoes instead, but punch them up with a pair of colourful socks, as was done at Tommy Hilfiger (above left).

3. If you want to be taken seriously, make like teen tycoon Chuck Bass of Gossip Girl and always wear your blazer with a crisp button-up and tie. Bow ties are also acceptable, but only for the very brave.

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