How to Wear Tartan Over 50? – Elevate Your Personal Style with the Trendiest Pattern for 2023

by Stephanie Yankova

The 90s are coming back in full swing and grunge fashion is on the rise. Oversized fits, graphic t-shirts, and denim are amongst the few staples of that era that are slowly but surely making their way into our closets in 2023. But what is 90s fashion without a classic tartan print? According to this year’s Fashion Week collections from Comme des Garçons, Givenchy, Burberry, Kenzo, and of course, Vivienne Westwood, we’re in for a serious tartan affair. If you’ve kept your patterned skirts, shirts, and blazers from your roaring 90s youth and have been wondering whether you’ll ever get a chance to wear them again – this is your lucky year! Roll up your sleeves and dig into our guide on how to wear tartan over 50 in 2023!

plaid vs tartan skirt difference outfit ideas women over 50

What is the Difference Between Plaid and Tartan?

Even though they look quite similar at first glance, there are a few significant differences between plaid and tartan. Tartan fabric designs originate from specific Scottish clans and families. Currently, there is a registry of over 25 000 kinds of tartan patterns, so if you are someone of Scottish ancestry chances are that somewhere down the line of your family tree there is a unique, historic tartan design that’s of relevance to your lineage.

Plaid is a unifying term commonly used in the US for all kinds of fabric designs with a crisscrossed pattern.  The word “plaid” also originates from Scotland and back in the days it was used as a synonym for “blanket”. Later on, in the 19th century, a large group of Scottish immigrants moved to America and brought the traditional Scottish tartan skirts with them. The Americans began to slowly adopt the famous pattern, which soon took a more modernized look and received the name “plaid”.

How to Wear Tartan Over 50?

green silk tartan skirt carla rockmore styling tips outfit ideas women over 50


Credits: carla.rockmore

Tartan has found its way not only in the grunge culture of the 90s but has also been famously worn by royals, as well as iconic characters from the small screen such as Carrie Bradshaw, Cher Horowitz, Rachel Green, Blair Waldorf, and many others! It’s a timeless pattern that combines the historical, classy, and rebellious spirit it has embodied over the years. Regardless of whether you’re 15, 35, or 50, the bold character of the tartan is bound to make a statement wherever you go!

Tartan Skirt Suit for Women Over 50

two piece tartan suit pencil skirt belted blazer outfit ideas women over 50

As much as I advocate for mismatched sets, brave color combinations and pattern play, the truth of the matter is that 2023 has successfully brought back the co-ord suits! This two-piece set with a pencil skirt and belted blazer in a modern reimagination of the tartan fabric is an effortlessly chic way to bring some playfulness into your business attire!

Tartan on Tartan Street Style Look

blue tartan coat skirt outfit inspo classu chic style women over 50

While on the topic of tartan pencil skirts, a great way to dress down any patterned piece of clothing is by pairing it with a simple white t-shirt. In this case, it also acts as a neutral barrier that allows the tartan pattern of the coat to pop out which adds definition, volume and character to the outfit.

Read also: How to Wear Tartan in Winter? – 5 Expert Tips for Effortless Everyday Styling!

Woven Tartan Blazer

woven tartan blazer styling outfit ideas women over 50

This tartan blazer is a true statement piece in combination with the monochromatic all-black outfit. The key to building a uni color set that doesn’t look boring is by mixing and matching fabrics and wearing silhouettes that accentuate your natural figure!

Wide Leg Tartan Pattern Pants

wide leg tartan pants white shirt navy blazer outfit inspo women over 50

Whether you’re having a meeting in the office, a casual brunch with friends, or you’re taking an afternoon stroll in the park, this wide-leg tartan pair of trousers will suit every occasion!

Two Piece Tartan Suit with a Midi Skirt

tartan two piece suit skirt blazer spring fashion outfit ideas women over 50

Choosing the right skirt to wear over 50 can be a tricky area to dive into. You most definitely don’t want something that looks outdated, and neither do you want a silhouette that’s too youthful and unflattering for the physique of a mature woman. This midi tartan pencil skirt with a ruffle bottom will not only make your legs appear longer but will also add volume and definition that will instantly elevate your look!

Tartan Puffer Jacket

tartan short puffer coat street style women over 50 outfit ideas

The tartan trend knows no boundaries and this puffer jacket is the proof! A stunning way to add playfulness and character to your outfit during the colder months is by mixing and matching patterns and textures. In this case, the plaid maxi skirt complements the tartan coat in a cool and elegant way that will take your street style to the next level!

Criss Cross Patterns Interplay

tartan pants plaid knitted cardigan striped blouse woman over 50 outfit ideas

Wearing patterns over 50 can be difficult if you don’t have experience in combining different colors and textures in a way that accentuates your body. The great thing about tartan is that it comes in so many different variations from color combinations to motifs and sizes, that it makes it incredibly versatile and easy to style! If you’re ever in doubt, simply stick to the same color palette within the pattern combinations and you’ll be in for a win!

Playful Animal Prints Meet Classic Tartan Patterns

classic red tartan long coat outfit ideas women over 50

The pattern play most definitely isn’t for the faint of heart. However, once you commit to the cause, the results are absolutely astonishing! This clever combination of a classic red tartan coat with a leopard clutch and a faux fur scarf is undoubtedly a bold statement that won’t go unnoticed!

Maxi Tartan Coat

long woven tartan belted coat women over 50 style outfit ideas trends 2023

Every woman needs a big statement jacket in her closet that turns heads every time she walks down the street, and this woven tartan coat is exactly that! If the wide fit is too much for you, simply pair it with a high-waisted belt which will instantly add definition to your figure!

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