Blame it on my partial Scottish ancestry or on my joining this world in the ‘90s, when the pattern was all the rage, but I’ve always appreciated a well-executed plaid. After all, it's just as easily worn by subscribers of the all-black uniform as it is by lumberjacks (and all of us who attempt to emulate an urban tree-chopper)—even Cher and Dionne were fans . And the iterations are almost endless: ‘90s grunge or preppy sophisticate; tartan or buffalo; classic Burberry plaid or the Brit-punk variation. With prominent placement in recent editorials, including Numéro Tokyo November 2013 [2-4] and Vogue UK August 2013 6, it seems that there’s no better time to invest in plaid. It is fall, after all. So let's shop:
Karl Lagerfeld MacPherson Tartan Wool and Faux Leather Pants : Let’s begin with the 'real' and 'traditional' tartan plaid, used here by Kaiser Karl. The punk inspiration is loud and clear—grab some heavy black booties, a chunky black sweater or a crisp white button down, a leather jacket, and some kohl eyeliner and you’ll be ready to fight the aristocracy with the best of ‘em.
3.1 Phillip Lim Sculpted Flare Skirt : Maybe you’re after the softer side of plaid. This feminine not-quite-kilt is the answer to your post-parochial-school prayers.
Stella McCartney Plaid-intarsia Knitted Sweater : Stella, in her everlasting wisdom, put a spin on plaid, enlarging the print to emphasize its clean lines, fine detail, and touches of color. Plus, the oversized mohair-and-virgin-wool sweater will keep you warm in cooler weather.
Wallace & Barnes Buffalo Check CPO Shirt : The Brawny Man was onto something. Oversize men’s button downs are a necessary addition to any lady’s closet, particularly shirts of the thick-wool variety. Whether tucked into jeans or used as a light jacket (perhaps under a puffy vest? to give it some shape? WHO KNOWS GO CRAZY!), the bright red-and-black checks will leave you ready for your Orvis and L.L. Bean close-up (hunting and wood-chopping: optional).
Marc by Marc Jacobs Scarlette Check Scarf : Not ready to commit wholeheartedly to a loud pattern? Marc’s check scarf will keep you on trend, warm, and comfortably adventurous.
Note: I’d recommend not wearing all of these items together. There’s mixing and matching, and then there’s insanity. But to each their own.
Photo via Celine.