The beginning of October means that Fall Fashion Weeks’ in Europe and America are wrapping up. From the runway to the street this years’ events welcome back a classic, plaid. From handbags and footwear to wide leg trousers and jackets the traditional pattern was a standout. Worn by models and fashion elites alike there were many different styles on display. Not surprising since plaid comes in an endless variety of shapes, sizes, and colors.
You may be wondering what the difference is between many of the different styles of plaid. Is there one? Yes, there are technical names for many standardized plaid patterns even though the term is often used as a universal name for many. While these patterns come in a wide variety, they do all have one shared characteristic. All plaids use the intersection of vertical and horizontal lines at 90-degree angles to create patterns. Let’s look at a few examples.
Tartan is a traditional Scottish plaid that dates back centuries and is still seen today. The Tartan pattern uses a line repeat that is exactly duplicated on both the horizontal and vertical axes. Unlike a more generic pattern which may have unique line repeats on each axis. Yet, both of these patterns use the overlapping regions of their lines to introduce new or mixed colors.
“Glen” or “Glen Urquhart” plaid is another lesser known pattern. It uses an alternating series of large and small checks. Often seen in suiting fabrics and utilizing houndstooth, Glen plaid traditionally uses muted colors.
Furthermore, a variety of check patterns are often referred to as a “plaids,” including “Buffalo Plaid” and “Rob Roy Tartan.” These patterns use two or more alternating colors to create equal sized squares, and where the lines overlap, other colors appear.
These traditional plaids have taken on some modern twists in their latest iterations. By playing with scale, color and repeat textile designers have freshened up and modernized a classic. Modern versions often have bright, unique mixes of colors and playful line repeats. Large scales and metallic accents are being used to add a bit of whimsy.
For Your Wardrobe
Women, ready to add some plaid to your wardrobe, but not quite sure where to start? Grab a simple plaid shirt, skirt or scarf, and pair with sweaters, jeans and leather jackets. A few good pieces will provide an endless supply of mix and match opportunities. Shirt dresses are another on-trend way to spice up your attire this season.
For men, plaid flannels have always been a staple. But, in the day and age where plaid is loud and proud, ties and even full jackets are a fun addition to the closet.
For Your Home
As popular as this trend is in the fashion industry right now, it is also a popular trend in home décor. Plaid evokes feelings of winter holidays and coziness. In preparation for the cold months ahead add some plaid touches to your favorite rooms. Use a plaid upholstered chair or sofa, or even wallpaper to create an eye-catching focal point.
For a more subtle approach layer in plaid adorned throw pillows and blankets to create depth and interest. While it can be a very fun pattern, keep in mind that it can become overwhelming if overdone. Use patterns with similar color schemes or pair with chunky knits and neutral textures to avoid this issue.
No matter how you embrace it, plaid is a fun yet traditional way to dress up your autumn wardrobe and home!
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