Plaid, plaid, plaid...it's a print that never goes away and which graces catwalks season after season. It's also a print which makes my half-Scottish, half-Irish mother recoil in horror, bringing back bad memories of being forced by her mother as a girl into a too-short red tartan kilt.
What do you think about when you hear the word "plaid"? Ginger-haired Scottish men in kilts blowing their guts out on the bagpipes? Innocent, fresh-faced highland dancers? Rebellious Catholic school girls? Leading character Bella Swan in Twilight's plaid shirt (which appears to be the only item of clothing she owns)?
|Gerard Butler showing us how to do sexy in plaid...I wonder if he's going commando under that kilt...|
Believe it or not, plaid can be anything than boring, as fashion houses Louis Vuitton, Prada, Ralph Lauren, Kenzo, Just Cavalli and 3.1 Phillip Lim showed us in their A/W 2010/2011 shows.
3.1 Phillip Lim took a contemporary take on the millenia-old print, while at Just Cavalli the traditional red plaid shirt was toughened up with leather. At Louis Vuitton, models showed off their curves in ladylike plaid skirts mixed with other prints, and it was an offer of two trends-for-one at Kenzo where plaid shirt dresses were chic-ly teamed with camel and nude colour accessories.
|(From left: Mary Kate Olsen, Lilly Collins, Cheryl Cole, Olivia Palermo, Pixie Geldof and Jessica Biel)|
Secrets to wearing plaid under your abaya:
Take one simple plaid shirt and try these two looks: wear tucked into high-waisted trousers teamed with nude coloured, leg-lengthening pumps or booties, or wear over skinny jeans, cinching in your waist with a thin and simple belt over the shirt with flats.
Turn masculine wear feminine by opting for a plaid waistcoat worn with high-waisted trousers and high heels, or a plain waistcoat worn with a long plaid skirt and boots.
Wear a simple plaid shirt as a light jacket by leaving it unbuttoned over a plain tank top.
If you're really adventurous, try a pair of tartan printed trousers (I'm not that brave).
No head-to-toe plaid please! Unless you're looking for a career as a kids' entertainer.
Opt for plaid prints in more interesting colours rather than the traditional red tartan or grey.
Plaid is great because it's so versatile-it can be casual, but it can also be sophisticated...glam your plaid up with a statement necklace.
Try mixing prints a la Louis Vuitton...but choose carefully!