9 Dec 2016

Checking In With Tartan

Checking In on vickiarcher.com

I am checking in because I am sentimental.
Here’s how I got started. I am talking tartan.

A quick chat about a trip down memory lane and a small addition to my wardrobe; seems about right for this time of the year.

My school uniform was Black Watch tartan accessorised with a white blouse and opaque black tights in winter. Actually it wasn’t all bad and especially back in those days when the legs were for showing and we hiked the skirt up as high as we could get away with.

Fast-forward several (that’s being kind read many) decades and a trip to Edinburgh sparked a walk down the tartan memory lane. I found a Black Watch cashmere scarf and had that warm and fuzzy nostalgic feeling.

I soon realised I am quite fond of a touch of tartan in the winter and since then the Black Watch has been on every day. This new re-kindled love of mine has given me the courage to “check in” and tartan up in the form of pants.

Yes, I am a fan of the tartan trousers.

I am wearing them with a very simple black sweater and mules or boots depending on the day. They are flattering; it must be the cross checking pattern and they make a great change from the black pants and jeans. They also work dressed up with heels and a tailored blazer or jacket.

I don’t feel Scottish and nor do I feel like a schoolgirl, more is the pity, but I really, really do love the tartan. xv

Checking In With Tartan

martie stewart plaid stretch pants  //  trina turk plaid pants  //  plaid stretch pants at j.crew  //  johnston of elgin tartan scarf

image tim walker

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In This Post:



Mary Sullivan

I had a pair a beautiful wool (lined) skinny tartan trews when a teen and of course they were Black Watch which has always been my favorite. They were definitely ‘the pant’ for we British girls back in the late 50’s!!! I recall I wore them until they were threadbare and really loved them. Wow, when I think about it those were actually the days before girls wore blue jeans in England. I bought a soft wool Black Watch scarf when in Edinburgh some years ago – I love wearing it with a black sweater – in fact today it’s so cold I need to get it out for my trip to the hair salon.
Off to Europe tomorrow – may take it with me as it’s going to be chilly!
Have a wonderful Christmas Vicki – and may the coming year be full of blessings for you and your family.

Lidy@FrenchGardenHouse Antiques

Your post today made me nostalgic too, Vicki, for Edinburgh! Our family had so much fun there when one of our children attended University there to get his masters. Back to tartan, I love my tartan cashmere scarf, and may try to emulate your chic style by buying some pants for the holidays!

Lisa Tillman


I have also fallen in love with Black Watch this season! I ordered a wonderful monogrammed Black Watch bag that looks cute with everything right now. Thank you for all of your beautiful posts! I have been a fan of your books and Instagram and am so happy to discover your blog. I love all of the beautiful inspiration that I can use here in Texas!


I’ve been thinking of tartan lately too. I would love the tartan pants but they are attention grabbing! Maybe I’ll start with a scarf. :)

Esther Mangione

I love the look of tartan pants as well, but only if you have very narrow hips and thighs, which sadly, I don’t. I find the curves of a larger body throw the pattern off in an unattractive way.


Plaid is a favorite of mine too -one I indulged on my first trip to Scotland last year. Tartan and cashmere, what an inspired combination!


The pop of color and snappiness of the Black Watch scarf is wonderful and so cozy on a chilly day.


I find Tartan very chic and timeless but it is a pattern for wintertime. It’s like
Paisley … I have a long skirt with frings and it is the perfect dress with a black
sweater and poncho for long evenings in front of a fire place.


I love the tartan! I remember vividly a beautiful pair of wide legged ones with a high waist that I sewed myself way back when (early 70’s). Red and back tartan pants worn with a high neck black turtleneck sweater. Perfectly matched side seams which took me forever to do, too!

Anita Rivera

Good evening Vicki! I too have a special place in my wardrobe for Tartan; when I was in elementary school, every year my mother would sew me a new jumper or skirt in plaid. I loved it. It felt, “OFFICIAL” and proper for school, a place I always thought of as a sacred place and warranted a uniform look. To this day, plaid reminds me of those days, and I will wear it from time to time as a teacher. I would love to see you in your Tartan trousers!


Vicki, I remember some black watch tartan skinny pants I wore back in the ’80s or ’90’s – with a long bottle green soft wool jumper & suede ‘pixie’ boots! Thought I was the cats pajamas when I wore this outfit! Might recreate that look when tartan returns to Australia next winter – as it will surely follow Europe? Happy Holidays, Mary-Jill

Anne McCafferty

You’re funny. I’ve had two tartan times in my life. The first was with the Bay City Rollers – I just loved Woody! And the second was in the very late 80’s/90’s! I actually sewed myself two pairs of tartan 3/4 length skinny pants that I wore with an oversize white cotton blouse! I thought I was IT!
Thanks for the memories xx


I’m so mad for plaid you’d think I had Scottish/British/Irish roots instead of Swiss/French/French Canadian! Is it just me or does tartan make one think of Christmas?
I too wore a Black Watch kilt all through high school and those wonderful nuns made sure that the hem touched the floor when we knelt down, as there was always a rebel or two who tried to get away with a mid-thigh kilt! Still my favorite tartan, have kept a treasured copy of (Canadian) House and Home from the late 1980s, showing fashion designer Alfred Sung’s wonderful condo and his black-watch clad sofa, dressed with a paisley shawl he picked up at the Clignancourt Flea Market. Still looks current and modern today.
Enjoy your Sunday, all!


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