8 Ways to Wear Tartan / Checks / Plaid in Winter #iwillwearwhatilike

8 Ways to Wear Tartan / Checks / Plaid in Winter | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 fashion

Call it what you will, but tartan/checks/plaid is a staple in many of our wardrobes come winter… it never really goes out of fashion, does it?

I was looking back over my winter outfit archives for today’s post thinking I’d do a feature post on my favourite-ever winter outfits, but the common thread among nearly every single outfit was tartan (my preferred choice of term, though sometimes they’re more checks than tartan). So the focus switched from winter to specifically tartan in winter, yet the outfits I’ve chosen still rank as some of my favourites of all time.

I had originally planned to photograph and feature a new outfit for today’s post, but after yesterday’s the WiFi debacle and ending up writing the 2018 bloopers post twice, we lost light and didn’t get time in the end… thank goodness the days are finally starting to get longer, I say!

So without further ado let’s look at some tartan-tastic togs (or maybe some chic checks or pleasant plaids? I’ll stick with tartantastic) – let me know in the comments which is your favourite!

(The #iwillwearwhatilike link up will be back to Tuesdays next week, and the #ShareAllLinkUp this week will be on Friday… everything’s moved on one day because of my outtakes post always going out on the 1st January…!)



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8 Ways to Wear Tartan / Checks / Plaid in Winter | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 fashion

1. A lightweight tartan jacket (with a white lacy sweater and army trousers)

One of my favourite jackets that I don’t wear nearly often enough! I love the contrast of the three main patterns/textures in this outfit: deep reddish-brown tartan, soft white lacy roll neck sweater and army green military-style trousers with flat, black lace-up boots. It may be from several years ago but I’d wear it again in a heartbeat. Original post >>


8 Ways to Wear Tartan / Checks / Plaid in Winter | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 fashion

2. A check coat (with red skinnies and a marabou feathers hat)

Oh, that marabou feather hat – I’d forgotten how spectacular it is. It’s a shame but I don’t have the check coat anymore, but I’d accumulated SO many checked coats and I had to have a cull (I still need to cull even more now). The checks are the key part of the outfit, so when you have a statement coat like this you don’t need anything other than a great hat, simple bottoms and stylish footwear. A scarf or roll neck help keep the chills at bay. Original post >>





8 Ways to Wear Tartan / Checks / Plaid in Winter | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 fashion

3. A white/red tartan scarf (with a biker jacket and yellow maxi skirt)

Another fabulous outfit I’d forgotten about! The outfit is basically red, black and white and yellow – a super feminine, pleated maxi skirt in a bright colour can be worn in winter when you add some sort of cropped jacket (the best length for maxis) and wooly tights. The pattern mixers among you may notice I slipped in a little bit of Breton stripes with a top that’s slightly longer than the biker jacket. It’s a clever way of tying in the (white of the) scarf to the rest of the outfit. Original post >>

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8 Ways to Wear Tartan / Checks / Plaid in Winter | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 fashion

4. A red tartan scarf (with a brown Barbour jacket and black skinnies)

Another cropped jacket, but this time a Barbour in a gorgeous warm tobacco brown colour. Equally warm and winter-perfect is the red tartan scarf – with all that colour and texture going on up top I kept the bottom half simple with black skinnies and black riding boots. A great walking-the-dog/hiking outfit. Original post >>


8 Ways to Wear Tartan / Checks / Plaid in Winter | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 fashion

5. A multicoloured tartan scarf (with a longline jacket and brown ankle boots)

I REALLY need to pair my favourite-ever (and worn to death) jacket with my multicoloured tartan scarf more often! Adding a pair of sunglasses in a colour that picks out one of the colours in your tartan adds that extra something to an otherwise fairly neutral outfit. Extra points for driving gloves too (ALWAYS on trend in my world). Original post >>





8 Ways to Wear Tartan / Checks / Plaid in Winter | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 fashion

6. Red and grey check trousers (with a faux fur scarf and biker jacket)

Onto trousers – I reckon these check trousers are my most-featured pair on the blog. I’ve been wearing them every winter for years, as the shape (loose peg leg with rolled hems) and colour (grey and red) just seem to go with everything. This outfit also shows another way to style a biker jacket: with a faux fur, long wrap collar thing and furry bag. It’s reminded me to use that bag more, if only to see how many more “Is that a dead cat?” questions it’ll attract. Original post >>


8 Ways to Wear Tartan / Checks / Plaid in Winter | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 fashion

7. Prince of Wales check trousers with a camel wrap coat

An outfit worn during last year’s Beast from the East, these are the second pair of check trousers in my check trousers arsenal. They’re wider and cropped so slightly harder to style, but if it’s too cold for a bare ankle then chunky 80s-style slouchy socks and platform flats work well. The wrap coat is toasty warm and loves all those accessories: oversized dotty scarf, wool fedora, statement earrings, bold lip… Original post >>





8 Ways to Wear Tartan / Checks / Plaid in Winter | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 fashion

8. ALL the checks: a dark multicoloured tartan scarf, red check coat and grey/red check trousers

To end I thought I’d feature an outfit making use of tartan, checks AND plaid all together (just another way of saying lots of checks I guess). It works because all three patterns have the common colour of deep red in them, and the other base colours of the outfit are grey (hat, sweatshirt, trousers) and black (scarf, coat, boots). Now that my hair is almost back to that length – albeit with a fringe this time – I need to revisit this type of look and get my beanies out more often. Original post >>

Plus it’s a great excuse to mix those patterns again… not that I need much encouragement!

