The tartan trend makes its mark on the runway

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Caroline Ogulnick, Features Editor

When one thinks of tartan, one often associates it with Scottish kilts, wool blankets, and the “All American” plaid shirt.  This fall season, the tartan print is departing from the typical and becoming a worldwide fashion trend.

The traditional tartan print dates back to ancient Celtic populations that existed between the 6th and 8th centuries; however, today it is most commonly linked to 16th century Scotland.  Different tartans were used in Scotland to distinguish one region from the next, by using different colors and patterns within the print.  Although today’s tartan prints do not symbolize a family, clan, or military unit, they continue to make a statement across the globe.

Tartan is a busy pattern, including lines that run horizontally, vertically, and diagonally.  Within the pattern there are various colors as well.  The most common include shades of red, blue, and green.

Because the tartan print stands out on its own, it looks best paired with basic colors.  Neutral hues, such as black, white, gray, or taupe will complement your printed garment, especially if you want to make it the focal point of your outfit.

From t-shirts and sweaters to pants and skirts, the tartan trend is being printed on a range of apparel.  While the classic plaid shirt still remains a favorite, fashion icons are turning to more bold garments, and are flaunting fully printed tartan trousers and jackets.

Tartan print can be worn both casually and formally.  For a comfy, on-trend  look put on a pair of tartan trousers with your favorite white tee and an oversized cardigan.  Whether this ensemble is worn with your broken-in Converse or your black ankle booties, it continues to be casual, and ideal for a cool fall day.

Creating a more formal tartan outfit all depends on what items you pair with your printed garment.  Take a skater-style tartan skirt, for example, which can be worn casually as well.  If your skirt is high waisted, wear a neutral colored crop tee.  If not, wear the same color top but at a regular length, as you can always tuck in the excess fabric according to your preferences.  Throw on a black leather jacket and a pair of patent leather pumps or heeled-booties.

These essential items, and perhaps some jewelry (but nothing too flashy), provide you with a formal and tasteful tartan look.

The tartan trend is appearing everywhere, from the recent fall fashion shows to any trendy local boutique.  Whether you want to splurge on a printed coat or stick with the standard plaid shirt, any tartan garment is a must-have.moschino