Check mate: Tartan for grown-ups
By now you’ll have noticed that the shops are chock-full of checks, tartan and plaid but lots of the items are embellished with punky safety pins or teamed with black PVC trousers/skirts…not so handy for most offices or college.
Rouched red tartan has almost always been a signature look of Vivienne Westwood, while Alexander McQueen brought red tartan into high fashion circles in 1995 with his charmingly named ‘highland rape’ collection. Both designers put a lot of emphasis on a full cleavage and flashes of flesh – probvably not advisable for the workplace.
But the late, great Alexander McQueen’s diffusion line, McQ has produced the perfect pencil skirt for the office with just the right amount of attitude. Yes it’s tartan and has black zips, but it makes for some rebellious ladylike glamour.
Staying with prim and proper, M&S has got fantastic separates in houndstooth and monochrome check that are sophisticated and on-trend.
Also on the high street, we really like Warehouse’ sheer ombre shirt. The black tones down the tartan a little, while the sheer fabric allows the wearer to be as nice or naughty as they like.
And at Zara tartan takes its cue from heritage pieces instead of punk, but the zips add edge. These are our personal favourites because of the cute retro shapes. We could style them up with a cute fitted biker jacket or chunky woolly cardy, sheer black tights (no punky ladders thanks) and ankles boots.