Buffalo Plaid, Won't you Come Out Tonight?

Buffalo Plaid Pattern

A brief history for those of you who are as curious as I am of where the term "buffalo plaid" came from. 

Really, when you think about it, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Being the sleuth I am, I decided to do a little digging into the history of the term. 

According to the Scottish Tartans Authority website, buffalo plaid, previously known as Rob Roy tartan from Scottish descent, made it's way to North America through one of Rob Roy's decedents, Jock McCluskey. 

Now McCluskey was a buffalo hunter and trader among other things and found himself trading with the Native Americans. Apparently he was quite the impressive specimen of a man and it was believed that the bright red color of his shirt must have been attained from the blood of McCluskey's prey. 

The Native Americans referred to the Scottish tartan pattern as plaid. And thus the term was born. 

According to the Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine website, it's a much simpler story. In 1850, "Woolrich unveiled the two-tone plaid Buffalo Check shirt … and the pattern designer owned a herd of buffalo."

However the term came to be, what's certain is that buffalo plaid has been around for a while and it's here to stay! 

While typically buffalo plaid refers specifically to red and black, the specific definition, according to Webster's Dictionary "a broad checkered plaid pattern usually of two colors."

Well now you know. 

We asked our amazing Facebook Fans to let us know some of their favorite ways to rock the trend. 

Chelle, owner of this lovely Etsy shop, recommended pairing it with leather or faux leather leggings. We love the idea of mixing different fabrics and textures. Kristen of Plum Pearls looks lovely in this classy combination. 

Julie, of the blog Basically Julie, loves seeing buffalo plaid in scarves. We just happen to have some pretty awesome large checked plaid scarves that were hand loomed in Cambodia - available  each fall and shown below.

I've even been known to mix this scarf with a traditional red and black buffalo plaid top a time or two and pair it with some duck boots from L.L. Bean that I'm borrowing from a friend. Why not take the lumberjack look one step further? I think it works because of the feminine cut of the top and the addition of a few dainty necklaces to play up the softer side of the outfit. 

Plaid on Plaid  Buffalo Plaid Lumberjack Look

Good friend, Interior Designer, and new mother, Jessica of Twine Interiors sent us this adorable photo of her son Liam in his buffalo plaid jacket. How stylish is he?! Now we're convinced that buffalo plaid should always be paired with deer prints. Check out his adorable nursery here. This kid (and him momma) have some serious style!

Buffalo Plaid Baby Wear

And our very own super talented Editorial Photographer Stephanie also with Hold Vintage prefers to see those red and black checks in smaller pops instead of a large piece. She suggests an inset on a pair of desert boots of a wool tie for menswear similar this one from Rustic Wedding Chic. 

What about you? What are your favorite ways to wear buffalo plaid this winter?


Purse & Clutch Owner Jen LewisAuthor: Jen Lewis is Owner & Director of Purse & Clutch. You can connect with Jen on . She has been running P&C since 2011 and gets excited about connecting resources to needs. 

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