We at Pendleton don’t typically chase fads, but our ears perk up when it’s one we’ve been perfecting since the 1920s. Indulge us in a quick trip down memory lane, then we’ll show you three ways to style plaid for today.
Pendleton + Plaid: Some Quick History
We’re pretty obsessed with plaid, as well as its more distinguished subset, tartan. For the uninitiated, tartans are basically registered and/or historical plaids. (All tartans are plaids, but not all plaids are tartans.) Traditionally, Celts would wear the family’s tartan as a proud assertion of family identity. Scottish families even registered their family plaid with the Scottish Tartans Society. We even have our own official tartan, the Pendleton Hunting Tartan—it’s green and blue with touches of red.
We started making plaid wool shirts almost a century ago, in 1924. But things really exploded in in the ’60s, when The Beach Boys wore our Board Shirts on the cover of the album Surfer Girl. (Did you know the band was originally called The Pendletones? Yep!)
Things only took off from there. Plaid got a big boost with the ’90s grunge scene, and it’s been pretty popular ever since. Everyone from George Lucas to Gwen Stefani has been spotted in a Pendleton plaid shirt. And don’t forget Diane Keaton, Neil Young, Marilyn Monroe, Johnny Depp, Lady Gaga, Jack Kerouac and Kurt Cobain, to name a few!
Ready to try some plaid yourself? First off, there’s nothing wrong with looking like you’ve stepped out of a vintage ad…
…but it’s easy to make plaid more modern too. Here are 3 ways we love to wear the timeless pattern.
1. The Long Plaid Coat
A plaid coat says “I know what’s hip right now” with the added bonus of looking just as stylish in 10 years. It’s versatile enough to go with a worn-in tee on the weekends and your workwear during the week. Put simply, it’ll never go out of style. We love a long plaid wool coat paired with your favorite ankle boots, denim and a simple solid pullover:
2. The Plaid Fit-and-Flare Dress
Girly, grungy or traditional? It’s all how you style it. This plaid Audrey dress is one of our bestselling pieces, likely because it’s so open to interpretation. It works just as well with heels and a blazer as it does with chunky ankle boots, a leather moto jacket and Smells Like Teen Spirit. We like it with a wide wrap belt to highlight the fit-and-flare shape:
3. The Plaid Shirt Dress
Your most casual option of these three is a plaid wool shirt dress. It’s where weekend warmth and comfort meet style. On warmer fall days, throw it on instead of yoga pants and a sweatshirt for a look that’s just as cozy and much more fashionable. If it’s cold, layer on leggings, tall boots and a soft, thick scarf:
We know the fashion industry will move on to the next trend in a heartbeat, but we’ll always have a soft spot for plaid—and fashion in general that transcends trends.
OK, your turn: How are you wearing plaid this fall? And which of these pieces is your favorite?