Last Week, This Week: Mad For Plaid – January 8-12

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  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.

Let’s connect! Subscribe, tweet, follow, friend, love, pin … all options are available and waiting for you. I look forward to hearing from you.


13 thoughts on “Last Week, This Week: Mad For Plaid – January 8-12”

  1. There you are my friend!!! It’s wonderful to have you back and I hope your mini hiatus was restorative in whatever ways you needed. I missed you Rena!

    Your new hairstyle is chic, sophisticated and very flattering to your face and figure. I actually think you look taller in a couple of these photos. I see that you’ve embraced the bit of gray that peeks through here and there. Your stylist did a nice job of sculpting this look to work with those gray highlights and lowlights.

    What a fun foray into tarten! You’ve featured it subtly and mixed it so creatively with unexpected prints. Mixing plaid with polka dots is brave, bold and brilliant! I love all of these looks Rena. I’m partial to the black and white sweater. I completely understand your attraction to the red sock bootie!! They look great on you and red is amazingly versatile. I’ll bet you’ll be looking for a more comfortable and sturdy pair at the end of the season.

  2. Rena, I totally just got sucked in to reading about the history of plaid/tartan. I read the Smithsonian article, then started hopping all around the internet looking at the different classic clan tartans, etc. I am a huge fan of plaid and I own a ton of it! You look fabulous as always and I am absolutely loving your hair like this. It is so chic and sassy. And those red booties are spot on! Another great post as always, my friend!


  3. You look great…loved yhour looks and I love plaid. Hope you can come over to my blog today and tell me what your outfits communicate about you!

  4. All beautiful shapes and colors on you! I love to know the history of fabrics too. The vibrant plaid top in the first picture looks great with the addition of another pattern and tweed. you know I lvoe texture too! Love the red booties, I was glad I scored a pair from Zara this year too, they are so fun. The brooches look great too, really add some fun blng!
    thanks for linking!
    jess xx

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