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Fall Trends: Tartans

Traditional Scottish Pattern Takes Plaid to a Whole New Level

Published July 14, 2011 on 

By Amanda Ash

If you’re eager to get in touch with your inner Braveheart without going the way of haggis, bagpipes and swords, look no further than this fall’s tartan trend. The bold plaid pattern, typically woven in blue, green and red colors and reserved for traditional Scottish wear, is making the leap from kilts to everything from dapper coats and pants to comfy dresses and capes. Burberry — famous for its camel, black, red and white plaid — has been inspired by tartans for years. For the fall of 2011, other fashion lines have adopted the historical geometry of crisscrossed horizontal and vertical lines and bands, making for striking yet playful warm fall pieces that will make you the queen of autumn style.

From Lumberjack to Great Scot

Tartans are a warm, cozy fall classic, said Anya Georgijevic, fashion writer for Vitamin Daily and “The Block” magazine and blogger at I’, nominated as one of Elle Canada’s Top Fashion Blogs of 2010.

“There’s a big focus on it this fall, especially because last fall was a bit about the fall floral print, so it’s just a nice, refreshing way to look at something the complete opposite of floral,” Georgijevic explained. “For Burberry, after doing the studs and leather for six seasons, for them to actually go back to the tartans they’re known for, I think it’s really great.

“Nothing’s better for Christmas than tartans,” Georgijevic added, since the patterns tend to come in darker colors and warmer fabrics. “Cabins, ski lodges — it’s a perfect look.”

Jude Feller, creator of Lily & Jae and designer for Lifetime Collective, says tartans are in this season thanks to the plaid craze, which spawned the popular and fun button-up lumberjack shirts.

“Unlike plaids, which tend to be more subtle, tartans are generally a statement. I would call this a statement trend,” Feller said. “I would say that they’re inspired from the ongoing plaid trend. Something a little more bold this time around.”

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