By Priya Elan
The dominance of the tartan army shows how versatile the look has become
At one point a few years ago, every shirt I owned was tartan. The lumberjack shirt was the urban, metrosexual version of the polo shirt, and I owned about 20 of them. It’s the kind of garment that says, “Hey guys, at the weekends I like to whittle and play the lute.” Unlike a real fashion-fashion trend, what it doesn’t semaphore is: “I will probably dump you as soon as we get to the party or at the first sight of more interesting people.” It’s a look that says “sturdy and reliable”, as seen on fathers at the weekend, baristas and members of Fleet Foxes.
The dominance of the tartan army shows how versatile the look has become. We no longer look like people on our way to a Bay City Rollers fan club AGM: 40 years after Vivienne Westwood first aligned the cosy pattern with punk, it has become a staple of mainstream dressing, with just enough edge to make it neither staid nor boring.