Thanks to the return of 90’s fashion, plaid is back in the good graces of the fashion crowd, but this year’s tartans are paired with a major dose of ladylike poise. Think pencil skirts with prim bows like this Simone Rocha skirt recently worn by Beyonce. Dress down a satin skirt with a tartan button down in flannel or cotton. Or make a cheerful mishmash of plaid and tartan layered in Christmas colors.
Tartans hail from Scotland where they’ve been woven since the 16th century and since that time onwards they’ve been a part of our shared history far beyond the British Isles. The first color photograph in the world was taken by Scottish scientist James Clerk Maxwell in 1861 of a tartan ribbon (above). And who can forget Sarah Jessica Parker and Alexander McQueen on the steps of the Met cloaked in scarlet plaid?
Since it’s been popular in almost every decade, vintage and second-hand options abound. We found a vintage Pendleton plaid skirt, loads of ladylike jewels and a vintage plaid bathing suit.
Street Style images left to right: A Little Dash of Darling; Happily Grey; Adam Katz Sinding; background image Rockefeller Center 1981 by Rainer Halam