Weekly Fashion File - TantalizingTartan

When you hear the word Tartan, what do you think of? Probably some sort of stodgy plaid with dark, dominant reds or blues. Or if you happen to be a label whore fashionista, you probably think of the the beige-camel plaid at left and recognize it as the one that lines a Burberry raincoat. Chances are though, like most of us, you don't know for sure what constitutes Tartan.

Wikipedia defines Tartan as "a type of pattern, originating in woven cloth ... particularly associated with Celtic counties and especially Scotland". It goes on to specify that it's woven in such a way that "blocks of colour repeat vertically and horizontally in a distinctive pattern of squares". And I think that pretty much sums it up. But what makes Tartan really interesting is that over the years, specific tartans have become associated with particular clans or families or institutions. And that means there's a Tartan for practically everyone...and guess what? If there's not one for you, you can create one.

My heritage is Irish. 100%. However, I never knew we had a family Tartan. But we do, and it happens to be a beautiful one. Scott from Tartan Golf Grips helped me find it, and ultimately made an awesome putter grip for Hannigan Tartan. From his site you can link to search for your family Tartan or create your own Tartan at the Tartan Design Studio. Believe me, that's fun.

Now when it comes to fairway fashion, Tartan will always have a place at the table. It might not necessarily be the guest of honor, but you can be sure it'll be welcome, adding a distinctive style note to your golf outfits or accessories.

In my quest for winter golf wear last week one of the nicest items I came upon was this knit vest from Ralph Lauren, I ordered one for Nick obvs, and I'm pretty sure he'll love it. For those who assume that Tartan's always going to be stogy or traditional, this pattern mixes it up it every direction, from lime green to sun kissed orange, nothing dull about it.

Also for guys, as the weather warms, is this Tartan polo shirt, which begs the question "why do polo shirts always have to be in solid colors anyway".

As spring turns to summer most guys eventually start thinking shorts. I know, some traditionalist disapprove of shorts, even on the hottest of days. Well these attractive, slightly retro-looking Bermudas from Ralph Lauren would probably be elegant enough to change even the most curmudgeonly mind. They're hot. In a classy way.

Now as far as we ladies are concerned, there are so many tantalizing ways to tartanize. One of my favorites is this windshirt from Lizgolf. The preppy, hot pink and lime color palette brings an exciting edge to a traditional pattern.

While these cropped trousers, also from Lizgolf feature more muted but still surprising hues.

And what about this adorable little Bobby Jones golf skirt? The color blend is described as daiquiri, and I think it would be so cute on Paula or Natalie or ME. Come on...brunettes look good in pink too even if we they happen to be slightly older than the aforementioned blonds. Anyway, I ordered one, so deal with it Nick.

I also ordered a gorgeous pair of green tartan Bermuda shorts from Nordstrom. They're so elegant, I just hope my legs get a bit longer between now and June.

For those who just want to add a touch of Tartan, think accessories. There are lots of them out there. If, like me, you're playing in wintery climes why not pick up a tartan scarf for some stylish warmth...and remember my tip last week about the golf cart blanket? How about a Tartan wrap? I also found caps and visors galore, golf umbrellas, shoe totes, and loads of adorable tartan golf gloves. And for a Golf Girl of the Paula-esque variety there's an endless selection of multi-hued tartan hair ribbons.

So, next time you shop for golf clothes. Take another look at Tartan. You might be stylishly surprised.