Plaid and tartan are two fabrics you’ll be seeing in abundance this fall, but what’s the difference? The flannel-eque designs both remind me of hot cocoa and Christmas. According to textile and design experts interviewed by CNN Living, ‘Tartan is a plaid woven in wool, designed in Scotland that identifies different clans, aspects of Highland society and political allegiance.’ The history of the fabric dates back to 1500 BC and has been especially revived this season by designers like Michael Kors, Tory Burch and Louis Vuitton.
I just found this top at Zara and threw it on with black denim on our weekend roadtrip back to Switzerland from Munich, Germany. The two terms are often mixed, so if you’re having a convo with fashion forward friends, take advantage of the Fall ’13 ‘tartan’ talk and name drop some plaid facts…
Roadtrip Scene ~ Driver switch in Switzerland just beyond the Austrian border.
According to the article, “plaid is also the word for a check weave that’s not an official tartan,’ but the two are often interchangeable.” For an in-depth well written post on exact differences, ‘The Dainty Dolls House‘ is a must-read.
The plaid pattern I’m wearing above is one of the most popular color combos with ‘red and buffalo black‘ so if you’re going to invest in one, check stores like Zara, Marshalls, TJMaxx and H&M.
Tartan and plaid are casual, but can be formal thanks to designers like Alexander Wang. Luckily, the most common tops you’ll see in this pattern are easily paired with denim, leather jackets and riding boots.
<DETAILS by Dale> top (recent) ~ Zara, denim jacket c/o ~ AG Jeans, boots ~Zara (recent) Similar boots by Michael Kors, jeans ~ MANGO, clover double wrap bracelet ~ Stella & Dot, other bracelets ~ F21 & Cruciani
Are you noticing ‘tartan’ and ‘plaid’ prints are everywhere? Is it your style?