what is tartan plaid

What is Tartan Plaid?

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The fashion world is an exciting place to look into, especially when we grab on to something which is of particular interest in the current time period. In the fashion and design arena we can find anything we could possibly imagine, including amazing animal prints, extravagant colors, alternative shapes, and so much more.

If you are inspired by fashion and you follow this world closely, you may spot a correlation between what is considered trendy and different events. Fashion can either be completely independent of the world or it can be an outcome of a series of events or numerous factors. It is up to you to choose how you perceive fashion and the freedom is yours to select the style that best fits you. Whether you feel best in a pair of leggings or you are more of a luxury wardrobe enthusiast, there is something suitable for everyone out there. 

 Today, we are noticing a trend across the world that brings back an intriguing fabric pattern under the lights – tartan plaid. We would like to go into this stylish design in more detail, explain what it really means, share some facts around its history, and suggest how you could include it in your outfit. 

Here we go!

Tartan fabric explained

In short, the tartan fabric is a specific type of patter, which is characterized by its stripes and checked form. What is interesting about the stripes is that the vertical and horizontal stripes are a complete duplicate of one another and they meet at a 90-degree angle. The colors that the tartan is created with can vary. At every point where the two colors meet, a third color is created. 

In other words, you can imagine the tartan fabric design as a multi-colored, crisscrossed pattern. Apart from its purely aesthetic side, the tartan design is also attractive thanks to its rich history. It is interesting to share that the oldest fabric in this pattern dates back 3,000 years. 

What do we mean by tartan plaid?

Tartan and plaid are, in fact, two separate things. Let’s take a deeper look.

Historically, plaid was a garment type, which was worn by Scottish people as protection against harsh weather and lower temperatures. The word itself means blanket from the Gaelic word plaide. It is a wool garment, large in size, which was typically used as coverage around the waist and wrapped over the left shoulder. The reason why tartan and plaid go together hand-in-hand is that the tartan pattern that was woven into the plaid fabric. 

Makes sense?

Scottish tartan plaid clan

Every Scottish clan had its own, unique type of tartan. This is where we get a wide variety of names used for this type of pattern. For instance, you can find tartan plaids with names such as Black Watch, Royal Stewart, Shepherd’s Check, Clan Wallace, and more. It was not excluded for one clan to have two or more types of tartan used. One would be used for hunting purposes, while the other was for dressing up. 

More on the history of the tartan pattern

Research into the past indicates that the tartan patterns were found in ancient times across Egypt. However, we’ll focus on the more recent facts and the Scottish origin of the fabric design.

There is evidence for the pattern’s existence in Scotland over the past several hundred years. The pattern was mostly seen in the Highlands, where the fabric became a unique symbol of clan kinship. What we now know as the traditional Scottish dress was originally made using tartan. The full outfit included a Scottish dress, a philabeg or kilt, and trews. Of course, we shouldn’t forget the knee-length boots and wool hat. 

During the early days of use, tartans were made with only two or three colors. The colors themselves were plant or root extractions, berries, trees, or other natural sources. Creating colors of the same kind back then was a real nightmare. However, as chemical dies evolved and gained popularity, the role of the weavers was made easier. 

Royals such as King James III, King James V, and King Charles II are all associated with wearing tartans. Due to political disputes and the 1746 Act of Parliament prohibited wearing tartans. The pattern slowly faded away, until 1822. During the year, George IV visited Edinburgh and asked that the tartans are once again used by the people. 

Tartan plaid in today’s world

Today, the tartan is considered a fashion statement in the modern world. Nowadays, people are more creative than ever before in thinking of new tartan designs and new color combinations. It is easy to notice that there is no correlation between the historic clans of the past and the trends in today’s times. 

 One of the most controversial things around tartan plaids today is whether it is acceptable for the pattern to take a new breath of life and continue evolving as the world changes. From a historical point of view, some people may prefer the patterns to remain as they were and purely symbolize the Scottish heritage. However, it is difficult to put a stop on evolution and today, we can see this very clearly in the range of tartan plaids available.

In fact, there are more than 7,000 tartan patterns available today! Can you imagine the level of creativity necessary to reach such a range? 

Adding tartan plaid to your outfit this winter

You can be as brave as you wish when it comes to tartan. It’s worth sharing a piece of valuable advice from the fashion world. It may be better to combine the tartan pattern with a single-colored piece of clothing or accessory to avoid too much color in one place. 

If you have a preference to work with independent boutiques you may even try to create your own tartan pattern. If not, there are plenty of options to choose from! 

We have prepared three unique tartan clothing elements that may fit well in your wardrobe and come in handy for a range of occasions. Let’s take a look!

Camel Tartan Plaid Leggings
Burberry style tartan plaid leggings sport clothing gym and fitness wear yoga pants

The camel tartan plaid leggings are a gentle, Burberry Style fashion statement, which has a multifunctional purpose. It can either be combined with a standard white t-shirt or top to get a more casual look, or your look can become truly stylish by matching it with a more sophisticated shirt. 

The leggings are handmade and have been created with top quality materials to provide the ultimate comfort. Their four-way stretch will ensure you have your necessary freedom of movement at all times and their 100% squat proof nature also makes them a perfect choice for a workout in style. Definitely worth the try!

Burberry Style Tartan Sports Bra
Burberry style tartan plaid sports bra sports clothing gym and fitness wear

Speaking of Burberry style, this sports bra is vividly a must-have item in your closet! The Burberry style tartan sports bra is a great addition to the camel tartan plaid leggings from our previous suggestion. Again, you can either co casual or luxury, depending on the choice of match. For instance, combining your tartan sports bra with a pair of leggings will give you the perfect outfit for your next yoga session, jog in the park, or gym workout. After all, feeling classy and beautiful while working out always gives an extra energy boost! 

On the other hand, the sports bra can easily be matched to a long, fancy black or white skirt for a completely different look. Choose the right shoes and you are ready for the red carpet in no time.

Royal Steward Tartan Plaid Leggings
royal Scottish tartan plaid leggings sports clothing yoga gym and fitness wear

This one is our personal favorite, especially for the winter seasons and Christmas time. The beautiful tartan pattern is accomplished here by the use of a range of colors. The color mix includes shades of blue, green, yellow, white, red, and more. A truly classic tartan design, this pair of leggings is a unique item to have for your outfit. 

You can certainly feel part of history and stay modern with this fashion piece. Choose its purpose and either take it out to a fancy event or stay comfortable and flexible in it during your workout. The choice is all yours! Either way, your legs will look amazing in the beautiful pattern. 

It’s worth mentioning that our leggings offer UV protection and are made with UPF 40+, which adds an additional benefit for your body, apart from their amazing feel. 

We’ve now reached the end and hope that you’ve enjoyed reading this article as much as we did writing it. The world of tartan plaid is so rich and diverse that diving in for research is a real journey. We defined the nature of the pattern, saw where it came from originally, and looked into how it is used by the modern world today. Finally, we suggested three tartan plaid items that we think you’ll love this winter! 

Hopefully, tartan plaid is something you would consider adding in your wardrobe. Trust us, you won’t regret it!

Until next time!

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