Tartan and Tailoring: A Primer

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Tartan is an ancient Scottish fabric that was popularised by the Victorians. It is a woven wool fabric that comes in many dozens of colour and pattern variations. Different variations are associated with each Scottish clan, and it’s usual for gentlemen with a Scottish connection to wear their family tartan. 

The most obvious garment made from tartan is the kilt. This is a traditional formal garment that’s usually worn with a Prince Charlie jacket, knee socks and brogues. However, there are plenty of other options for using tartan successfully in tailoring.

Tartan trousers

If you believe tartan is at its best when it makes a bold statement, you’ll love the idea of a pair of tartan trousers. These can be worn at a formal occasion in place of a kilt, or for more smart/casual affairs.

Tartan blazer or sports jacket

Again, this option is not for the faint-hearted! If you want to stand out in a crowd, a tartan blazer or sports jacket is an ideal way to make a statement. We think this is a great choice for smart/casual occasions. 

Tartan accessories

If you want to incorporate tartan into your look in a more low-key manner, we suggest you consider the opportunities in your accessories. Ties, bow ties and cravats can all work well in tartan, as can cummerbunds and pocket squares.

Tartan linings

Another one here for subtle tartan fans! Choosing a tartan lining is a great way to add a bold but traditional touch to an overcoat or jacket. A lining in a tartan that’s significant to you can make even the most classic of garments feel completely your own.

Would you like to make waves with a tartan garment this year? There are literarily thousands of tartan variations to choose from! The Scottish Register of Tartans is a great place to start the decision making process.