How to do tartan right

What do we mean by how to do tartan right? If you’re picturing dizzying visions of golf club trousers, then fear not! Thankfully design has moved on significantly so that you can incorporate this very versatile and winter-friendly fabric into your wardrobe without looking like you’re off to play 9 holes.

This timeless fabric is instantly recognisable the world over, and known for the subtle difference in colours and patterns depending on what ‘clan’ you were originally part of in the Scottish Highlands. Nowadays, it’s much more mainstream, and you can go as bold or as subtle as you like with your tartan additions.

- Kilts: This traditional hand pleated skirt is worn by many Scots as an alternative to trousers, but if you’re looking for something subtle then this is probably not going to work for you. There are lots of options available when it comes to formal Scottish Highland dress – and if you’ve your heart set on a kilt, go for it!

- Coats: The general rule of thumb for tartan print is that you should have the smallest tartan print on your inside layers (like shirts) and gradually the print gets bigger as you move towards the outer layers. If however, a tartan coat is still a bit much for your taste, why not consider a tartan lining instead?

- Shirts: This is a very popular example of how to do tartan right, and one that is embraced the world over due to its versatility. This is a great option if you aren’t sure about incorporating patterns into your wardrobe – tartan and plaid shirts are very manly and it’s a trend that isn’t going away any time soon. Tartan shirts are especially fitting for the colder weather – so do yourself a favour and invest in a couple.

- Scarf: Add a pop of patterned colour with a lovely tartan scarf to pair with a dark coat – if you don’t have one, it should be on your Christmas list this year!

- Shoes: Again, you can take this trend as far as you want to with your shoes – go for full blown tartan boots, or keep it simple with tartan-patterned slippers or shoes with tartan linings. These men’s moccasin slippers with tartan lining would be a great Christmas present for any stylish gent.

Hopefully this has cleared up any of your questions on how to do tartan right – remember, it’s just like any other pattern and trend, in that you can tailor it to your individual style and go bright and bold or neutral and subtle, incorporating as much or as little of it that you like. Ultimately, it’s a fantastic fabric and one well worth a look at if you haven’t already tried it.

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