It’s been easy for plain clothes to prevail in lockdown. They match the sudden plainness of our lives. And, as a result, patterns might now seem overwhelming. But that’s no reason to forsake them. Imagine life without argyle jumpers, cardigans and sweater vests! Their absence would make dressing a dull affair – especially in winter.
Scotland is responsible for many wonderful things: tartan; the word ‘desgusteng’; making menstrual products free to anyone who needs them; rich varieties of whisky; the highest mountain in the United Kingdom – and argyle. The argyle pattern originates from the tartan of Clan Campbell (historically of Argyll in western Scotland) that was used for kilts, plaids and those socks (known as ‘tartan hose’) that probably spring to mind when you try to recall what ‘argyle’ actually is. But – largely thanks to Pringle of Scotland and the Duke of Windsor – it wasn’t until after the Great War that the argyle pattern became fashionable. These days, you might associate it with the film Clueless and being cajoled into playing pub golf at university. It’s certainly better than the latter, but who wouldn’t want Cher’s outfits? She even has an argyle print mini skirt!
For seasonal purposes, however, we are currently focussing on argyle knitwear – jumpers, cardigans, sweater vests and the like. In terms of jumpers, we are currently deciding – agonising, really – between Versace, Miu Miu and Khaite. But there’s also a Preen by Thornton Bregazzi offering that looks like a cross between a jumper and a polo shirt. When it comes to cardigans, it’s Zara versus Burberry. Or, if you’re indifferent about brands, cropped versus cosy. Sweater vests are the site of a battle between something brand new from Bershka and something vintage by Dries Van Noten.
With any luck, we'll be able to wear any of them to the Isle of Skye soon.