Why You Need a Pair of Tartan Trews (And Why You Don't Need to be Scottish)
When was the last time you considered wearing tartan? For a lot of people, tartan fabric and design are intrinsically associated with the Scottish traditions. Rightly so, you’d say. After all, what can be more Scottish than a pair of tartan trews or a bright tartan kilt? You might feel immediately transported to the year 1314, and putting on your best Mel Gibson impression (so a poor Scottish accent), you paraphrase the iconic Braveheart quote:
“They may take away our lives, but they’ll never take our freedom and our tartan!”
But, you ask, do I really need to channel my inner William Wallace to wear tartan trews?
The answer is no. Of course you don’t need to fight for your freedom to wear tartan. You don’t even have to be Scottish to order custom made trews. You only need to like tartan. Here are our top reasons why you absolutely need a pair of tartan trews.
Plaid and tartan trews are here to stay
Unless you’ve been spending most of your life under a rock, you’ve probably noticed that tartan, or plaid as some of our American cousins call it, has been having somewhat of a moment on the catwalks across the world. Actually while we're on the subject of plaid, we are the first to admit that a lot of people get confused between this and tartan. Typically, in the US and sometimes in the fashion world too, plaid and tartan are used interchangeably to describe the coloured checks and intersecting lines of the pattern. However, in the Scottish tradition, plaid is a piece of tartan that is worn typically over the shoulder in formal dress.
But fashion designers all around the world have made tartan an integral part of their outfits, creating tartan trousers and blazers that are available from your favourite high street shops.
As such, we’re seeing tartan patterns everywhere, and right here at Gunn & Grant, we are especially excited about the revival of tartan-inspired clothing. Tartan is here to stay! And we think you'd look amazing in a pair of our made to order trews!
But I'm not Scottish!
Who cares? Tartan is not even Scottish. What?! I know but let us explain. The earliest documented evidence of tartan outfits in Britain is in Scotland. But tartan fabric, and especially tartan trews are not just found in Scotland. In fact, they exist all across central and northern Europe. You could even find them in pre-Roman times.
So, it would be a little too simplistic to claim that Braveheart invented tartan, because no, we’re sorry to say, but people have been weaving tartans since the Celts. To put it simply, if you’re worried you need to have Scottish ancestry to embrace tartan outfits, the truth is that you don’t. If your ancestors were Celts, chances are that someone would have wrapped themselves in woollen tartan at some point through your genealogical tree.
I don't have a clan!
The tradition that Scottish clans wear specially designed tartan fabric is an invention from the 19th Century. You don’t need to belong to any clan to wear tartan trews. Trews are worn as a symbol of your taste, place of origin, place of residence, or your affection for Scotland.
If you want to hear some interesting historical facts about clan tartans then you're in luck.
The Battle of Culloden in 1746 was a congregation of different tartans with soldiers recognising their allies and enemies by the colour of the ribbon worn upon the bonnet. There was no such thing as a clan pattern, even though the Jacobite's tartan worn by the army was a recognisable design.
Therefore, if you’re worried about not knowing the meaning or the clan behind a particular design of tartan trews, you have nothing to worry about. Everyone else in the history of Scotland has spent most of their time wearing whatever they wanted. And doing the same feels like the most historically accurate thing you can do!
I can't wear tartan trews every day!
There is a place for every item of clothing. We love our tartan trews, but we’re also the first to agree that wearing them every single day may not be the most practical choice. But, unlike your jersey or stretchy denim trousers, our made to order trews are designed to last you a lifetime. You can count on us to use the best wool in the world and get an outfit that will make you stand out from the crowd.
As we’ve said before, trews are formal wear. You wouldn’t attend a ceremony in a pair of high street jeans. You’d look for the option that evokes taste and sheer class. And that’s where our trews come into play. They are made to measure – your measurements – which means that you don’t have to worry about rolling up the legs because they’re too long. But, more to the point, they are as unique as you are. And when you want to make a statement at a formal party, nothing says stylish legend quite like a pair of tartan trews.
You create your unique style
Here’s a little question for you. How many unique items of clothing do you own?
High street shops are great for mass-produced fashion, but they can make everybody blend into the same person. Why should you look like everyone else when you can be unique?
You don’t often have the opportunity to wear clothes that are made just for you and cut in the fabric of your choice. That’s why we love our tartan trews. They are the best expression of your individuality. A lot of our clients choose our made to order trews as a way to feel truly special. They’re clothes for a particular day – such as your wedding, for example. And, beautifully, they help express what makes you uniquely you.
It’s a reflection of your tastes that goes back to the roots of style and elegance down the generations. Besides, and here’s the best part, we know from its rich association with fashion that tartan gives a playful touch to everything!
Browse our tartan selection - there's one for everybody.