Do add your outfits to this week’s link up – and if you’ve added a link to here or my button to your post you may be featured in my monthly Women Who Wear What They Like post!

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Not Dressed As Lamb #iwillwearwhatilike link up

Thank you for joining the #iwillwearwhatilike link up! This started as a campaign on Instagram in August 2015 where women over 30 wore everything on a journalist’s list of “inappropriate” items for 30+ women (including leopard print, short dresses and oversized sunglasses. Yes, really). It was so popular that I decided to carry it on weekly where women of all ages link up their fabulous style, never mind what anyone tells them not to wear!

The link up goes live every Tuesday at around 3pm UK time and will stay open for a week. Whilst the original article was of course aimed at the 30+, you can be ANY age to link up. The only criteria is that you’re wearing whatever you damn well like!


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    • catherine
      8 January 2019 / 8:28 pm

      Thanks so much Julie x

  1. 8 January 2019 / 11:04 am

    Hi Catherine! Happy New Year. I really Love your post. All your photos are wonderful and you look beautiful in those tartans or plaids. Especially I like the check coat and white/red tartan scarf with a biker jacket and yellow maxi skirt most. You are a fashion idol and inspiration for me.

    • catherine
      8 January 2019 / 8:29 pm

      Thank you Gloria! What a lovely compliment 😀

  2. 7 January 2019 / 9:56 pm

    HNY Catherine, you look so amazing in all these outfits, I especially love the one with the blue sunnies! I have been MIA from link ups awhile, trying to get back in the groove!

    I wish you all the best in the coming year!!


    • catherine
      8 January 2019 / 8:29 pm

      I should wear them more, Valerie!! Thank you hon x

  3. 7 January 2019 / 1:38 pm

    Oh yes I agree, tartan or checked will never go out of fashion. Your post proves this.
    Sorry to hear about your wifi troubles. Very frustrating, I know.
    And I adore that hat in photo 2. Sooo nice.
    PS, I have a little time now as work is slow, so I am going to go through a lot of your posts.

    • catherine
      8 January 2019 / 8:30 pm

      That’s kind of you Greetje, thank you… I don’t tartan will ever go anywhere, will it – it’s so synonymous with autumn/winter!!

  4. Julie
    6 January 2019 / 9:39 pm

    Great styles! And it’s refreshing to hear someone else yearn for the lighter evenings. Give me sunshine at 7am and 7pm any day over cold, dark, damp and miserable winter months.

    • catherine
      8 January 2019 / 8:31 pm

      YES to lighter evenings!! It’s why I find autumn such a ballache – the days will only get shorter 🙁

      Thanks Julie xoxo

  5. 5 January 2019 / 6:53 pm

    Tartan all the way Catherine!
    That orange maxi outfit is my favourite… or is it the trio of tartans and the sloppy beanie???
    I can’t decide.
    A great round up with loads of inspo.
    Thank you.

    • catherine
      8 January 2019 / 8:32 pm

      “The trio of tartans” – now THERE’S a catchy phrase!! 😉 Thanks so much lovely Samantha xx

  6. 4 January 2019 / 5:30 pm

    You have quite a fabulous collection my friend 😉
    I’m still searching for a specific mix of colours for a new coat, browns and light blue. Although I’m starting to wonder if I should wait until the end of Winter sales now. As you say, it never goes out of fashion.

    • catherine
      8 January 2019 / 8:40 pm

      Hmm waiting is a good idea – tends to be what i always do! xo

  7. 4 January 2019 / 10:56 am

    I love plaid, it’s one of my favorite prints. I particularly love the bold mix of the 3 plaids in the last outfit…well done Catherine!

    • catherine
      8 January 2019 / 8:41 pm

      Eeeeeeeeeee well done me 😉 [lol] thanks Debbie xo

  8. 4 January 2019 / 1:28 am

    Loved the tartan scarfs – especially the one with the biker jacket and yellow maxi skirt. Right up my street!

    • catherine
      8 January 2019 / 8:42 pm

      I can’t believe I haven’t worn that skirt in so long, Alison!! Must do something about that…! Thank you my lovely x

  9. Bethanne
    3 January 2019 / 9:46 pm

    I think #3 is my favorite – but so hard to pick! 2 and 8 are also fantastic.

