Plaid has plundered the catwalk this season and you can’t move for tartan on the shopfloor. So how do you integrate this bold fabric into your wardrobe without it coming off costumey?
The best thing about tartan is that is means many different things to different people. At the swanky end of the spectrum, tartan has old school, preppy connotations linked to its heritage. As well as harking back to the Scottish clans, tartan is also linked to the British roayls and ceremonial dress.
On the other side of the coin you have tartan’s subversive streak. In the late 70s tartan got a punk makeover and its fusty image was rebranded for a whole new generation of anarchic youth. Tartan shirts then moved on to become emblematic of the grunge era in the 90s and have since taken on a fairly sloppy repute.
While this may sound like a bit like a history lesson, an understanding of tartan’s multiple personalities is key to appreciating how to make the fabric work for you. If you are a prim princess in the Olivia Palermo/ K-Middy vein, you can wear your tartan tailored and chic. But if you’re a hip rock chick, tartan can look a little uptight, so you need to think about giving it a low-key spin.
Kristen Stewart and Jessica Alba have both pointed the way for a modern tartan twist by sporting this season’s super cool trews aka tartan trousers with simple tees. Elsewhere Dries Van Noten has paved the way for hip fans of tartan with his S/S 2013 collection of sheer plaid blouses and skirts while Philip Lim rocked tartan dresses and grungey pants. One thing that must however be noted is that this season’s tartan, however edgy is not slovenly. While grunge tartans may be having another moment in the sun, for 2013 you can’t get away with greasy hair. Do say we didn’t warn you!
So which tartan tribe suits you look? Are you all about preppy plaids or are you going to rock 2013’s grunge chic tartans? Let us know below!