What Are You Trying to Say By Wearing That Plaid?

Sometimes plaid is just a plaid, right? Sometimes people simply like the colors. But wearing plaid can also be a nod to a culture – or to the past – or to conservative values. Going to a school function or a business lunch? If you have to choose a dress or a tie or a scarf to wear – and you only have two options, a geometric print or a tartan plaid ……

You get the picture. it somehow makes a difference to you. One choice feels “righter” than the other. Why? By lingering in the “why,” we begin to explore the connection between our identity and what we wear. Our cultures and families have had a hand in this. We have been groomed to associate certain patterns with specific ethnicities, faiths, gender and status.

Because what we wear sends messages, it can be important to ensure that the messages we send support the connections we want to build. There was a time when wearing certain patterns would be seen as an act of rebellion. A few hundred years ago, if you wanted to make friends with British royalty, you probably should avoid the plaid. Or the fleur de lis. 

There are abundant examples of political messaging today. Some see wearing a protective face mask as an in-your-face provocation. Cultural segments are on very high alert.

Read about Kate Middleton’s plaid trend in this Washington Post article.

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