It seems like tartan fever is gripping Great Britain. Look every which way and you will see at least one person donning tartan; and if you casually browse through British high street you will be spoilt for choice. While many consider Scotland to be the birth place of tartan; according to textile historian, E.J.W Barber, the Halsatt culture of Europe, which flourished between 8th and 6th century BC and which was linked with Celtic populations, produced tartan-like textiles.


In Scotland, the mention of “Highland tartan” first appeared in written record in 1538. Highland tartan was a pattern of colourful criss-crossing horizontal and vertical stripes; this unique design  was eventually used to identify individual Highland clans. Sir Walter Scott is regarded as the person who brought Tartan to Scotland. In the Victorian and Edwardian eras, tartan-clad garments featured in fashion catalogues. By then, tartan was not just for men but had become an important part of women’s fashion. Tartan also developed an air of exclusivity because of its association with the British aristocracy and military.


Fashion, as they say is cyclical. Tartan too has been making the fashion rounds on and off. Tartan made a big comeback in the late 1970s punk era, when the biggest fashion rebel till date, Dame Vivienne Westwood used it as a staple for her garments, it was raw, turbulent and epitomised her punk styling. This was also a time when punk music was a way for youth in the British Isles to voice their discontent with the ruling class. During this time tartan, worn unconventionally, became a popular anti-establishment symbol. With such rich history, it is no wonder that tartan keeps coming back in the fashion radar every other year. For me, tartan is a crucial autumn staple: it is rich, warm and oh so stylish.


Kilt: Next (last year). Scarf: H&M, T-shirt: Armani (hubby’s old one), Boots: Timberland, Tights: Tu clothing, Watch: Titan, Bag: Next, Earrings: Dubai

Here, I’ve gone double tartan with the skirt and scarf. I’ve used a white-tee and brown boots to make sure that tartan remains the main focus. So tell me have you already joined the bandwagon or are you still waiting?


  1. e2
    October 2, 2013 / 11:07 am

    I saw a tartan skirt on a website the other day and was debating hitting the order button… think I’m going to go find it and order it now! Lovely!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.