Lifestyle Magazine

Fashion Lesson: Defining Tartan and Plaid

By Jennifer @jennynov23
how to wear plaid
So whats the difference? Lets test your fashionable fabric knowledge on this fine Wednesday.

Apart from the fact that I'm wearing a men's shirt in the above picture I am also wearing two different yet the SAME patterns. Hu? Why different but the same?? 

I'm so glad you asked, because lately there has been much confusion surrounding what differentiates each of these fantastic patterns. This confusions has been brought on of course due to the immense popularity of Plaid for fall/winter. Even yours truly has jumped on the Plaid-wagon as expressed here, here, and here.

One thing that I have learned since this trend took off is the difference between Tartan, Plaid and Checker. To put this into practice; unless I am wearing a kilt and prancing around the Scottish Highlands I seriously doubt I am wearing Tartan. I am in fact simply wearing Tartan's little North American sister, Plaid. You see, Tartans are woven patterns that signify a Scottish family's specific clan. Plaid, on the other hand, is a U.S./English fabric with a similar design of horizontal and vertical stripes that are dyed or woven into the fabric. Unlike a Tartan, which is always geometric, Plaid can be printed, meaning that it can have geometric, overlapping squares or straight vertical and horizontal lines.

Plaid is constantly being used as another word for Tartan but it really should be used to describe an "inspired by Tartan pattern" meaning that is not authentically one of the original clan tartans. There are millions of Plaid patterns while there are a set number of true Tartan patterns.
And now you know! 

Does that make Plaid any less awesome? Oh hellllls no! Check out my rendition of Plaid + Plaid below. And feel free to chime in, did you know there was a difference? Have you gotten on board with the Plaid trend? 

how to wear plaid

how to wear plaid

how to wear plaid

how to wear plaid

how to wear plaid

Plaid MENS shirt Joe Fresh, Plaid pants SmartSet, Pumps Pucci (old, sorry) from Net-A-Porter. 

Shop more PLAID here...

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