Some passions stay with you your whole life. I can’t remember a time when plaids didn’t thrill me. There’s something in me that responds to the colors woven at right angles and then intersecting to magically create new colors. Plaid goes in and out of fashion, but I’ve always loved it and worn it. I love it in men’s shirts and ties, linens, wool scarves, blankets and skirts.
I found 3 beautiful vintage Pendleon skirts at the thrift store the other day. The Oregon mill has been making gorgeous wools since 1909. They were the first to make plaid shirts popular, for men in the 20′s, and for women in the 40′s. They’ve been synonymous with plaid patterns ever since.
You can find lots of Pendleton kilts and pleated skirts in thrift stores because they were the rage in the 70s and 80s. The fine wool plaids of these skirts are gorgeous, and so much better quality than you can get today. The long pleated skirts contain yards and yards of finely woven wool plaids, but sadly, they aren’t wearable today unless you’re going for the ultra-conservative ‘I just had a religious conversion’ look. I’m sometimes tempted to buy them just to reclaim the fabric.
The Pendleton skirts I found are more wearable. I’m not sure what era they’re from, but they are a cross between a pencil and a slim a-line skirt, going just past the knee, right to the top of a boot. There were three skirts, and the prettiest plaid had a few moth holes so I had to leave it behind. The other two look unworn. They’re lined and have small kick pleats at the back. Perfect! I predict J Crew will have this style in the catalog next year.