    • catherine
      8 January 2019 / 8:42 pm

      Thank you Bethanne! x

  10. 3 January 2019 / 5:00 pm

    My fav is the check coat with skinnies and the gorgeous tartan scarf. I love the way you style your outfits Catherine!
    Melissa xx

    • catherine
      8 January 2019 / 8:42 pm

      That was a good one, wasn’t it Melissa…?!! thank you hon x

  11. 3 January 2019 / 12:04 pm

    Catherine, I am dying over all of your beautiful tartan styling! Plaids are my favorite print ever and I have yet to meet a tartan that I don’t love. The color palettes you have chosen are absolutely stunning. And now I think I need to go create an outfit with tartan for today! Thanks for always inspiring me! Happy New Year!


    • catherine
      8 January 2019 / 8:42 pm

      Aww Shelbee you’re such a sweetheart, thank you so much!

  12. 3 January 2019 / 10:59 am

    Outfits 2 and 5 are my favorites. I generally just refer to it as plaid, but there are specific patterns. Whatever one calls it, my closet is full of all forms of it for fall and winter.

    • catherine
      8 January 2019 / 8:43 pm

      Thanks Fonda – yes I call certain patterns tartan, but some are definitely checks (maybe what you’d call plaid) to me…!!

  13. Debbie
    2 January 2019 / 7:59 pm

    I like no 5 best. I totally love tartan. I have countless shirts and scarves in various tartan patterns, no tartan coat though- I’ll have to remedy that!
    I am, I suppose what you’d call a nail artist in my spare time and tartan nails are my favourite and most used pattern! And I stubbornly stick to tartan despite the worls wanting to say plaid!

    I love the term tartan-tastic! perfect!!

    • catherine
      3 January 2019 / 10:56 am

      Wow Debbie – tartan nails?!!!!!!! That’s amazing!! Thank you my lovely, it sounds like you definitely need a tartan coat in your life lol 😉

  14. 2 January 2019 / 6:34 pm

    I love tartans (or plaid, as we call it in the US) in the winter! Thanks for all the lovely ideas!
    Cheryl Shops

    • catherine
      2 January 2019 / 7:10 pm

      Yep I definitely think tartan/plaid is a UK/US thing, Cheryl! thank you my lovely x

  15. 2 January 2019 / 6:27 pm

    Plaids are definitely a classic, especially for winter! Love both of your scarfs! Happy New Year and thanks for hosting!


    • catherine
      2 January 2019 / 7:11 pm

      I’m actually sporting FOUR different tartan scarves in these outfits, Katie – and they’re not the only ones I have!! Think it proves I have a tartan scarf obsession, heehee…!! HNY to you too x

  16. Mary Katherine
    2 January 2019 / 6:10 pm

    So many great looks and ideas in this post! I adore tartan, and haven’t yet splurged on the tartan dress I’ve been eye-ing. But I have several tartan scarves that I’ll be giving a workout this winter. I also love the idea of making the focal point of an outfit the COAT, if I’m going to be seen more outside than in, and that happens a lot!
    Thanks also for so many great bloggers you have linked to that I now follow and enjoy. 2018 was The Year MK Discovered Instagram, and it adds so much fun to my life.

    • catherine
      2 January 2019 / 7:12 pm

      Mary Katherine that’s so lovely to hear! It’s nice to hear someone say something positive about Instagram for a change…! Thank you xoxo

  17. 2 January 2019 / 5:52 pm

    Happy New Year to you! With so many lovely tartans, I’m tempted to get some myself, great inspiration for some new ideas too. Jacqui Mummabstylish

    • catherine
      2 January 2019 / 7:12 pm

      Aww thank you Jacqui! x

  18. 2 January 2019 / 4:10 pm

    I’m wondering why I don’t have any tartan/checks in my wardrobe! So many fab looks here Catherine xx Happy new year xx

    • catherine
      2 January 2019 / 7:13 pm

      Oh my goodness Laurie – none…?! I think half my winter wardrobe would disappear if someone took away my checks and tartans, lol 😉

      Thank you and HNY to you xx

  19. jodie filogomo
    2 January 2019 / 3:49 pm

    I am such a fan of plaid, and it’s all because of you that now I even mix other prints with it. That’s why I included the post of all three of us wearing buffalo plaid and different print coats!! You are such an inspiration, Catherine!!!

    • catherine
      2 January 2019 / 7:14 pm

      Oh Jodie my lovely thank you!! Glad to hear you’re pattern mixing, lol 😉

  20. 2 January 2019 / 3:36 pm

    Oh I just love some plaid. You’ve done it so many fun ways, but my fav is probably the plaid coat and red skinnies. Such a fun look with your fur hat!!! Happy New Year! XO

    • catherine
      2 January 2019 / 7:14 pm

      The hat is a bit OTT, isn’t Lisa…?!! Thanks hon, and HNY to you too x

  21. 2 January 2019 / 3:22 pm

    Happy New year Catherine!
    I love the Prince of Wales check trousers the best. Have no idea why they name it that. I say tartan btw.

    • catherine
      2 January 2019 / 5:58 pm

      HNY to you too Nancy! POW check was a specific type of tweed made popular by the Duke of Windsor (Edward VIII) when he was the Prince of Wales… some say Glen Plaid but that’s strictly a specific type of check as well. I think the terms are all used very loosely these days, though I’m sure a Scot will tell you when a tartan isn’t a tartan…!!

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