Checked wool trench coat, Burberry Prorsum ($3,995). The Shops at North Bridge, 312-787- 2500
Lady Dior tweed bag ($3,400).
A plaid fringed coat from Max Mara’s Fall/ Winter 2011 collection.
Resort 2012 collections may already be heralding the onset of warmer weather, but as we know, Chicago in December is no place for anything but the warmest of fabrics. Happily, with the proliferation of winter-friendly tartans and tweeds on the runways, keeping out the chill has never been more chic.
Labels such as Pringle of Scotland and Burberry have long been known for their “checkered” past, and Chanel has undoubtedly had an iconic love affair with the look as well, but how does a fabric with such historic significance keep evolving and remain relevant while intrinsically staying true to itself?
“This season, it’s all about taking a fresh look at plaid,” says Erica Strama, senior marketing manager for Macerich, which owns The Shops at North Bridge. “Luckily there is more selection than ever before. From trendy and bold to classic and refined, this seemingly traditional pattern [takes on] a whole new style level with [the introduction of] bright colors and interesting textures.” continued on page 90 “Plaid came down the runways again and again for Fall 2011 in various incarnations,” Strama says. Indeed, Salvatore Ferragamo’s collection showcased it by using a striking houndstooth print as well as a subtler Prince of Wales check; plaid was equally prevalent in the collections of Marc by Marc Jacobs, Louis Vuitton, Valentino, and Dior (to name but a few), making its presence known on everything from jackets to pants, skirts, and shorts.
“What I especially love about plaid is its versatility and approachability,” Strama says. “You can dress it up or down, take it from day to night, and women of all ages can get in on this trend.” Bolder, larger patterns in brighter colors definitely exude a more casual feel and are perfect for the weekend, while more subdued hues with tighter patterns make for fashionable office attire. And don’t forget to accessorize—a fabulous plaid bag or pair of shoes are the perfect way to incorporate the style into your everyday wardrobe.
However you choose to embrace the trend, for Strama, one thing is for certain. “With temperatures still steadily dropping in Chicago, [there’s nothing] better than throwing on a cozy plaid coat or a fabulous checked scarf.”