Technically, I’m not “mad for plaid”. Tartan is the pattern’s proper name so it would be more correct to say that I’m “mad for tartan” but that doesn’t rhyme. Back in the days when it was just the Scottish clans that sported this pattern, tartan was the term used to describe the individual colors and patterns of each clan. A plaid was a heavy traveling cloak worn to ward off the frosty cold winter weather. You can read more about the history of tartans and plaids in this article published on Smithsonian.com Over time, plaid has become the more commonly used word, hence the title of this post.
Plaid has been a workwear staple in the U.S. for well over a century due to the Scottish immigrants who initially brought this part of their culture with them in the 19th century. According to an article on Startup Fashion, textile companies like Woolrich Woolen Mills and Pendleton were instrumental in introducing the pattern into daily wear shirts. In the 1970’s, the pattern could be found in all manner of fashion and decor. This brief history lesson leads me to tell you that plaid was my self-chosen styling prompt for what I would wear to work last week.
Last Week This Week is a look back at what I actually wore last Monday thru Friday as long as it was a workday. I’ve included a brief description of each outfit and if I wore it for a specific event other than a typical workday. Without a specified dress-code in my workplace, casual Friday isn’t really an official thing but I usually adhere to it nonetheless.
Let me clarify … unless you’ve declared yourself to be retired, anything you do during daylight hours (and sometimes nighttime ones as well) whether or not you get paid for it, I consider that to be your “work” and you should/can be dressed accordingly. And even if you are retired, in whatever manner you’ve enjoyed your day is good enough for me. I’m inspired by the creativity I see shared on the many blogs and Instagram accounts that I follow.
Some parts of the northern hemisphere have likely been knee deep in snow for several weeksnow. Here in SoCal, we just had our annual two-day cold snap and in the blink of an eye, it seems like winter is over. I kid you not, we had some rain last Monday and Tuesday (you may have heard about the floods and mudslides) and then we’re back to sunshine with temps in the 70s. For this blustery day, I paired up a plaid cross-over top with a tweed skirt and boots. Finishing out this ensemble is a thrifted blue and black houndstooth plaid coat first shared in Boutique Shopping, Goodwill Prices.
While not a true plaid, I consider the pattern in my coatigan to be an abstract version. For day-2 of the big winter storm, again I’ve got on boots with floral print top and midi-length skirt. Instead of a necklace that would compete with the bow of my top, I opted for a couple of pins.
You’re wondering where the plaid is this outfit, aren’t you? I promise you it’s there and quite prominently as well although it doesn’t show well in these photos. My pants are a lovely plaid of dark blue and wine with little contrast in the tones or hues. Another time I’ll get a better picture to share. Have you ever paired up plaid with polka dots?
On this day, plaid is in my footwear. I first shared these beauties in December in my floral trend post but these booties are multi-taskers, for sure.
I know that we all eagerly wait for Friday to arrive but how many of you do so because of what you will wear to work? I hope that it’s not only me. I had put together this outfit in my head earlier in the week and I kept worrying that I would forget to wear it. The plaid is obviously my blazer but I know that it’s the booties that steal the show in this look. Both the blouse and the jeans are thrift store finds. The frayed/raw-edge hem on the jeans was a DIY project that took me all of about 10 minutes.
I wore a pair of nautical theme pins on the lapel for no other reason than they were the right size and wearing two seemed more modern. The booties were a recent impulse purchase and an example of product placement. They were in my line of sight as I walked into a popular nation-wide retailer. Like a magnet, I was drawn to them. Into the basket they went, despite my knowing that they would likely not be comfortable for all-day wear. They fit fine, the heel height is good, and I even though I wore thick socks. However, there is something lacking in the construction of inexpensive footwear that leads to discomfort (at least for me). Don’t worry, I’ll be wearing them again but it’ll be a day that I anticipate that I will be doing a lot of sitting.
Plaid has had its highs and lows in fashion for centuries and it’s not just for grunge rockers or hipsters. Whether true to its origins or an interpretation, plaid is a classic pattern. It’s ageless, can be adapted to any style, and plays well with others.
And there you have it, a look back at what I wore to work last week. I expect that in future posts there will be repeat wearings of some of these outfits or a mix and match of the pieces as has already occurred. If you missed the post where I explain the reasons behind this new weekly feature (minus the link up), you can read about it here.
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