Tartan's Moment

This post was not sponsored by Starz or the makers of any of the products mentioned.

Warm, beautiful late Summer weather with a fleeting hint of crisp in the morning. It isn't Fall yet but we've been tuning in to Outlander for a real taste of Autumn.

Is Outlander a Scottish Game of Thrones? So far no dragons and far less gratuitous sex. Starz

The Highlands of Scotland. The1700's. Cold enough to see your breath but no snow on the ground. It must be Fall. Outlander's biggest star is Tartan. Kilometers of it. Kilometers.

If you love Outlander's muted color palette you couldn't do better than this: 

Oakley Plaid from Thibaut's Tidewater collection

Before Outlander, I thought tartan was a clan's plaid. Tartan is the cloth, plaid is the design.

I even like the way "tartan" sounds. Especially since Mother had an aversion to it, "ugh, that icky plaid!" But my sentiments were similar after four years incarceration in a Roman Catholic high school wearing a plaid skirt and royal blue blazer. Every day. Day in, day out. The thought of anything plaid or royal blue made me ill. For a long time. Too long. 

By the mid '80's I was over it and tartan entered my life.

What an imaginative use of paisley and plaid, a contrast band on Italian strung curtains.
Alessandra Branca fabrics for Schumacher: L'Indienne in Fuchsia Gray with Alexander Tartan in Fuchsia.
Fuchsia and magenta are sublime with gray.

How long have I been waiting for real trousers to come back?
Neiman Marcus

Let's look at a few authentic tartans woven in Scotland.

Beautiful woven woolens and tartans from Abraham Moon and Sons.

More beautiful tartans and woolens from Abraham Moon and Sons.

I love the fresh feel of Ronda Carman's new collection. A chair upholstered in this pink tartan would make me happy. Very happy.

Another great source, Scotweb. They weave their own tartan and tailor it.  It's a treasure trove of Scottish tartan apparel for all, some really nice hand bags and yardage for home decorating. Scotweb has you covered if you can't find the tartan of your dreams among the thousands on their site, use their design-your-own-tartan feature for a custom weave.

This kid is so adorable. Scotweb Classic Boys' Kilt

Tartan shoulder bag in Scottish deer hide.
Also from Scotweb, I love this skirt. Great jacket. More pink.

I made this wool tartan cape in 1989 or 90. It isn't all that warm but still in fine shape. Come Christmas it gets re-purposed as a tree skirt.

My favorite tartan moment in the movies, Myrna Loy and Cary Grant in Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House.

I would be remiss if I did not mention Scot Meacham Wood.

Scot Meacham Wood Design, photo by Thayer Allison Gowdy for HouseBeautiful

An arbiter of gracious style, richly textured interiors, and all things tartan, his work has been featured in HouseBeautiful, Traditional Home, and many others. His blog, The Adventures of Tartanscot is a must-read in the design world and well beyond.

Any tartans in your closet? Or home? I think I would like to do our family room's two slipper chairs in a tartan. But that little project is down the road. Kilometers down the road.

Thanks for reading,
Linda Pakravan

A public service announcement inspired by designers everywhere: Thanksgiving is a mere 11 weeks hence. If you are thinking about doing a project for Thanksgiving and the holidays, it is by no means too early to start now. Call your designer.

This post was unsponsored.


  1. Linda ... I am a sucker for the plaid! SMW is one of my favorites and that Thibaut photo makes me dream of a country Christmas ... what? That is so weird, but seriously! xokim

    1. Many plaids remind me of Christmas! Thanks for stopping by. I really envy your trip to Brimfield!

  2. No plaid in my house, but I love the way it looks, and the images you've chosen.

  3. I had no idea you can get custom-made tartan. Beautiful photos!


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