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Plaid Tartan Blazer

Derestricting Tartan

Tartan is a pattern that has exploded in popularity as of late. While some fashion minds will generally consider this a faux-pas due to its very lengthy history in Scotland, the more modern thinkers have generally accepted it to be an interesting option for both casual and black tie events today. Some color patterns do remain restricted and are reserved for British Royalty, but these are very few and far between, so men aren’t likely to come across them when shopping for their next suit. There are a few things to bear in mind though.


Men should first start by looking at their surname and compare it to the list of clans, which hold rights to certain color schemes and patterns. Those who are lucky enough to have Scottish lineage will be well on their way to having the right suit for them, since the pattern will already be documented and traceable. However, associated clan names also have their own tartans available to them and these schemes are readily accessible, too. Sometimes, men needn’t even use their own surnames as their name won’t be associated with a clan, but they may find that their mother’s maiden name holds the right piece of the puzzle. It may, however, be associated with a Scottish district and these names are particularly common with towns and cities in the central belt. District tartans do exist and all but the most rural locations will have a scheme available.

When this is the case, gents won’t need to search for very long when it comes to finding their tartan since they’ll have wearable rights to their name’s color scheme. However, it’s no longer a specific requirement that only those with Scottish ancestry wear tartans. There are modern universal schemes that exist for these men.

Universal Patterns

Men aren’t necessarily excluded from wearing tartans when they have no traceable Scottish background. There are universal color schemes, which include the Flower of Scotland tartan, the Black Watch tartan, and the very popular green Hunting Stewart tartan. These color schemes are readily worn by any man and the MS Bespoke Style 27 by GvS Clothiers reflects the popularity of the Hunting Stewart tartan in a modern and conventional cut. It is readily customizable and can be made to a man’s unique measurements, which ensures a proper fit throughout the suit.

Michael Snell

Loving father and husband

  • LAN

    Most tartan wearers are very wecoming to others and will ask you about the name or why you chose what you have on. Also some clubs have selected to honour different clans. I agree that it is not as tightly controlled as an outsider would expect. For instance the Nova Scotia tartan would be fine to wear outside of Nova Scotia if you even kust lived there. At one time there was a ban on all tartan in Scotland so I think most Scots are happy to have anyone wear and popularize it respectfully. Also in Ireland their counties have their own designs so If you have Irish ancestors that is another way to go. Great tips Sir.

    • Thank you very sir and I look forward to creating even more Tartan ensembles in the future.