CALL IT plaid, check or tartan, it’s a pattern that may go in and out of fashion but never goes out of style. Think kilts and blankets worn by those fearsome Scots in the 18th century (Outlander watchers out there?), Woolrich’s buffalo-check flannel shirt favored by lumberjacks in the 1850s, Pendleton’s plaid button-down for men and then for women in the 1940s, Vivienne Westwood’s punk plaid in the 1970s, Marc Jacobs’s famous grunge collection in 1992, the cult classic movie “Clueless” in the 1990s with Cher and Dionne walking down school hallways in coordinating checked looks, and Alexander McQueen‘s two runway collections—one in 1995 and again in 2007—referencing his Scottish roots.
I can practically bookmark my life by the decades I wore plaid—my blackwatch plaid skirt in elementary or junior high school; my roommate’s boyfriend’s lumber jacket in college, which I somehow appropriated; my mom’s blue-and-red-plaid 1940s bomber jacket, which I wore in the the late 1970s, a Perry Ellis pleated skirt and coordinating but not matching sweater in the 1980s, et cetera, et cetera.
And this fall and winter 2017, while plaid blazers and coats (see Holly Hunter What’s in Her Closet?) are certainly an of-the-moment purchase, we’re noticing it on everything from dresses to pantsuits to shoes, shirts, handbags and cropped trousers. It feels cozy, warm for winter and an undeniable wardrobe evergreen.
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