Whenever someone finds out I’m Scottish, they always ask two things: 1) Do I like haggis? And 2) does everyone wear tartan? Stereotypes aside, these are my answers. 1) No, but lots of my family and friends do, and 2) no, but me? I wear all the tartan I can get.
I’ve always loved tartan outfits, particularly in the colder months when the thick weave loans itself perfectly to the plummeting temperatures. And now, for autumn/winter 2021, I have a feeling lots of you will be joining me in my show of tartan appreciation, as the timeless check is already trending for the season ahead.
Vivienne Westwood, Molly Goddard, Dior, Alessandra Rich, Longchamp, and Charles Jeffrey Loverboy are just a few of the brands noted in our bumper trend report that dedicated runway looks to the heritage motif, thus firmly cementing its status as one of fashion’s longest-standing and best-loved prints. Not only that, but I’ve already started seeing lots of influencers styling up their own takes on tartan outfits, which range from wearing a pair of bright-red trews with oversized cashmere to going all out in a top-to-toe check suit.
Out of all the tartan outfits I’ve seen, I’ve assembled an edit of my favourites, which are sure to inspire you to wear tartan in some form this autumn too. Scroll on to see them and to shop any pieces you might find are missing from your wardrobe to re-create them with.
1. TRY A TARTAN COAT
Style Notes: Checked outerwear always makes a comeback in autumn, and tartan is just one of the many ways you can channel it. Wear yours with leather as a cool reference to the punk era, with which tartan was so synonymous.
Style Notes: There’s no shortage of tartan dresses right now, from Princess Diana–inspired blazer dresses to midi hemlines, just like Hannah Crosskey’s. Add an on-trend knitted bolero for a chic, toasty layer.
3. STYLE A SHACKET
Style Notes: Over the last few years, jackets have become non-negotiables in our autumn wardrobes, with checks adorning many of them. Look for a tartan shacket to tick off two trends in one.
4. TWIRL IN A TARTAN SKIRT
Style Notes: Have your own Highland fling in a pretty tartan skirt. Mini, collegiate-style options are always out there, but I think they look most expensive in pleated midi form.
Style Notes: Monikh Dale has a knack for creating the coolest looks, so consider it your marching orders to style up a pair of traditional tartan trews with an oversized jumper and black accessories.
6. ADD A TARTAN LAYER
Style Notes: I’ve had this Camille Charrière look bookmarked in my brain since earlier this year, and now’s the perfect time to try it. Take a checked jacket or blazer, belt it, and presto—your daily jeans outfit will feel significantly more exciting.
7. SUITABLY SUIT UP
Style Notes: If dresses aren’t your thing, but you're keen to embrace a full tartan outfit, take your cues from Tiffany Hsu and don a dapper tartan or heritage checked suit. Make the two-piece feel more modern with a pair of bright heels, and it'll work for everything from weddings to drinks out with friends.