For years now, I’ve been somebody who’s loved to wear vintage clothing with classic old-school patterns and quirky prints. There’s just something special about wearing clothes that were a trend in the past, and reinventing them to become new and relevant in today’s culture. One example of this is the re-emergence of Queen Heritage fabrics such as tweed and tartan this autumn.
As far as I was concerned, a few years ago tweed and tartan were struggling to make a re-appearance (I figured this out when a friend of mine would stand and play ‘Scotland the Brave’ on his smartphone every time I went out in public wearing them), but today, top celebrities such as the Duchess of Cambridge and Emma Watson seem to be turning the tables when it comes to these classic British fads.
So the question can be raised: since these trends were not so long ago considered to be “too bold” and outdated, what is it that has stirred a sudden love for these checked fabrics? Well, tweed is an example of old British country clothing, which was used as informal outerwear and for outdoor activities. Stereotypically worn by farmers and hunters, it now seems to be the perfect example of formality and sophistication, seen in men’s suit shops as well as on the red carpet amongst A-listers. Perhaps this sudden love for all things tweed has stemmed from our roots, being ‘authentically British’.
This autumn, the most popular way to apply tweed is with men-styled high-waisted trousers, some of which include Topshop’s Belted Mensy Trousers and Boden’s British Tweed, however, I would suggest investigating vintage clothing stores and pre-owned sites to find a pair which are truly authentic to this Great British style. These are also not so expensive either; Asosmarketplace and Depop are a great place to start. Grab a pair; couple them up with a grandad cardigan, brogues, loafers or an outdoors coat and you’re good to go.
Tartan is another funny one, considering the fact that the print was originally used to distinguish between clans in the highlands of Scotland! Like tweed, tartan is proving to be a big hit this autumn as bold print trousers are coming into season. Even more so are the tartan scarf, traditional kilt-skirt and pinafore dress, offering the perfect combination of bold print and traditional schoolgirl, both of which are currently trending on social media sites such as Pinterest.
Jack Wills is one of the current pioneers in classic British country clothing and is stocking a range of tartan pinafores, scarfs and skirts. However, more authentic ones can be found in vintage clothing stores and pre-owned websites – you never know, you may even be able to find some brought straight from Scotland. Pair tartan with white shirts, knitted jumpers or a satchel bag for a smart and organic look this autumn.
Regardless of the price, place or item of clothing, without a doubt it’s evident that tartan and tweed are back. Finally I can roam the streets with pride wearing my quirky checkered trousers and fully embrace my love for both British history and fashion culture.