From Scottish clansmen to modern runways, traditional tartan gets turned on its head this season
By Jenny StudenrothMENThe beginning:Cloth patterned with interlocking stripes in multiple colors and thicknesses, or “tartan,” is famously connected to the Scots, who, from the 1600s forward, wore the fabric, most notably to signify clanship, but its origins can be traced to ancient Celtic populations in 400 B.C. In 1822, King George IV of England attended a Scottish tartan celebration and brought the trend home. Americans were crazy for the pattern by the 1850s—and rechristened it plaid. The print hit a high note in the 1970s when Scottish pop sensation the Bay City Rollers added tartan edging—plaid is strictly a North American term—to their
The look:Dapper, down-home or punk. The “Mad Men” of the ’60s stylishly wore three-piece plaid suits. Since the ’80s, Bruce Springsteen has celebrated the American working class in his plaid flannel shirts. Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain inspired scores of youths to pair plaid with everything—especially if torn or dirty.
The news:Michael Bastian combined a bow tie, a vest and trousers, varying the check’s widths and colors. Banana Republic was all about muted gray plaids on heavy peacoats, classic cardigans and V-neck sweaters. Duckie Brown pushed the envelope, putting contrasting plaids on cropped pants with combat boots.
How to wear it:On a belted fall coat in blac
Don't you just love autumn? Have fun and get your plaid on!