THE BLOG
11/11/2014 11:08 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Plaid-itude: Sporting Tartan Never Felt So Good

2014-11-07-ZOOM_Plaid
We have plaid-itude, how bout' you?

We have a serious lady boner for plaid right now. It's hitting the fashion scene hard (yet again) and slowly trickling into interiors.

Poor ole' plaid gets a bad wrap, i.e. slutty schoolgirls, your grandmother's ridiculously overdone curtains, and who could forget, the Burberry-wearing prepsters. But, it's making a serious come back -- more urban cool and less Hot Topic-y.

Ready for a quick lesson, you bunch of naughty schoolgirls? Plaid is a pattern of criss-crossing horizontal and vertical bands in multiple colors. Its Scottish roots date back to the 3rd or 4th century AD, when it wasn't even plaid at all. T'was termed tartan, for your information. You don't think of plaid as being much of a troublemaker, but at one point in time tartan was such a hot potato that it was banned in Scotland because of its association with the Gaelic culture. Class, you are dismissed.

As you know, all it takes for something to become a cultural phenomenon is for a big-time celeb to sport the pre-trend. Hence what Diane Keaton did for men's wear for women in Annie Hall. Well in 1848, Queen Victoria was quite the trend forecaster. She designed her newly acquired Balmoral castle in the Scots Baronial style. This meant tartan out the wazoo. Tartan everything: window treatments, furnishings, carpets, and wall-coverings. In case you were wondering, yes, Queen Vic's carpets did in fact match the drapes.

We love the Queen's commitment to the pattern, but not all of us are down with plaid on plaid on plaid. Keep calm and carry on because guess what? It CAN be done in a more modern, stylish way. The best way to achieve this look is through throw pillows and blankets. And who doesn't love to snuggle up in a wool throw blanket? If you are really feeling the plaid love, try a plaid area rug. It's bold, yet timeless.

From Queen Victoria's tartan overload to all the fashion icons through the decades rocking plaid, (ahem Audrey Hepburn, Alexander McQueen, and Vivienne Westwood) plaid is one pattern that withstood the test of time. So jump on board, people, with a modern spin. Please, whatever you do, avoid the preppy Vineyard Vines look (no offense). We're talking more along the lines of the lovechild of an urban lumberjack and Cher from Clueless.

And for Pete's sake, have plaid-itude! Don't be afraid to mix it up with skirts, scarves, dresses, or all of the above. It comes in all colors and proportions, so there is a plaid out there for everyone...even for every member of the ZOOM team. Happy plaiding!